OneRepublic and FabolousBy Julia Stewart, Staff Writer
Headliners OneRepublic and Fabolous will take the stage Saturday, at WBUL’s annual concert event.
Hosted by the radio station and the Campus Activities Board, Bullstock VI marks the 20-year on-air anniversary of WBUL, which began in 1988.
Brooklyn-born emcee Fabolous is the award-winning rapper of the hits “Can’t Deny It” and “Young’n (Holla Back),” which were popular in the early 2000s. OneRepublic comprises five Colorado-based rockers who are no strangers to the music scene, but it wasn’t until recently that they gained international recognition with their chart-topping single, “Apologize.”
“It’s like it’s finally paying off and our work – all of our blood, sweat and tears – is being recognized. It’s pretty surreal,” Fisher told ARTISTdirect.
The track, produced by Timbaland, is the first single from the album Dreaming Out Loud.
For nearly two decades, musician Timbaland has produced highly successful singles for mega-stars such as Missy Elliot, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. When he offered to sign OneRepublic to his label, the response was a resounding yes. The addition of OneRepublic to Mosley Music Group – primarily a hip-hop label – is a successful collaboration of different music genres.
“We don’t want to be in one genre. Our music is for the people, not any one race, religion or sex,” drummer Eddie Fisher said in a recent interview with ARTISTdirect.
This attitude is what influences the fusion of sounds heard in the music industry today. Bands that venture outside their typical style are sometimes labeled sellouts, but OneRepublic’s success is proof that there is growing acceptance of its blended tunes.
“It’s nice to mix things up and see what you can come up with,” Jackson said. “You may lay down some tracks with someone and it could turn into a great friendship.”
Fabolous will open Saturday’s show with tracks off of his latest album From Nothin’ to Somethin’.
“I am trying to make music for people who want more out of life. The latest album is all about motivation – it’s very energetic and hopefully will inspire people to get the most out of life,” Jackson said.
Mark & JamesBy Robin Roup, Correspondent
What started as a ploy to meet girls turned into one of Orlando’s latest up-and-coming local bands, Mark & James. On Saturday, the band will perform as part of the annual USF Bullstock before opening for Avril Lavigne that night.
Mark Russell and James Friedman met in 2004 at a hurricane shelter on the University of Central Florida campus, where they camped out for about three days during Hurricane Jeanne.
“Honestly, I went there to meet girls,” Friedman said. “I was walking around with my guitar and had yet to meet any girls when I saw Mark playing guitar for a group of girls. I thought, ‘this guy plays music and attracts girls, I have got to hang with him.'”
Shortly after the hurricane, Russell and Friedman left their respective bands and began recording music together in their dorm rooms.
Since then, they have progressed to recording in a studio. Last year they and their group signed with Wright Entertainment Group, an artist management company known for building the careers of pop artists such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.
In May, the pair will take part in Bandemonium, a national tour, leaving the local bar scene behind. The band will release its first full-length album Hello, I Love You, & Goodbye, in June.
“I think we used almost all 80 minutes,” Russell said. “It’s fully acoustic, and it’s our first cohesive album. It’s a story all the way through, a journey through the relationship.”
Friedman and Russell said that, jointly, their musical inspirations are OneRepublic – fellow Bullstock performers – and The Fray. Ryan Cabrera and John Mayer serve as individual inspirations for Russell and Friedman, respectively.
They joked, however, that if they could open for any band, it would be the Pussycat Dolls, “but that has nothing to do with the music,” Friedman said.
As for their musical talents, Russell and Friedman split the vocals and guitar, while the three other band members handle keyboard, percussion, bass, and back up. The five-piece band juggles practices, shows, recording and tours with school and part-time jobs.
“Priority is key,” said Friedman, who bounced back and forth Tuesday between the recording studio and a study session with classmates.
Both Russell and Friedman see music as their future. Though they will soon hold college degrees that could open doors to different careers, neither can imagine doing anything else.
“I’d call it quits (if I wasn’t in the band). There’s no plan B – it just distracts from plan A,” said Friedman.