Friday, August 13, 2010

Legend Factory Live at Crash Mansion

Legend Factory, in association with SESAC, Reverb Nation and other sponsors put on a wonderful showcase yesterday for upcoming artists.  I haven't been so pleasantly surprised in a long time.  I would have missed the event were it not for Mr. Devine posting it on Twitter.  He was excited about seeing Cocoa Sarai, so I decided to go down and check it out and take some shots.

Host: Trey Morgan of Z100

 The night was put in gear by Dimestore and Donovan.  This band from Washington, D.C. has a great blend of funk, pop and rock and roll.  Their sound is probably best likened to that of Maroon 5.  Their stage presence was a little awkward at times for me, but overall the band is very solid. 

Nita Chawla's sound I can only describe as clean.  There wasn't anything that really stood out to me but I think that was largely due to her confidence on stage.  I don't expect much movement with vocal and acoustic guitar but the energy was stiff.  Her voice is lovely though and she has chops on the guitar.  I'm excited to listen to her EP "Fall Again".

Next to hit the stage was rapper Soope the Roadrunner from Indiana.  Soope has a great musical ear and his beat choices knock HARD.  I saw quite a few people making the "stank" face with me when Soope's beats kicked in.  The sound was so ridiculously loud for such a relatively small space that I couldn't even focus on Soope's lyrics.  I enjoyed his performance though and will be giving his mixtape "Welcome to Indiana" a thorough listen.


From this point on, the night was on full tilt!  Singer/songwriter TL Cross and his band hit the stage and turned the event from a showcase into a party.  You probably know TL from his hook with Jadakiss on "All Falls Down".  TL and his team Da Gutta Fam have an impressive resume of collaborative efforts with some of the biggest names in music, including Usher, Diddy and 50 Cent.

Cross and his band took us 80s babies back with covers of BBD's "Poison" Tony! Toni! Tone!'s "It Never Rains (in Southern California)" and others.  The room was packed with industry personnel and media and TL got everyone to come to the front of the stage and cut loose.  I was half expecting someone to start a Soul Train line.

TL Cross

TL Cross was a hard act to follow but Cocoa Sarai was more than up to the challenge.  She's very petite but commands a stage like she's 7 feet tall.  Her sultry and soulful sound is full of energy and bounce.  She went from standing on the stage, to lying on it, to the floor, to sitting in the crowd to dancing past the bar and back around during her set.  There was never a dull moment.  She's a dynamite performer who's traveled the world sharing her talent. 

She's definitely an artist to keep on your radar and I will certainly be looking out for her upcoming work.  Ms. Sarai is a great singer/songwriter and an even better performer.  I expect that she'll have a healthy career.  She's more than ready for the big time. 

Cocoa Sarai

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