Exclusive Interview

Bio for URBANO

As the saying goes, blood is thicker than water. Family values have created a strong foundation for this brother and sister urban pop music group. The seeds had been sowed quite some time ago, expanding their roots and firmly planting them in music. Growing up, this brother and sister duo have branched out in many different areas but always attained an unbreakable bond that tied them together. Positive reinforcement has always been a staple in their household, as a passion for the arts has stimulated their personal progress. Many people today seem to overlook artistic value, casting away imagination and creativity. Within their household it was encouraged to pursue their dreams, and with each step, grow into their full potential. For John & Ris, their love for making music had illuminated their purpose quite brightly.  They began not only recording music but also honed their craft as songwriters, creating melodies, harmonies and lyrics for all their original songs.

Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, this duo realized their gift and started to pursue solo music careers. John started recording his raps at Studio 4, located in Conshohocken, PA. At the age of 16, he began working with stellar producer and engineer, Will Yip. Following in her younger brother’s footsteps, Ris started her singing career, recording her songs at Studio 4 with Will. With every step in the learning process, they networked with many different producers, engineers, and other artists such as Huey Mack, Reed Dollaz, Danimal Lector and Jitta On The Track.

Even though John & Ris pursued solo music careers, they still wanted to work together and share something that was not only a collaborative effort, but very unique. Bringing them closer together, they put in more work and effort to make their dreams come true. After making some collaborative singles, John kept pursuing a rap career, as Ris pursued a vocation in the House genre of EDM music. Ris collaborated with DJS such as Markus Cole, DJ CHANGE, and DJ Marley Waters, who recently co-produced and co-wrote the smash hit “2 On” for Tinashe. Ris was also featured in Tilt Magazine online for her debut EP “Good Karma”. John also came out with a solo mixtape entitled “Sleeping Giant”, which he released online.  After the release of their solo projects, two local Philadelphia clothing brands approached John & Ris as sponsors. John & Ris are still currently sponsored by both brands which are entitled under Great Society and Milli Wear.

After completing their solo projects, the siblings knew that their destiny was to intertwine their styles and songwriting skills. Not only had their craft been strengthened, but also their ability to work together. Their bond was stronger than ever and they knew it was time to create URBANO music group. John & Ris loved recording in Philadelphia at Milkboy Studios, formerly owned by Larry Gold. They had the privilege to record with talented Grammy nominated engineer and producer, Joe Logic. Their debut album, “Royal Family”, has taken them a diligent two years to perfect, but created eleven commercially driven urban pop songs. They were able to work with producers such as, Sean Divine, Bombs and Bottles, Cam Taylor, IAMVINAY, Zaro Vega, Kajmir Royale, and Kid Flash.

The duo released their debut album “Royal Family” on soundcloud and received a massive amount of support. Just two weeks after their launch, they were featured on over 35 blogs, websites and magazines combined. This included Electro Wow, The Clothes Maiden Magazine, That’s The Headline, Lady Thriller, Hip Hop on Deck, Triple HQ Magazine, So Addicted 2 Fresh, Indie Nation, Twist Online, Music Crowns, Kaboom Magazine, Elite Muzik, Crazy Pellas, R&B Supreme, Exposed Vocals, AZ Hustle, Entertwine, The Hype Magazine, and ThisIs50 – just to name a few! Their review on Electro Wow gave a break down of the album as a whole, as well as all of the songs individually. It was critically acclaimed as a smash album with rave reviews on all of the individual songs. The duo has also been featured on radio stations such as Caribbean’s Hot 509, Below Da Surface Indie Radio, and Kansas’ K Sun 95.9. In addition, John & Ris were praised for their work by being selected for the “Emerging 200” list featured on the “Upcoming 100” website. They started at 151 and after one week, they climbed to number 66. Their album has received over 190,000 streams thus far – being shared, praised and listened to around the world. The video for their single, “Happy Hour” also just debuted days ago and is already rocking the music scene!

Twitter: @urbanomusicgro1

IG: @urbanomusicgroup

Who are your top 5 influences

URBANO: We have such a large pool of artists that we consider to be our favorites who influenced us! We love music so much and it is such an important element in our lives. Just to name a few artists – Eminem, 50 Cent, Ja Rule, D12, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ashanti, Lady Gaga, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Kenrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, The Game, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Drake, MGK, Logic, Cassidy, Chris Webby, Kinetics & One Love, Jarren Benton, Royce Da 5’9”, Crooked I, Meek Mill, Sammy Adams, Snow Tha Product – I mean we could literally go on and on – we value music so much and there are so many artists that bring happiness into our lives and inspire us. 

When are your new projects coming out?

URBANO: Well we just finished our debut album – “Royal Family” – which took us almost three years to complete. We are really ecstatic that it was so well received with over 190,000 streams on the whole entire album. We also just released the video for our single “Happy Hour” about four days ago! We really hope everyone is digging that so far as we put a lot of love into to! In addition, we are working with producer and engineer, Lectriq on a full collaboration. This is something we will be working on for the next few months, so definitely look out for that!

What helped you get into music?

URBANO: We always listened to music together growing up in the same house. We learned very early we had a strong love and passion for music. Listening to music together brought us closer and showed us the true value of artistry. We both loved music so much and had a lot of passion to create our own songs. At the age of 16 John started recording music professionally in a studio, and thereafter I decided to follow in his footsteps! Once we both heard what we created, we were addicted and loved how it made us feel. Music is so important in our lives and that was the driving force behind both of us pursuing a career in music. The music culture is all about what feels good to you, what makes your heart sing and your soul happy. We want to spread all the love, and good vibes to others as we feel this is our purpose in life. 

What is one thing you would tell your fans?

URBANO: We would just like to voice how genuinely thankful we are to everyone who has contacted us and expressed how much they love our music. We are so happy our intention of spreading good vibes has reached so many people. We love the support and cannot wait to put out more music.

What are your biggest goals for 2016?

URBANO: We feel we have already accomplished so many goals this year! We are truly blessed as a long time dream has come true for us. We made a complete album together, not only releasing it digitally but also with physical copies. The album was featured on over 35 blogs, websites, and magazine platforms. We were also lucky enough to get on some indie and FM radio stations with our single, “Happy Hour”. The video was also another goal we are really excited to accomplish. Other than that, we really want to go on tour and show our fans the many dimensions our band offers. It is an intense feeling, a feeling that really lights up your whole being. It is such an amazing thing to feel that way. You really feel alive and we love every moment of that. We love the energy that genuinely connects everyone in the building to such a raw experience of love and passion. We also are looking to continue our music career by being signed to a label. We are continuing to work hard, put all of our love and passion into music and see where it takes us.

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