Ayvah is a collection of jazz-trained musicians and hip-hop lovers rooted in soul; as they combine all of these influential and eclectic sounds, Ayvah has emerged as a jazz-funk, neo-soul band. Ayvah creates music from a wide base of inspiration, including love, heartbreak, coming of age, sexuality, poetry, nature and more. Minneapolis/Saint Paul based, Ava McFarlane (lead vocals), Sam Rosenstone (keys), Ethan Yeshaya (bass), Joey C. Hays (drums) and Andy Schupp (guitar) bring a strong sense of artistry and collaboration, thus creating a sound that's intriguing to all music tastes. City Pages echoes Ayvah's attack on music, saying, "Minneapolis five-piece Ayvah’s is [hard] to pin down. That’s not just because they’ve hardly released any music, instead preferring to hone their live show. It’s due to the band’s eclecticism; their sound is an intoxicating fusion of jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, and more. Led by the preternaturally talented singer Ava McFarlane, the group reliably whips up kinetic, propulsive grooves, as attendees of their live shows have witnessed."
Ayvah's response to the eclecticism of their music is, "We don’t want to limit ourselves to any specific genre or taste— we just want to create art that is technical, thought out and charged with inspiration.”
"Vante Jackson, one of the most likable musicians in the Twin Cities, has created a sub genre of production utilizing ethereal undertones layered vibrant synths. WNDRLND has touched every corner of the local music scene through production, instrumentation, hosting, DJing and collaborating with handfuls of other talented producers and instrumentalists, and artists" -Ava Mcfarlane
Egypto Knuckles has had a long history in Minnesota hip-hop. From the discovery of De La Soul's "3 Feet High and Rising" on tape, he knew what his life's calling was. Starting out in middle school and high school making mixtapes for friends, he bought turntables and through watching clips of Invisibl Skratch Piklz, DJ Craze and countless others, started teaching himself how to DJ. After building quite the collection and graduating high school, he volunteered for Radio K, learning production as well as hosting The Beat Box on Radio K, which garnered him a lot of acclaim, including winning the Reader's Choice City Pages award for Best Hip-Hop Radio Program 4 years in a row.
:Photo Cred Serene Supreme
After retiring from the radio world in 2006, he then started building sessions which allowed him to know more about the Twin Cities Hip-Hop scene at large and forged friendships with the people that now form the Background Noise Crew. Phingaz, who originally moved from Utah to the Twin Cities to make music, started it by partnering with Phingaz and releasing the compilation "The Mixed Up Tape, Vol. 1". Seen as an idea in experimentation largely from Phingaz, the compilation recieved acclaim from the City Pages and the Star Tribune for being a forward thinking collection of music in the scene.
Since then, Egypto has produced tracks for every member of the Background Noise Crew, E.DoT, Dwynell Roland, Ezra, Dispute One, Gio Van Arkee, Mike Dreams, RP Hooks, and Johnny Questionmark. He is considered the yin to the yang of Phingaz, the other in house producer, with a soundscape that harkens back to the mid-90s greatness of Hip-Hop while still giving it a fresh new context.
RRA is the solo project of Sara Abdelaal. Perfume of Love, her debut release, is the product of bedroom closet recording sessions split between Minneapolis and New Orleans – the result of time spent immersed in the Future discography, after witnessing Kraftwerk live for the first time.
Having spent the better part of a decade playing in minimal wave synth act CLAPS, RRA is Abdelaal’s search for her own space. It's an intersection of meditative calmness, sad keys, and the self-described dopest sounds, all while repping for the kings and queens of her Egyptian heritage. The result is a hybridized sound of cold wave trap, eminating from the depths of a sunken pyramid.
“Plus like I’m an ancient alien whose super good at technology and stuff. Bless up."
Dua is a multidisciplinary performing artist based in Minneapolis. Within the first few months of their career, this artist won the 2017 VERVE Grant, a song premiere on Minnesota Public Radio's "The Current", a feature on Button Poetry, and a curating position with Patrick’s Cabaret. Dua has also gained attention in the film world by landing a primary role in the indie web series Sweetness of Wild and having poetry featured in the film “Baptism” during the MN KINO Film Score Fest.
Though gaining attention as a performing artist, Dua has primarily been known for political organizing and workshop facilitation throughout the state of Minnesota through organizations and programs such as Unchain Our Children, Fighting Injustice Through Human Rights and more. Dua hopes to explore art as a means to engage in complex expressions of humanity.