Thursday, April 19, 2012 Born on a Rooftop by Claudia Kassab

A busy street full of restaurants and businesses lies a hole in the wall door that leads your down a flight of stairs to a multitude of doors full of sound and rhythm.
The sound emanated from the corner, it sounds like rock, or rap. On second thought, maybe it was soul music. All I knew was that it sounded good. I wander aimlessly into the dungeon of sound waves followed by urban sounds of beats and sound. The floor was covered with wires of all sizes and the room was full of instruments engulfed by four walls, any band’s sanctuary.
Behind that door is a band that emerges to be not only musically talented but also unique, Stereo Crowd.
Originating from the rooftops of South Harlem, Vferg begins by relating their accidental start one night. As they put it, a guy with gear provided them with a stage and the opportunity to play the instruments. Everyone just started playing something, thus, the band was formed. Forming a series of rooftop jams, the musicians got together for jam sessions and thus encouraged by founders, Paul-Anthony and Vferg to become a group.
From that, they’ve become something much more serious.
“It’s not just music anymore; it became something a whole lot bigger. Bringing more people in Stereo Crowd became a band open to many musical talents” says Paul-Anthony, singer and guitarist.
Stereocrowd never thought they would get to where they are right now. A diverse and unique band, Stereo Crowd is known for being anything but ordinary. The band consists of guitarist and singer, Paul-Anthony, bassist and singer, Vferg, guitarist Robert Keith and drummer Jaime, who explains his funky hairstyle as “shark from the front and a rooster from the side.” While they have other guest singers and musicians join the band for performances, they are the quartet that are responsible for the band’s unique sound.
Cross-genre, eccentric-ism and jamming, all words used to describe Stereo Crowd’s sound. There’s no formula or limit to the sounds of the band. They are compared with the Black Eyed Peas style hip-hop combined with the amped-up angst of The Black Keys, the multi-talented flexibility of the Roots and sprinkled with a little Soul and R&B. Fusions of alternative rock with rap in their sound have them calling themselves the “ambassadors of urban alternative,” music forming a new sound to the music scene.
During their live performances, Stereo Crowd tends to feed off the crowd, attending to the likes and dislikes of the audience. At times, they would play something and fans would request a song.
“We tend to write songs with the vibes of the crowd, and get requests like oh, play that song about a skateboard,” says Paul- Anthony.
Recently, they played a show at Wagner College, where the college girls where going nuts and they opened for “Girl Talk.” Their sound is nothing like any other urban band, Vferg and John-Anthony both collaborate on lyrics and songs. Both sing on the record. Having played shows around the city from the Bowery Poetry Club to Wagner College, Stereo Crowd is growing fast and will become a band to look out for.

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