Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 11:03PM by Anneliese Curtis Place
Describe your sound in your own words.
Limitless and eclectic. It is fun, honest and a breath of fresh air reminiscent of the golden era. Yannick and Yonas, our God-given names. Our music is us. We define who we are who we are and we are not trying to be anybody else. Yannick and Yonas.
How did your band form?
We got together in high school and we noticed, at lunch time, that we were always doing freestyle cipher battles. We decided to start a group and do a high school talent show. So it was just us recognizing our talents in high school and just sticking by each other's side ever since then. [Yannick graduated high school in 2002 and Y-O graduated in 2003.]
Who are the members of your band?
Y-O, Yonas Semere Michael and Thurzday, born Yannick Koffi.
What are your musical influences?
Thurzday: All the dope stuff. All like Ice Cube, BIG, the Roots. All the good hip hop stuff. And, then again, things like reggae. My mom is from Belize. We both have backgrounds where our parents are foreigners. My biological father is from the Ivory Coast, Y-O's dad is from Eritrea. Both of our parents play the Reggae stuff and Y-O's dad had the Eritrean music, a variety of music we have had playing in the background when we were growing up.
We took musical influence from the old school rap-stars because listening to them just made us start rappin'. Most Def. His solo album 'Black on Both Sides' was the first album I ever bought with my own money. Number two - and he is not even in the genre of hip hop - is Michael Jackson just because he was someone that I always grew up on and imitated as a kid and [am devastated] that he is not here with us today so I've definitely been influenced by Michael Jackson.
How did you come up with your band name?
The name U-N-I derives from the song off of The Roots' album 'Illadelph Halflife.' They have a song called 'U-N-I Verse at War' and it is like a first person statement like U and Y-O and I, being myself, verse at war, versing in opposition and it just applied to us and it applies to a team that has the eyes set on the goal to achieve something. You are gonna be at war so 'U-N-I Verse at War' is where our name comes from and we just say U-N-I for short.
What's your biggest vice?
Thurzday: The French Connection. I had too many of those on Tuesday. (Laughing.) I guess, the French Connection would be my vice. I don't really party too much but when I do go out and celebrate I want to have a good time. I don't want to say it is a vice but I guess the French Connection would be for right now. The French Connection is a drink - it is Grand Marnier and Hennessy.
Y-O: My biggest vice is fashion.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Thurzday: My cell phone. I have to have my cell phone with me so I can stay in contact with my family and friends and the Internet. I need Twitter on my phone. I need to be able to text message. Other than that just clothes. Clothes and my Blackberry.
Y-O: I'm gonna say my God damn DJ. I gotta keep an eye on that DJ we don't have, if we lose our DJ we have no show. He is walking around with our music in his back pack."
Who was your first celeb crush?
Thurzday: Tatyana Ali on Fresh Prince [of Bel Air].
Y-O: Mine is Rudy Huckstable. Oh no, no, not Rudy! I meant Mrs. Huckstable, the mother. I like cougars.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Thurzday: Solider Boy
Y-O: 'Burr' by Gucci Mane
Beatles or Stones?
Thurzday: The Beatles. Not to take anything away from the Stones but the Beatles have classic records, I feel like they are the pioneers. They just created music - they were just the pioneers of what they did.
Y-O: [To Thurzday] What are you going to forget about Mick Jagger now? I am going with the Stones. We can go back and forth with this saying the same exact thing. I didn't really grow up listening to them. I started listening to them as I got older. I dipped into them, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. They just appeal more to me more than the Beatles.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
Y-O: Craziest thing I have experienced would be when we flew from Seattle to Portland and we were looking for a hotel for, basically, the whole day. Myself, Thurzday, and our boy Theo making a big deal driving around in a big Suburban and couldn't find a hotel so we found a nice little back street; parked the car, and it was hot in the Suburban so Thurz leaves the keys in the ignition to keep the air on. Basically we were just going to sleep here but Thurz take the keys out because I have a feeling the car was not going to start when we wake up. Thurz, being hard-headed, wakes up and we tried to leave to go and get a hotel and the car doesn't start. So I get pissed, Theo gets pissed and we leave Thurz and go and get some food. I will never forget that. We couldn't find a hotel so we slept in a Surburban.
Unique instruments that you use?
I always ask the sound man to give me a third mic in a deep tone so that I can sound like a monster when I am doing the hook on this one song called 'Land of the Kings' remix so I can sound like I am chomping screws. Other than that I don't use too many effects.
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