bill bodkin talks with the mix-up pioneers as they prepare for their record release party tonight, March 8 at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, n.j., as a part of pop-break’s Shipwrecked At The Shore Showcase …
Swagger. It’s a word we toss around a lot these days. Old Spice even named one of their scents after it. Much like the words “awesome,” “epic,” “dope” and “gnarly,” the word has lost some its punch. But then you hear a song, a beat, groove and there it is — swagger. Listening to Aquavibe, you hear that swagger, that crazy coolness, that infectious energy. The pioneers of a style called “mix-hop,” this live band that blends hip-hop, R&B, turntablism and soul, to create a unique party atmosphere. Whether it’s their throw your drinks in the air, slow bop of the head slow jams or their get on the dance floor and groove anthems, Aquavibe is a living, breath party.
Tonight, March 8, at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, N.J., Pop-Break is proud to host the band’s record release for their new album What is Mix-Hop?
Pop-Break: The question is obvious: What is Mix-Hop? And what was it about this sound that you’ve dedicated your life’s work, as band, to it?
Dyverse: Mix-Hop is what it sounds like: Hip-hop mixed with all types of musical styles and influences — funk, rock, jazz, reggae, dance, etc). Our band is made up of five personalities with five sets of influences. Aquavibe and Mix-Hop is what happens when these styles meet on stage. For short. we call it “Culture remixed, Genre evolved.”
PB: How has Aquavibe grown as a band in the between the time you released your last record, The People’s Groovement Volume 1, and What Is Mix-Hop?
Dyverse: Musically, we are continually evolving as artists, but I think our largest amount of growth took place business-wise and administratively. We took our group to a more professional place regarding our brand. We also worked with Grammy winner Ed Reed, who helped raise our sound to a more polished and radio-ready standard. In a nutshell, we upgraded the quality of our package and product to better support the uniqueness of our music.
PB: Scenario: I’ve read this interview, and I want to check you guys out on Spotify or another social music site. What would be the song that you would recommend a first time listener to check out that you think defines the Aquavibe sound?
Dyverse: For me, it would probably be “4am” because it’s been an audience favorite since the beginning. It’s a feel-good song that we play at the end of the night to tie the evening all together and leave a lasting impression on the fans. If you asked me what song would be the most popular on this new album, I’d go with “About That Time.”
PB: You guys performed at The Playboy Mansion a few years back. Can you talk about the experience of performing at such a famed location? What was the craziest thing that happened during your show? And did Hef rock to some mix-hop?
Dyverse: It was awesome! Open bar, hot chicks scantily clad and drunk celebs. Hung out with the And1 Players and the girl from Growing Pains. We rocked the stage and some of us jumped in the pool by the grotto! We never saw Hef, but to tell the truth. we didn’t miss him/ If you play the Playboy The Mansion video game, we’re characters and part of the soundtrack.
PB: Describe a live Aquavibe show for us.
Dyverse: Fun! Great energy, good vibes, crowd participation and some jokes for good measure. A lot like the “Don’t Wanna Go Home” video.
PB: You guys will be a part of our Shipwrecked At The Shore Showcase tonight. You seem to play around the Jersey Shore quite often, but your music has a definite urban vibe to it. How has the Jersey Shore embraced your music? Also since this is a record release party do you have anything special planned for the night?
Dyverse: The Jersey Shore has been huge in their support of Aquavibe. The Bilows’ crew [in Neptune, N.J.] from the “Don’t Wanna Go Home” video are so hardcore — we love them. We started at The Saint down here, and it’s grown ever since. Bar A, Connolly Station and even Six Flags Fright Fest. Shout out to Ben and Patricia [of DAA Entertainment].
PB: You’re playing the next night at the famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe in NYC. I saw that besides performing your new record. you’re also going to be paying tribute the Notorious B.I.G. What songs do you guys have planned, and how much of an influence did he have on your sound?
Dyverse: Well, we’ve been doing Biggie tributes over the years, but it started from a fan request — Tariq from Richmond Hood Company. The first tribute cost us a band member, and a year or two later, the second one cost us another. This will be the third due to the 15-year anniversary of his passing. For new songs, expect to hear stuff like “Juicy,” “Kick In The Door” and “Hypnotize,” plus maybe we’ll bring back “Mo Money,” one of our favorites.
PB: What can we expect from Aquavibe for the rest of 2012?
Dyverse: Success! We intend to continue to raise the bar musically while securing our spot on the charts and in your hearts. A Grammy nom for next year won’t hurt either. Look for our upcoming DVD, more licensing for films/ TV, new music videos, bigger shows, a live mixtape of the covers we do and maybe another Christmas song.
Aquavibe will headline Pop-Break’s Shipwrecked At The Shore Showcase at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, N.J., tonight along with Tango Machina and Cicada Radio. Tickets are $5. Copies of Aquavibe’s record will be on sale.