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You might remember H*Wood as the initial MC whose dread-lock flailing, riveting performance style catapulted him to the Billboard Top 40 with his song “Could it Be You (Punk Rock Chick)” in 2010. Now, utilizing the vision of six vibrant souls on one stage, H*Wood has grown into a live Hip-Hop/Rock/EDM fusion band with immense potential. The group members met in Denver, Colorado in 2012 bound by vision and a sound that blazes the cycle of musicianship.
Brandyn Bordeaux is the hip-hop vocalist who brought all of the musical pieces of the band together. DJ Five8 (aka Alton Coward) is the resident noisemaker with the turntables, Yasi Azimi is the singer, Shawn Briardy, the bassist while Scott Walker holds down the six string guitar and Joe Chudyk keeps the rhythm with the drums.
One Republic’s Eddie Fisher serves as the band’s quasi mentor and producer, pushing each musician to the next level with their artistry. Singer Yasi describes what it was like, working with Fisher, “Eddie helps a lot especially with vocal production. He added really cool progression changes and encouraged me to add my own flair and style to the songs.”
Though Fisher coached and lead the band to a more refined sound as a collective, Walker, the guitar player, helped to provide a lot of the background music and ambiance, while DJ Five8 brings to life the electronic element. “On stage, I’ll drop the samples and keep the band in time with each other. I make the majority of the beats that we’re working with. I’ll sometimes take the stems and fit them together to work within the band better,” DJ Five8 explains.
Bordeaux talks about the original production of these records and how the different pieces can be divided and molded in a variety of ways. “I created the initial arrangement as a songwriter but adding in the band allows it to be an easier song for people to get into and vibe with. They can get into the groove of the guitar or the drums, even. There are so many parts that come out with a band actually playing it live.”
Now that the hard part is done, the mixing, mastering, production and vocal development, H*Wood has 8 songs that are ready to go. The result will be a balanced effort of intricate notes, searing vocals and charismatic rhymes.More than just about gutting a soundscape and filling a space with mellifluous notes and polished theatrics, H*Wood learned how to move together as a well-oiled machine.
Bordeaux says, “We know each other so well. We can elevate each other. I was with Joe(Also the band’s engineer) everyday mixing our songs we’ve listened to them a million times. When we’re on stage, our level of understanding each other helps our performances go through the roof because we’ve been working together for awhile.”
Bordeaux states: “H*Wood as the solo artist is a closed chapter. I believe H*Wood the band is the new era and in my opinion the future of music.”