Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Local Utah Group Wins First Place Award!

Way to go! We have some amazing local talent in Utah! :)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (July 19, 2012) — Mystique, the Spy Hop Productions 2012 Musicology band, has won a prestigious first place award from Adobe Youth Voices, the signature philanthropy initiative of the Adobe Foundation. A longtime supporter of Spy Hop, one of Adobe Foundation‘s missions is to provide underserved youth around the world with the skills they need to prosper in the global 21st century economy. As part of this effort, the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards is an online global youth media competition, which celebrates the extraordinary work of young media artists by recognizing top talent in digital media. Mystique was awarded with the Gold Award in the Audio category for their single “Big Feet.”  Mystique is set to release its debut album, Which Boots?  Witch Boots! next week and Adobe representatives will be in town to present the award at a reception prior to their release show at Kilby Court on Friday, July 27.

Although the album’s style varies wildly from piano ballads about love and loss to a hard-core rant on individuality, the consistency is in the substantial songwriting; the musical talent and the obvious passion the band has for making music. Mystique is made up of six teens from communities around Salt Lake County, who until last October, had never played together.  “It started off very awkward”, said instructor and mentor Jeremy Chatelain, “No one wanted to talk or express themselves and now I can’t get them to stop writing or talking– they could have written another entire album of songs.” 

That collaboration is evident in the cohesiveness of the band, despite diverse musical backgrounds. Guitarist/singer Vinny Cavalcanti, 17, is the band’s “batteries”, introspective writer, Angel Nolazco, 17, plays bass, sax, beatbox and sings; heavy metal influenced Liam Elkington, 17, and jazz trained, 15 year old Nick Miller, are both quiet but speak loudly through their considerable talent on guitar.  The band’s strength lies in their two female vocalists; Emme Nelson, 16, the melodic heart of the band and youngest member, Austin Wolfe, a recently turned 15 year-old, whose passionate voice and songwriting drives many of the soulful songs on the album.

From the impatience of youth in “Big Feet” and the heartbreak of a broken first love in “Stay with me” to the dense lyrics about the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse in “Psychological Cool Guy” (which grew out of a songwriting exercise the first week of class), the album gives listeners an intense overview of the teenage experience.  Which is also what makes it so completely relatable to the rest of the population.

The record release showcase will be held at Kilby Court, Friday, July 27th at 7:00pm and will also feature Spy Hop Records artists singer/songwriter Mara Read and dream pop band Bearclause.  The event will be emceed by the program Loud & Clear Youth Radio, whose participants host the KRCL radio show by the same name on Saturday nights. 

About Musicology & Spy Hop Records
Musicology is an intensive band experience where participants ages 14 - 19 learn songwriting, production and recording.  The class forms a band that performs in venues around Salt Lake and releases an album at the end of the year.

Spy Hop Records is a yearlong paid apprenticeship that provides its teen participants with the unique opportunity to run an independent youth-produced, record label. Spy Hop Records actively seeks out and develops local youth talent, while focusing on a variety of business and creative skills, including recording and promotion. The program releases a video podcast each month of music videos, downloads and interviews from local youth musicians. 

About Spy Hop Productions
Spy Hop Productions is a nonprofit youth media arts and education center whose purpose is to empower youth to express their voice and with it create positive change in their lives, their community, and the world.  Our mission is to encourage free expression, self-discovery, critical and inventive thinking, and skilled participation via the big screen, the airwaves, and the web.  Recognized by the White House as one of the top arts and humanities based organizations in the country, Spy Hop was chosen as a finalist for the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Award given by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

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