By Jacqueline Cassell
Blues, Rock, & Hip-Hop is an experiment of musical genre created by artists Andy Box & The Bunks. It combines elements of traditional blues, rock-n-roll, and hip-hop with the intent of creating an alternative sound that is both unique and familiar. Instrumentally, this project is true the four musicians in the band; every track has guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. Lyrically, the content is strong with Andy Box covering themes of love and loss to deeper messages of spirituality and the war on consciousness. Overall the sound is fun, smart, and edgy; a trip through the minds of four undoubtedly talented musicians.

When and where did you all meet? What was the ultimate deciding factor to create Andy Box & the Bunks? We met for the first time in 2013 at a show in Long Branch called “A Night like Woodstock” when AI was part of a hip-hop duo and the Bunks were playing one of their first shows. The Bunks bassist and I went to Monmouth University together and studied Music Industry. We were close friends throughout college and near the end of Senior Year I approached the band with the idea of creating a collaborative project; they were down right away! It was not long after that we all met up and started playing together that my duo partner gave up music and I was left alone. Luckily, the Bunks were excited to explore the experimental sound we had been jamming on and we set out to record something we could call our own. That’s how it all began.

What are your musical backgrounds like? What made you decide to mesh Blues, Rock, and Hip Hop together as one? My background in music, creatively speaking, was in hip-hop; my teenage years consisted of listening to every street record I could get my hands on; artist like Jadakiss, Jay-Z, Outkast, Lil Wayne, and Kid Cudi were huge influences. I loved recording and releasing mixtapes with my friends. I always had a love for the psychedelic blues rock of the late 60’s and 70’s, artists like Led Zeppelin, the Zombies, and of course the Beatles so when I heard the Bunks groovy style of blues rock I thought that we had an opportunity to create something I’ve never heard before. The Bunks have a rock n roll background; I mean these guys are about as rock n roll as you can get. They love everything from Jimi to the Black Keys, Jack White to Stone Temple Pilots and PLENTY more. When we realized we had similar tastes and musically we could create something fun and unique out of our collective talents, we set out on creating what we called Blues, Rock, & Hip-Hop.

Tell us a bit about your current release, Blues Rock Hip Hop Demo! What was the writing and recording process like? 4 out of these 5 songs I came to the Bunks with; I had the chord changes and song structures all mapped out. They took it and ran with them, breathing such great life into Ride Life, Indulge In the Pleasure, Changing Tides, an Daemons Make the Angels Real. What You Need was written by Jozcel and Jonzi; when they showed it to me I immediately came up with the chorus and we jammed on it over and over. It was magic. We met up and jammed on these songs A LOT before thinking about recording. We ended up recording in October with Stephen Kellner in North Jersey. The guy has a great set-up and is a really knowledge producer and musician. We cut all 5 records in two days.

Do you have any upcoming tour dates to celebrate this demo release? 

Yes and No. It is not exactly a “Tour” but we do have shows booked in NYC, North Jersey, and Central Jersey. We plan on doing a lot of open mics and pop-up performances in the coming weeks so if you’re in the city look out! Here is a List of the 3 shows booked so far:

Februrary 27th – Asbury Park Yacht Club – Asbury Park NJ

March 29th – The Bitter End – NYC

April 7th – The Court Tavern – New Brunswick NJ

If you had to describe your music to new listeners in three words, what would they be?

Blues, Rock, & Hip-Hop! HAHA But really….. Fun, Smart, and a little trippy.

Connect With Andy Box & The Bunks:


Tricky Mandrake is a solo artist from Casper – Wyoming, who does all his own work for every song. Coming from a rough back ground, music became an escape at 12 years old for him. Tricky experiments with many different styles of music, attempting to come up with something unique. Tricky translates his creativity into music through the use of various instruments, including the piano, guitar, drums, and bass guitar. He says he want others to see what can come out of the joys of music.

Tricky-Mandrake-ProfileImagine that most artists are in the shape of squares. You see what kind they are and what sort of music they put out labeled straight on them. Tricky Mandrake is different in the sense that if you take a few steps to the side, you’ll discover many different faces and find that you were looking at a cube. He doesn’t just stick with one style of music. He keeps changing and adding various new elements to his sound. Thus we arrive to his latest offering, the single entitled, “Over and Under” – a heavy synth-driven, metal-core track with booming drums and organic undertones.

While this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it really is something that grabs your attention and cannot be ignored.  “Over and Under” packs a punch that has not been felt in a very long time with its raw sounding “garage-band-basement” riffs, catchy lyrics, soaring vocals and head smashing drums which brings back memories of the late 90’s. There is so much power, strength and emotion wrapped around this song; it can power a small town. The music is great from the first tone to the end of the track.

“Over and Under” seems like a mix or a blur of everything Tricky Mandrake has done until this point, including tracks like, “Bout Us feat Task and Eazy” and “Shoes That Bleed feat Feeki”. It has the same rap/rock influences, only this seems a little heavier than he has been before. You might say that “Over and Under” is a return to the glory-days-sound, of a grittier and more rock focused, young Linkin’ Park. Tricky Mandrake seems like he is on a rampage to track something down, bringing out the beast inside his music.

Well, Tricky has found his screamier and tenacious side, with a style that is even grittier than anything he has done before, and the recording methods he uses here, makes him sound more like a hybrid between high-energy-driven techno and raucous raw metal – a truly fun, powerful and exciting musical direction. I hope Tricky Mandrake continues this trend, because he has definitely grabbed my attention with “Over and Under”!



Haj was born and raised in Queens, NY to a family of Punjabi descent. This 80’s baby learned the meaning of hard work and loyalty growing up in the streets of NY. He’s always had a strong passion and love for music. His musical inspiration originates from his favorite emcee Nas. Haj’s latest release, the single “Whole World”, is one of those songs that become part of your life’s soundtrack. It’s catchy, uplifting and makes you want to groove along. It inspires warmth and a sense of well-being that can change your perspective in an instant.

HAJ-WORLDThis song appeals to any generation, race or creed. “Whole World” will touch your soul and trigger a visceral reaction in you. We need as much music of this nature as we can get to deal with this crazy world of ours. The music pulsates with regularity of wonderful heartbeats. Musically it kicks into gear with a quirky keyboard of sorts, using a repeating electric piano chord, while a sturdy snapping drum comes in, accompanied by Haj’s smooth sing-song voice declaring: “ I got the whole world in my hand and I know I can change it.”

Throughout the song Haj describes the emotion of brotherly love and making the world a better place – not as a far-fetched theoretical concept, but as a real living entity that has a physical nature, and through which happiness could easily reached. He sings: “Change started from the bottom, just think about it. Pyramids weren’t built from the top.” And then he further explains: “First love yourself, then love another.” And firmly concludes the concept with: “Raise your mind, raise your voice. Change the world like only you can.”

HAJ-PROFILEWhat is most impressive is the nature of this song’s possibly massive cultural impact. While trendy songs have always come and gone in the past, even ones that had a positive message to them, it’s been a very long time since a song that represented pop music in a musically meaningful and sophisticated nature has such a positive source of inspiration. I remember Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, coming from a similar place of peace, but with different connotations.

Mood-enhancing, but with a stripped down musical production, Haj as deliberately created a soundscape which allows the lyrics to be clearly upfront and not lost in a surplus of sound or trapped in a bunch of rambling and ranting rap verses. Haj has kept things simple and uncluttered, allowing the song’s message to arrive in a timely manner.  I think if everyone listened to this song and truly followed its example, one day, all around the world, everything would change in an instant!



Ditsea Yella is an electro-grunge duo from London, consisting of Diana and Phil, after having met in a boxy studio in Shoreditch while working on separate projects. The duo is a much unexpected surprise indeed. With their tracks, “Sin Mona Lisa”, “Boys and Girls” and “Vampire”, the listener is thrown back to authentic Alternative music. Something that is sorely missed in today’s world. Experimentation with great songwriting and hooks all over makes it hard to ignore these recordings.


Ditsea Yella is a breath of fresh air in today’s music industry; setting their own trend and creating their own unique sound.  Their songs harbor a wide range of edgy styles, while Diana’s sultry vocals joined with the heart pumping electro-rock fusion make them wildly eclectic and delectably addictive in a crazy way. Throughout the songs Diana has this amazing sense of sensual wickedness, creating a marvelous persona that is so infectious and so intoxicating. This is particularly evident on the deliciously mischievous “Boys and Girls”.

Phil and Diana have the uncanny ability to create massive side to side beats combined with atmospheric and sonic anomalies; each listen reveals hidden layers that seem to peel back to uncover new sounds.  A few listens to tracks like “Vampire” and you will know this duo is all about twisting and turning mainstream conventions – experimenting with sound, creating new hybrids of funky ear-candy, whether they draw from harder rock, simpler pop or groovier electro. And at the same time they are telling a story and sending a message. “Vampire” deals with how people sometimes – deliberately or not – deplete, debilitate and devitalize others, completely draining them, both literally and emotionally.


Ditsea Yella make songs that kick and cry, moan and tease, and sometimes they do it all in one song, like in “Sin Mona Lisa”, with which I made a horribly embarrassing spectacle of myself in traffic by cranking the volume in my car on the way to the coffee shop and home again, to the point I know I was offending someone somewhere around me, even with the windows up and the sunroof closed. I know I went into shop reeking of music, the volume having been so extreme it forced the notes and words and chords and melodies into my clothes and hair. It’s not the kind of sound I’m used to, but that’s ok, because this music still makes me feel and think and feel groovy.

With that said Ditsea Yella isn’t for everyone, as their music requires you to pay attention while listening to their electro-rock agglomeration. They incorporate different textures, techniques and sound that, when layered, form a complex network of eclectic rhythms and melodies that give them their infamy. Ditsea Yella meshes cryptic lyrics with the sporadic lapse into peculiarity, overdriven jagged guitar chords, and the occasional eccentricity, to form 3 satisfyingly diverse singles that go where few newer bands have gone before.


Nubia Emmon is set to release her debut 5-track EP, entitled “Nubia Emmon 93” on April 12. In the meantime Nubia has dropped the SWV and Michael Jackson inspired single, “Hooked on Your Love”. A smooth R&B classic sound, flavored with a delicate Hip hop edge.  Out of Austin, Texas, Nubia Emmon is a singer, rapper, dancer and songwriter.

nubia-emmon-200bShe is a distant cousin of The Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson, her father grew up performing in an R&B band along with his brothers and sisters and her brother also performs in his own band. This innate love for music and constantly being in the presence of her family’s artistry was passed on to Nubia, who was singing by the time she was 3.

This young lady has the gumption to take on the R&B world and succeed in it. Her sound and approach brings to mind what I think Aaliyah would be putting out if she was still alive today. Nubia leaves no stone unturned when it comes to relationships on “Hooked on Your Love”, as she examines the pros and cons of her man.

She proves you can still stay relevant while singing from within. Her music is very deep and something that people can relate to. She really opens up her heart and soul and puts all of her doubts, feelings and emotions out there.

nubia-emmon-200She is pretty much showing how she is in love with someone and how much she really loves them and what they mean to her; sometimes too much – as her love for that person becomes intoxicating to the point of no return. This is the type of song that plays in your head over and over again because it is that good, catchy and thought-provoking you will never get tired of it. Especially if you love in the same way!

Yes the beat is hot, but her smooth, easy going voice is the gem that makes this track. It’s all about the vocals. Nubia really brought it to the table on “Hooked on Your Love”, and single-handedly killed it. I think what struck me most about this this track, after the voice and beat, was its mature approach to love and relationships.

It flies in the face of the countless albums from female R&B artists that continue to sell only sex. It seems like everybody else has forgotten about the impact unconditional love has on relationships. Not Nubia Emmon, who shows us that she is still “Hooked on Your Love”!



This one’s for all you country lovers out there: Vince Gill is back.

Three years after his last album released, the country legend is back with Down To My Last Bad Habit, his 20thfull length album in a storied 32 year career. In the days of Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan, Gill keeps his classic country twang. Listening to this album is nothing if not reminiscent of how country music used to be.

The first track on the album, “Reasons for the Tears I Cry,” brings that honky-tonk sound that makes you want to put on your cowboy boots and start line dancing. Vince’s soulful voice is no different here than it was in “When I Call Your Name,” one of his biggest hits in 1989. If you’re looking for consistency in quality, Down To My Last Bad Habit is the album you’ll want to hear.

The title track strays away from the honky-tonk vibe that we’re introduced to and slows things down a bit with the country crooner singing about giving up all of his bad habits but one: his former love interest. Again, the style of this track greatly resembles the late ‘80s and early ‘90s country that classic country lovers will be very familiar with. Familiarity is key with this album, but none of it is repetitive or derivative in the least.

Finishing off the album, we get a true tear-jerker in “Sad One Comin’ On.” The song delivers that true country cryin’ music and the song hits home, especially for Vince Gill and classic country lovers alike — it was written for his long time friend and country legend George Jones, who passed away in 2013.

This track is the perfect way to close out the album, bringing true emotion and finishing with that soulful voice that all true country music lovers will remember and appreciate.

You can listen to the album in its entirety here, or download it on iTunes.

Keith Pro

The dance pop genre is full of artists putting music out there every day.  Much of it is self produced in their bedroom and unfortunately will never see the light of day with the low quality production.  The genre is a tough one to crack and the artist that goes out and finds the right people to partner with has a huge advantage.  Bernie Journey is well aware of this and has made the right connections.

Bernie Journey

Born as Bernard David Journey in Cleveland, Ohio, he took in all the power of rock n’ roll being honored in his backyard and let it influence his musical development.  Bernie Journey dove into meeting the right people and showing them he had the chops to have them produce his sound.  His very first recordings and EP were made with the help of music producer Joe Vulpis who is known for his work with Lady Gaga.

The connections continue and Bernie Journey has now released his latest song “Patience With My Heart” on J2 Records.  A single is never enough when you have the right friends.  Bernie released an EP with 7 different distinct versions of the song.  Featured on the release are 3 club friendly dance remixes by Wayne Numan (Cher, Madonna). The original version was produced by Peter Litvin along with an alternative version of the original, featuring Argentinian saxophonist Hendrick Valera. Rounding out the single EP are the “Chilledelic Mix” with more of an urban groove and “On Island Time” version which has a lounge feel to it.

Every one has its own feel but they will all get you up and dancing by the chorus.  There is a sensual element to the song that works perfectly for this Valentine’s Day season.  There is passion, lust and a groove.  Take a listen and buy the EP at:


iTunes –
Amazon –