After taking a break for a bit to re-group and re-charge, Femi the DriFish and The Out of Water eXperience (OWX) is returning to a stage near you on Saturday, April 9th at The 14K Cabaret at 218 W. Saratoga Street as part of Femi’s “AnArtKey Music & Lyrics” live performance series.
Femi’s first CD release show at 14K Cabaret, January 2011
That show, a CD release party for OWX’s first project, “The Clown With No Circus”, was where Femi first presented himself as frontman of a group of musicians and vocalists that became The Out of Water eXperience, after years of being resistant to the idea of a band backing his spoken word on a regular basis. Even he could not have seen where he and OWX would end up five years later, with him as the leader of a popular hip hop funk rock band whose reputation for top notch vocals, musicianship and a hyper-energetic highly entertaining live show precedes them wherever they go.
The first year of OWX’s existence found them trying to find a place for themselves and for their sound, which was too big for the poetry venues Femi was used to. But a performance at one of 98 Rock’s “Noise In The Basement” shows at Baltimore Soundstage in January 2012 (with wildly costumed fans in the audience helping Femi rock the stage) drew the attention of 98 Rock’s former mainstay deejay Matt Davis.
With Davis’ support, Femi and OWX crashed through the local live music scene, widening this area’s definition of alternative music. Their broad appeal musically also allowed Femi to meet and partner with some of the area’s other great bands like (now defunct) Dreamboat Armada and Victims of Experience.
Just like that initial leap from spoken word to live music he took that January night five years ago, Femi is prepared to leap in a new direction with OWX. To that end, he has released two new singles ahead of the show – “Suicide Immortals” and “Moth”.
“Suicide Immortals” displays Femi’s rock leanings while the percussion and keys lends a rhythmic cadence more commonly found in soul music. Victims of Experience vocalist Kristin Lagana brings big pulsing power vocals to the track and is a great match for Femi’s energy. “Moth” is a bit different for Femi/OWX; “Moth” is a much softer sounding song, with painfully truthful lyrics poured over a wistful, 90’s-sounding R&B track with outbursts of guitar riffs to remind you this is still OWX. Femi’s words about the perception of beauty in society are poignant and clever and leave the listener with much to think about. The hook, sung by Kissi B. and Christen B. says “what is beauty if its only a disguise, what’s the ugly truth against those pretty lies, I’m but a moth to a flame trying to catch your eye, only to burn up in the sky.”
The April 9th “AnArtKey Music & Lyrics” show will be hosted by Femi and will also feature poet Dustin Nispel and the bands Old Eastern and Thaylobleu. Advance tickets are $7 and can be purchased at www.AnArtKeyMusic.com/home. Tickets will be $10 at the door.