I had the wonderful opportunity to chat it up with young Denver hip-hop artists on the rise; Nick Cocozzella and Kyle Rigli make up the funky, electronic hip-hop group The Broadway. I've learned that not only did they form this group in their freshman year of high school, they also challenged anyone to a freestyle battle any chance they could. Their confidence is unfathomable, and respectable at the same time.
Musicians can learn a lot from these boys. When asked what important lessons they've learned while being in a group, I half expected some long speech, but the answers were short and simple; "Have fun," Nick classically states. Kyle doesn't beat around the bush either; "Enjoy it, those careers are short lived." Kyle Rigli also advises upcoming bands to avoid conforming to anything. Brilliant and to the point.
How exactly did the boys get into the hip-hop genre? "Freestyling in high school at parties." Nick digs a little bit into his teen years. Ah, high school parties; they always the best Junior-Senior year. Kyle believes hip-hop is universal. "It's Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, all into one. There's a story behind it." They truly reflect all of these elements in their songs, don't believe me, listen to "No Rhythm." "Hip-hop is drumming with your mouth." Nick explains. Perhaps Nick has a hidden beat-boxing talent?
The Broadway; "It's where we grew up. The main street in every town and the center of everything." Nick describes the meaning behind their band name. Kyle admits "It's where I lost my virginity!" I let loose a chuckle, admiring The Broadway's "being-straight-up" personas.
A lot of the times, bands on the rise and even bands who have made it break-up. "I think it's failed expectations." Kyle expresses his opinions on the situation. He's right; you can't possibly form a band and expect to have a record deal with Atlantic the next day. It takes time, patience, hard work, and respect for the people helping you out on the way. Nick thought it was more about personal life. "Families, relationships, money. Too many personalities."
The boys pause to take a shot. "Pretend it's water," Nick says. These guys hang hard. I take a shot of Coconut Rum while writing this; it's 5pm somewhere in the world.
I always love talking to upcoming bands, or underground bands. For some reason, their answers make more sense. I asked the boys if they felt like trying to make it in the music business, as a musician or a manager etc., has become harder. "Nowadays, I would say it's easier with online networks." Kyle declares. "But in the same sense, it's harder because so much content is readily available that people will only listen to what is truly good." I agree with him on that. Before social networking did all the work, it was quite an adventure trying to search for the greatest music. It was fun, but now everyone has access to technology and musicians end up sounding the same. I think it's even harder now to find good bands out there who create different sounds and are worth listening to. Like The Broadway.
Of course, being in a band isn't always stressful. The Broadway shared some of their memorable moments since being in a band. "When I got an email from someone's mom saying my song prevented her from killing herself." What a significant event, I bet it pushed Nick to work even harder for his fans. Kyle's memorable moment was meeting Travis Barker and Paul Wall and chilling in a subway with Mr. Barker when they opened up at the Honda Civic Tour.
Speaking of tours, The Broadway is adding dates for the rest of 2012. "And a new album, new video." ("Make Her Wait" ft. Breathe Carolina, watch it here:
We talked more about their musical influences. They listed a great amount of amazing musicians, all in various genres: The Weeknd; Logic; Machine Gun Kelly; Bone Thugs N Harmony; The Denver Orchestra & Symphony; Lil Wayne; Drake; Mest; The Starting Line; Saves The Day; Bieber; Mac Miller. I fan-girled when they listed The Starting Line. I would kill to see them live.
Past experiences fuel their inspirations for most of their songs. The Broadway wishes to collaborate with Mac Miller, Logic, The Weeknd, Drake, or T.Mills (Helen just reviewed his set at Warped 2012. Not her favorite, but he's fun to listen to). Their songs offer good vibes that Nick and Kyle definitely aimed for when forming The Broadway. "First song we ever wrote was about 'whoever you are, whatever your personality is like, just have fun."
Fun is what The Broadway is about. Nothing negative, no sad stories. The Broadway offers feel good atmospheres whether you're at a party, or just by yourself.
Though The Broadway never got #partyhop trending on Twitter, it didn't stop them from continuing on and creating a noteworthy name for themselves as musicians.
The Broadway is on the rise. Remember where you heard it from first.