SPIN, TRO Essex Team For A2IM Indie Week Artist Showcase
Music

SPIN, TRO Essex Team For A2IM Indie Week Artist Showcase

SPIN presented an A2IM Indie Week Happy Hour and performance showcase June 12 at the Penthouse in New York, featuring the talents of TRO Essex Music Group artists Sam Louis, Casii Stephan and Flamy Grant. The event was part of the American Association of Independent Music’s annual New York takeover and came ahead of the Aug. 28 release of SPIN’s first print issue since 2012.

Established in 1949 by legendary music publisher Howie Richmond, TRO Essex Music Group is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a global independent music publisher this year. The company represents legendary songwriters and artists such as Woody Guthrie, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Pete Seeger, Bill Evans and the Who, and recently launched a new recording arm, Shamus Records, to both reimagine its repertoire and release music by up-and-coming acts such as Louis, Stephan and Grant.

Toronto-based Louis kicked off the evening by performing songs from his upcoming album 8 Ball, which is due out on June 27. After opening on acoustic guitar for “Dissolver,” Louis shifted to keyboard for “Burnout” and “Legacy,” the latter of which showed off his impressive falsetto. Louis closed with “Don’t Wanna Be Saved,” which he previously described as being about “unapologetically loving yourself” and “accepting that you are the way you are.” At a time when the concept of self-worth is tested daily by the omnipresence of social media, this empowering message resonated strongly.

Sam Louis (photo: Jared Harris)

Oklahoma-by-way-of-Minnesota singer/songwriter Stephan was up next and also gave a preview of material soon to be released as part of her TRO/Shamus partnership on the EP Relationship Status. She began with her spring single “Can’t Handle Me,” a delightful kiss-off to “another rambling guy at the bar” who can’t take the hint that he should buzz off post haste. Stephan banged out percussive chords on the keyboard as she unveiled upcoming single “Average Man” (due July 12), which she said was inspired by men who cheat on their partners when they’re sick, and closed her with a surprising piano cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and her own 2021 single “Here Comes the Light.”

The party concluded with a performance from Asheville, N.C.-based Grant, whose big, booming voice was as memorable as her black sequined bodysuit, blonde wig and sparkling silver boots. “Usually when they bring a drag queen out at the party, she’s there to do tricks or DJ,” Grant said. “But sometimes, she’s a folk singer!” The artist opened with her 2022 track “What Did You Drag Me Into?” before playing her new single, “S.P.R.K.L,” a song she’s previously stated she wrote as a response to those who demean her lifestyle and appearance. Grant’s vocal power only seemed to grow as the set progressed, with her long, sustained notes on “Feel” racing skyward amid the Penthouse’s wall-to-wall views of the Hudson River. She closed with “Last Days,” which, fittingly, is a song about the apocalypse.

“TRO Essex is celebrating its 75th anniversary as an independent publisher, and signing artists such as Sam, Casii and Flamy is part of our ongoing mission to showcase the best up-and-coming talent in the world,” says TRO Essex COO of Global Music Operations Kathryn Ostien. “We’re thrilled to have collaborated on this event with SPIN, which has long shared our passion for music discovery.”

SPIN’s A2IM Indie Week Happy Hour was also sponsored by Groover, TuneCore, KiTbetter, Pandora AMP and EarthProgram.

For more information, visit the official websites for Sam Louis, Casii Stephan and Flamy Grant.

Casii Stephan (photo: Jared Harris)

Originally Published Here.

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