With voting for the 2022 Interstate Music Awards in full swing, we wanted to go "behind the music" and share a bit about who each nominee is personally. Get to know the nominees below, and don't forget to cast your vote!
Buffalo Rose — Pittsburg, PA
Made up of six world-class musicians from vastly different backgrounds, Buffalo Rose puts an imaginative twist on modern folk and Americana. The group’s chemistry translates into their music, with their performances looking more like friends just having fun on stage. Looking to make appearances in folk festivals across the country this year, Buffalo Rose is on a straight path to success.
- Member backgrounds include folk, jazz, rock, and R&B
- Members range in age from 20s-40s
- Signed to MISRA Records
Some highlights from our interview with Buffalo Rose:
What inspires your group to create?
“Since we all come from very different musical backgrounds, this is always a difficult question to answer. I think we all are inspired by the prospect of making music that moves people - music is such a powerful force in all of our lives, and the idea of really connecting with people through this medium is exciting to us.”
Where did Buffalo Rose start?
“About 5 years ago, we all were performing with different bands around Pittsburgh. We were playing rock, folk, R&B, jazz. Eventually, we found each other, and started playing together as Buffalo Rose as a sort of side project. But soon the side project was taking off more than our main gigs, and was way more fun, so we decided to run with it!”
How has the group achieved such strong chemistry?
“We as band members have a very real sense of love for one another, and that love is always present throughout our performances. We just have fun together.”
Kevin Michael Duggan — Nashville, TN
Fronted by Best Male Artist nominee, Kevin Michael Duggan, this aptly named group has a Country and Folk sound completely of their own. Influenced greatly by Tom Petty and Counting Crowes, KMD has mastered the art of blending that country twang with touches of rock and folk. Having played around Nashville as an established group for over a year now, Kevin Michael Duggan is ready to break out in a big way.
- Experience on Broadway in Nashville
- Group formed just over a year ago
- Album release planned in near future
Some highlights from our interview with Kevin Michael Duggan (band):
How did you all come together?
“We all met at this ‘jam night’ we’d go to on Tuesday nights, just at our buddy’s house. A bunch of us would hang out, drink beer, and play a bunch of old country standards. We actually first met at that house.”
What’s a piece of advice that your band holds on to?
“I think one that really rings true is that good musicians can play really really well, but great musicians listen. That’s so key.”
How do you capture so many different sounds in your work?
“I think that’s just the fun of it. When people say, ‘What’s your sound,’ the only answer is like, ‘yes.’”
Soulpax — Miami, FL
Started by two friends attending the Berklee College of Music, Soulpax is a neo-soul and R&B group who truly keep things groovy. Funky basslines and clean, bluesy guitar riffs create the perfect atmosphere for lead singer, Julia Camayd, to energize any tune. With the ability to create masterful original work as well as nail covers, Soulpax is a band to keep your eyes (and ears) on.
- Each member is a multi-instrumentalist
- Think of writing music as “playing a game” with each other
- Opened for The Marshall Tucker Band
Some highlights from our interview with Soulpax:
In what ways does your group’s work reflect your personalities?
“We don’t see our music as a reflection of our personalities, rather music is our personality. We eat, sleep, and breathe music. From the moment we wake up until way past the hour where we should have gone to bed we are thinking about music.”
What’s Soulpax’s goal as a group?
“We just want people to dance. You know? So even if there’s just one person dancing, we’re like, ‘Yeah!’ But obviously the best gigs for us are the ones where everyone’s dancing.”
What drives you all the most?
“We just like to play, that’s it. It’s a moment where we can come home at the end of the week, to each other.”
Title Holder — Queens, NY
Formed in an apartment in Queens, Title Holder is a ska-punk band set out to create upbeat, full, and feel-good sounds reminiscent of the 90s ska scene. Title Holder was formed with the mission to play the music that made them happy, and this very clearly seen with the enthusiasm they bring to their work. With their expertly written original roster, Title Holder provides great tunes with a side of nostalgia.
- Created and headed by Matt Sullivan
- Songs co-produced by Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake
- Members include multiple recognized ska-punk veterans
Some highlights from our interview with Title Holder:
What sparked the creation of Title Holder?
“I was in a situation in 2020 where I was out of work, battling depression, trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life — nobody’s hiring. I decided that to counteract those negative feelings I was gonna do something to make myself happy, I was gonna go back to what I wanted to do when I was 15. I wanted to be in a ska band.”
Can you explain a little about your musical background?
“From an early age I played piano, drums, and other percussion. It wasn’t until 1999 or 2000 when I discovered pop punk & ska that my whole outlook just changed. I picked up a guitar and taught myself how to play, and haven’t looked back since.”
What inspires your songwriting?
“The songs I write all pull from life experiences. The ups, the downs and everything in between. My focus has been creating energetic, fun music that anyone can listen to and say, ‘Hey I can relate to this.’”
Remember to cast your vote once a day until April 30th!