So Much Soul… Artists On My Radar

Allow me to share with you some of the music I’m digging right now… For the past month or so, I’ve been straying a bit from hip hop to reconnect with my other love, R&B. I’ve come across these three artists (well actually, 2 groups and 1 artist) through performances or recommendations from friends, and let me tell you – I’m hooked. Instant fan status…

Gotham Citi (;


A couple of months ago, I went to an art & fashion event called “Pop Is Dead” to show love to my boy TTK, who was showing of his work. At the event, there was a performance by a group called Gotham Citi under the guise of a “funeral,” where they sang over the body of a Michael Jackson impersonator. All I can say is that I stopped whatever I was doing, and I literally had goosebumps…that doesn’t happen to me very often, and I HAD to learn more about this uber-talented group of gentlemen.

Flip, Dijuan, Kartier and Marquel are four young men from Harlem and the Bronx who sound like a throwback to the good ol’ days of R&B groups fused with the sounds of today. Through their music, one can hear influences of Jodeci, Dru Hill, Boyz II Men, 112 and Day 26, just to name a few. They are talented vocalists, writers, musicians and producers, each with his own identity and sound but perfectly harmonious as a group. In their own words, “Gotham Citi‘s sole purpose is to maintain the integrity of music and stay true to the notion of pure, raw talent as well as adding their own unique texture to “re-set the standard” of music.

If you’re lucky, you might find them in the subway during rush hour, singing acapella versions of both classic and original songs. After “Pop Is Dead” I can’t wait to see them perform again. In the meantime, I must content myself with the few videos available online. They released a single entitled “Daylight” (available on iTunes) that’s oh so infectious! Below you’ll find a couple of videos of Gotham Citi singing acapella, as well as one of them in the studio after recording “Daylight.”

Gotham Citi performing “Queen to Be” acapella:

Gotham Citi performing “Thank You” by Boyz II Men acapella:

Gotham Citi in the studio after recording their single, “Daylight”:

UPDATE (11.15.09): Gotham Citi doing renditions of “Love U 4 Life” by Jodeci and “Poison” by BBD:

G. Martin (;


Last month, I was invited out to Newark, NJ by Silent Knight to contribute to a photography exhibit as part of the Hub City Revival anniversary show. There, I met G. Martin, from Brooklyn by way of Gary, Indiana (yup, birthplace of Michael Jackson.), one of the featured artists of the evening. A talented singer and musician (he can play several instruments), G. Martin blew me away with his performance. After chatting with him, I happily shelled out the measly $5 he asked for his EP and have been addicted to his music ever since… His music touches an emotional nerve as he sings about love and heartbreak – a sure sign of GOOD music. My personal favorites are “Hold On Love,” “Depressions” and “You.”

G. Martin is an Apollo Theater “Amateur Night” winner (7/29/09). Check out his performance and much-deserved win:

In the next video, he pays homage to his fellow/former Gary, Indiana native, Michael Jackson, by singing “I’ll Be There”:

G. Martin recently performed at the “Faces in the Crowd” showcase, where he dedicated his song to the memory of Saigon’s mother, who passed away a few days prior:

If you like what you hear, head on down to the Water Street Restaurant in DUMBO on Thursday, Nov. 19 to catch G. Martin in his next performance. Tell him Liz sent ya.


Pardon the Stranger (;

pardonthestrangerPhoto by Gwen Moore

So my Jersey folk (i.e. Brokn.Englsh & Deal the Villain) have been trying to put me on to Pardon the Stranger for MONTHS… I hated how their faces dropped everytime I told one of them I’d never heard any of their music. Well, a month ago, Lyriqs to Go posted the video for “Brand New Me” on Twitter and I checked it out. DUDE… GAME OVER. I love this group! Comprised of singer Kendal and producer DefDom, their music is such that you can’t quite put a label on it. “The Next Room” reminds me of Gnarls Barkley, but other songs are just straight sexy…

I finally had the opportunity to check out Pardon the Stranger when they performed at Daniel Joseph‘s release show this past weekend. All the hype was for good reason – it was like I was entranced while listening to Kendal sing… I’m so glad I finally got to see for myself. Pardon the Stranger has a new fan in me!

Pardon the Stranger has an album entitled “We’re Here to Help” that’s currently available on iTunes… cop that! Peep the video for “Brand New Me” as well…

And there you have it… check out these talented artists, and let me know what you think. Just trying to shed some worthy light on the people who need it…Hopefully you’ll enjoy their music as much as I do and will become fans just like I did!

3 Responses to “So Much Soul… Artists On My Radar”
  1. koop says:

    Where’s Hasan Salaam & Rugged N Raw? 😦

  2. We both know Hasan Salaam & Rugged N Raw are dope! But this post was about some SOULful artists… Stay tuned for photos from our homies’ performance at (Bigger than) Hip Hop Project!

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  1. […] martin, tillmans trackback I’m a huge fan of G. Martin after seeing him perform last year (see previous post), and I’m so happy that he’ll be doing a free show at Tillmans tomorrow! Doors open at […]

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