Mixing the heartfelt grooves of funk and hip hop into a foundation of alternative rock, Southern California band Monroe creates a sound uniquely their own, one that defies an easy pigeonhole. Recently, the group beat out nearly 100 other musical competitors to win the 2012 Artist of the Year Award from Five of Five Music Entertainment at California State University, Northridge offering them the opportunity to record and market their second EP, titled “Monroe”.
Monroe’s original quartet
joined forces in 2009, generating a melting pot of style that yielded a sound comparable to established bands such as Incubus, Radiohead, N.E.R.D. and the Police. Their debut E.P., Outer Space, was finished that fall, featuring seven songs with impeccable technique, passionate vocals and irresistibly catchy hooks. Since then, they have steadily penetrated the music scene on both west and east coasts, earning a loyal fan base with their well crafted sound and well honed stage chemistry. The band’s name also channels a cheeky spirit, referring to their Hollywood residence across from Paramount Pictures, which formerly served as a makeup studio for Marilyn Monroe.
Monroe is a four-member band consisting of:
Kelton Blackshear (KB), a 21-year-old Texas native whose soulful voice truly defines Monroe’s sound. In 2008 he made it to the Top 50 of “American Idol”, and has performed in music competitions around the country. KB attended Berklee College of Music in Boston on a full scholarship, and it was there that the band was born. His distinct vocals have entertained audiences from all around the Boston area to the world-renowned clubs of Hollywood.
Lawrence Carroll IV began playing guitar at the age of eleven. Completely self-taught, he performed in and around Los Angeles consistently throughout his teens, taking style tips from iconic players of all genres. Minarik Guitars sponsored him in 2004, dubbing him their “little Jimi [Hendrix].” Upon completing his high school music program, Lawrence went on to study guitar performance at Berklee College of Music, where he met the members of Monroe. Today, at age 21, his diverse sound ranges from complex jazz to rock, and everything in between.
Trevor James, the little brother of the band at 19, is a Los Angeles native who has been playing bass professionally for five years. Having studied with upright bassist Frederick Tinsley of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Trevor’s music is informed by his knowledge of a wide range of styles, as well as electric, upright and keyboard bass. He has played with the renowned Victor Wooten and Chaka Khan’s saxophonist, Donald Hayes. As the newest member of Monroe, Trevor’s laidback, groovy style continues to elevate the band’s sound.
Gabriel Baker, age 22, has been playing drums professionally since his young teens growing up in Los Angeles. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston for jazz drumming, and has studied with such distinguished teachers as Greg Bissonette, Jerry Kalaf, and David Elitch of The Mars Volta. Gabe’s percussion features an amalgamation of styles, and his passion for drums makes him as comfortable playing rock as he is playing reggae. As the backbeat of Monroe, his facile fusion of funk, hip-hop and rock styles complete the bands unique sound.
VVME Staff List: 2011-2012
|Ryan Aicklen||Co-Executive Producer|
|Tyler Edmonston||Co-Executive Producer|
|Kevin Blachly||Line Producer|
|Julian Banks||Director of A&R|
|Russel Nygaard||Director of Artist Management|
|Justin Anastasio||A&R/Artist Management Team|
|Theresa Byford||A&R/Artist/Management Team|
|Sona Karamyan||A&R/Artist Management Team|
|Adria Lawrence||A&R/Artist/Management Team|
|Nanette O’Grady||A&R/Artist Management Team|
|Yejin Shin||A&R/Artist Management Team|
|Randal Sprague||Director of Production|
|Corey Brule||Asset Management|
|Devon Johnson||Asset Management|
|Thomas Dearth||Photo/Video Production Team|
|Travis Galvan||Photo/Video Production Team|
|Thomas Johnson III||Print Production Team|
|Haley Hanna||Print Production Team|
|Katie Ray||Print Production Team|
|Matthew Blake||Record Production Team|
|Tristan Dolce||Record Production Team|
|Ryan Lallier||Record Production Team|
|Christopher Tucker||Record Production Team|
|Aaron Class||Director of Marketing|
|Joshua Engel||Digital Marketing Team|
|Samuel Sobo||Digital Marketing Team|
|Yeojin Kook||Digital Marketing Team|
|Steven Peltzer||Industry Marketing Team|
|Anthony Sangiacomo||Industry Marketing Team|
|Austin Overton||Physical Marketing Team|
|Eric Whelan||Physical Marketing Team|
|Nina Boone||Director of Events|
|Magnolia Benitez||Events Team|
|Taniella Block||Events Team|
|Dakota Gartner||Events Team|
|James Snedden||Events Team|
|Zach Thornton||Events Team|
|Nicholas Wylie||Events Team|