Miami-based ArtOfficial consists of Danny Perez on keys, Ralf Valencia on bass, and Keith Cooper on the saxophone, with vocals provided by emcees Newsense and Logics.
The setup alone beckons the question, “What does a live band with two emcees sound like?” Well, imagine Soulive with a harder edge or The Roots, but jazzier, with more depth, and wildly spontaneous. Envision blending your favorite groups from hip hop’s “golden era,” replacing their sampled beats with jazz musicians and injecting a good dose of future funk into the whole equation. This synergy of sound doesn’t have to be imagined. It’s real — a living, breathing entity that hails from Miami, but thinks globally. Its name is ArtOfficial and its here to make you admire the past and embrace the future.
Assembled from the remnants of two bands, one jazz and one hip hop, ArtOfficial has taken the music scene by storm, implementing its previous musical experiences to quickly achieve what Miami.com says is “the fast track to stardom.” Part of that experience is seen in the band’s stage shows. ArtOfficial’s live performances have earned them a reputation as a “superhero team of sorts, comprised of some badass musicians as well as MCs” according to 944 Magazine.
ArtOfficial has shared the stage with a variety of artists ranging from KRS-One, The Sugarhill Gang, Pharaoh Monch, and Buckshot to Andy Smith of Portishead and N.E.R.D. ArtOfficial performed at Rock the Bells, A beat out more than 1,000 bands to perform in Lollapalooza’s “Last Band Standing”, and won the Florida Grammy Showcase becoming the first Hip-Hop act to ever do so.
ArtOfficial have independently released one EP “Stranger”, and a full length for Japan only titled “Fist Fights and Foots Races”. It has proved to be a hot seller since its release in early April 2008, peaking at #4 on the Tower Records Charts. “Fist Fights” was widely shared over the internet, earning ArtOfficial a newfound worldwide audience or as Logics would say, “a higher mountain to yell from.”
Today, the six-piece crew is constantly performing around the country, invading the blogosphere, and adding to an already loyal fan base. ArtOfficial is currently working on its next release. According to the band, it’s everything you’d expect from their energetic live shows, but expanded and executed to perfection. When asked about plans for the future, the band’s idea is simple, “do it better, bigger, and to more people!”