LAUREN CARR & SEAN MCINTYRE
A&E EDITOR & SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
Members of The Quadrangle were invited by Red Bull to attend the Red Bull Sound Select Concert series. Red Bull provided guests concert tickets, transportation and meals. Red Bull did not influence the opinions made by the writers in this article.
It seemed like the New York skyline followed us all the way to Brooklyn. Sitting in the back seat of the car, we were drawn to the lights emitted from the Upper East Side. It was luminous. Approaching Exit 34 on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, the car departed from the highway and entered the streets of Williamsburg.
Circling Shelter to find a drop-off spot, we kept glancing to the left hand side at the skyline. The lights reflected off the East River into 7th Street. Finally, the car stopped and we entered to what seemed to be an old warehouse.
We followed our host into the restaurant covered with sheet metal walls and a dimly lit red sign promoting “Shelter.” Faded leather couches, antler chandeliers, flickering candles, taxidermy and exposed wood beams furnished the interior. It exuded a rustic lodge atmosphere.
In between greeting student media members from the Columbia Daily Spectator, Washington Square News, The Telegram and more, we found our assigned seats with customized “Red Bull Sound Select” nametags and menus.
Our waiter, proudly showcasing his handlebar mustache and hair tied in a bun, took our drink orders and introduced us to the newest flavors of Red Bull.
While we chatted for hours and ate artisan-inspired appetizers and pizza, the band Denitia and Sene entered the restaurant.
As the band became comfortable by removing their leather fringe jackets, they explained they only have a few moments before returning to The Warsaw to prep for the show. Prior coming to Shelter they finished sound checks and tuning their equipment.
With a few handshakes and exchanging smiles, we all in unison got up and exited the restaurant. Accompanied with a photo opportunity with the band and the students, we found our car and were off to The Warsaw.
Driving about a mile down Driggs Avenue, we entered a residential area of Greenpoint. On the corner of Eckford Street and Driggs Avenue was The Warsaw.
The streetlight revealed its faded brick exterior and maroon painted trim.
The Suffers, described by their website as “a ten piece band that intertwined elements of classic American soul with rock & roll,” was on stage. The crowd was dancing to the belting voice of Kam Franklin singing “Gwan.”
Listening to the band for a moment, we were led through the ballroom, into the attached dive bar, up a narrow staircase and into the Green Room. Chairs were being arranged for a small press conference.
Enter Denitia and Sene.
Pens and cellphones were removed from bags and displayed in the open. As the duo took a seat, students bent forward to catch every word spoken.
A hand rose from the audience and questioned the influence behind their music.
“I have to have chemistry with the beats. Sene and I clicked together and decided ‘if you like the music, then it’s good,’” Denitia said. “You have to approach it with a natural and innate feeling.”
She continued to explain that the mission behind their music is for the listener to interpret the music.
“You have to hear the song and let it flow through you. Then you will be able to interpret it yourself,” Denitia said.
The word icon began to circulate amongst the crowd to describe Denitia’s talent. This caused a friendly disagreement between the duo.
“Icon is a strong word to use, I would instead use iconic and honored,” Denitia said. “I don’t have a personal agenda for my music. I approach my music with my personal values. My grandma offered the advice that ‘if you have to tell someone you’re something, than you’re probably not that.’”
Sene disagreed with Denitia’s self-description, but for the better.
“I think she is an icon. After being in a three year working relationship, Denitia has carried herself respectfully unlike other people,” Sene said. “She works fast and she knows her music.”
A smile was exchanged between the two. They both agreed that more music should be written between the idea of shame and confidence. Artists should focus on how to handle events differently and to be in the moment within their lyrics.
By developing the foundation for their music, they explained their dream collaborations.
“I would want to collaborate with Mickalene Thomas. She is a Brooklyn-based artist that
captures time through her multi-sensory visuals,” said Denitia.
“I would want my music to be narrated by Nelson George,” said Sene. “As a writer he narrates culture, and I would want to provide music to his narrations.”
After the small press conference thank-you’s were exchanged and we were guided back down the narrow staircase into the bar.
Catching Marian Hill’s song “Whisky,” we reentered the crowd in the ballroom. Applause erupted and the band exited the stage. While the stage crew prepared for Denitia and Sene, we danced to the tunes from the DJ as lights glowing with #SoundSelect covered the room.
The lights dimmed, and Denitia and Sene’s profiles are seen on stage. The crowd draws near the edge of the stage and the speakers blast “Because We Are Fools.”
Their website captures the essence of their music, a “chilled-out, futuristic soul vibes of the Brooklyn electro pop duo.” The artists themselves seemed to be hypnotized by their synthesized melodies.
After performing five songs filled with hypnotic rhythms, the band took a bow and thanked the crowd.
Analyzing the crowd we realized that all walks of life were present. Hipsters, fashionistas, artists, students and people of all ages joined together in applauding the artists. Soon, artist Liam Bailey took the stage with his band.
His English accent paired with his blues and soulful music made him memorable. His advanced guitar skills were showcased in his song “On My Mind.” Heads bobbing in the crowd, we were all drawn to his powerful voice.
The entire event was perfect for people who love to listen to indie bands and it was also an ideal event for artists looking for more exposure.