(January 2004) - The dance-rock-electronic inspired duo Champa 51, is the next Alternative-Electronic Hybrid coming down the Los Angeles pike in 2004.
New York natives, Andrea Blackbird (Vocalist) & Marc Blackbird (Guitarist/Programmer – a.k.a. M-Bird) met when Andrea was singing at a lower-east side NYC club. A record producer noticed her who then introduced her to Marc. At the time, Marc was looking for a singer for his project and he knew she was the perfect fit. "From the first time I heard her sing, she had so much soul, I knew she had something special", said Marc.
Shortly after they formed an acid jazz-rock fusion band. They performed together for over two years in and around the NYC club scene. The band later dissolved due to a fellow band member departing ways. Andrea & Marc contemplated their future. "We thought, do we want to start this thing over again in NYC?" said Marc. “Why not at a beach in L.A.?" So they packed up and moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 1998.
Settling in Venice Beach, CA, they formed an experimental funk/rock-duo that was quickly welcomed in the Los Angeles underground music scene. This led to performances alongside some of the best-known U.S. West Coast DJ’s, Hip-Hop acts, and live electronic bands. "During a stream of consciousness, we came up with the name Champa 51. It is inspired by the sweet incense Nag Champa, symbolic for "Clarity" & Area 51 in Roswell, New Mexico – which stands for the things we don’t know. It’s basically all about clarity, shedding light on things we can not see, about illumination," said Marc.
The sound gradually evolved into the current Alternative-Electronic incarnation in the early 2000’s - a diverse style of music – a fusion of musical elements from trip-hop, electronica, funk, break-beats, dance music and soul - woven around the melodic song structure of alternative rock.
On stage Andrea’s star quality image flows with her passionate, alluringly lead vocals, which resonate amongst the crowd. Her elegant dance moves are drawn from the dancing background she acquired in New York.
Producer\Multi-instrumentalist Marc Blackbird funks up his electronic programming and arranges groovy guitar hooks along with background vocals. "Marc makes music that is totally rooted in the groove. He comes up with all kinds of riffs. That is what I loved from the beginning", said Andrea.
Live, the duo adds to their lineup with Al Keith on percussion.
Their sound is currently captured on their self-released EP, Groovetopia, produced by Dave Delaski (Electric Skychurch, Moonshine Records, Ball of Waxx Music). "Groovetopia marks a significant evolution in their sound," said Delaski.
Their danceable grooves have massaged souls through the Los Angeles underground scene and will surely move you live.