Thursday April 28, 2005

Written by Meredith Mannino
Photographed by Angelo Rivera

  Carmen Chiles

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I caught the second Fresh Produce showcase (at the Remote Lounge) a few weeks ago; the first FP show was in 2004 in Tribeca at M1-5. Fresh Produce is an assortment of dedicated, rhythm, Hip-Hop, and funk lovin’ musicians/artists that are really psyched to perform live, and spread the Fresh Produce passion, dedication and energy.

Fresh Produce was formed by George Gomez and Eric Young. The two are working hard to make things happen with the project and its artists. "We're aiming at creating an atmosphere for up and coming talent to showcase their stage shows. . . almost like a breeding ground for live shows. I think we're on our way to becoming a place that breaks and helps build a lot of new talent,” commented Gomez.  

Che Grande
Colleen Evans

The show opened with Esco, a New Jersey born rapper who grew up in North Carolina. Esco is a talented rapper and an evocative performer. He’s working on his own CD, and has a collaborative album in the works, as well. Fresh Produce, he told me, is appealing because it brings together various audiences. According to Esco, this is especially important. “My goal,” he said, “is to get as many people as possible to hear me.”

Next, Carmen Chiles and her band electrified the stage. The stunning Carmen sings and plays rhythm guitar in her band, comprised of Nate Lavoie on drums, Mark Albright on saxophone, and older brother Lawrence Chiles on bass. Carmen possesses a lot of charisma, talent, sophistication and style. Her voice is strong and sweet, and is well supported by her band’s Red Hot Chili Pepper-esque sounds. My personal favorite song is entitled “Don’t Wanna Let You Go.”

To give you an idea of just how cool Fresh Produce performer P.S. is, please note her musical influences: Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Queen, Nirvana and Prince. Just try and imagine the artist that such genius would inspire and you’ll grasp the greatness of P.S., another extremely captivating and talented performer in the Fresh Produce roster. She’s a petite and attractive woman with a very big and soulful voice.

Issia DJ

I had the pleasure of chatting with both Carmen and P.S. Carmen described the Fresh Produce players as having “a lot of honest love for music.” Her long term goal is to become a successful recording artist, and she and her band are currently negotiating a deal with an independent label. Their EP is complete and they’re “just waiting on the distribution," she said.

Carmen is an extremely optimistic and focused young talent, and that energy certainly comes through in her music.

“I’m proud of our band. We’re pursuing our dreams. Things are happening for us and I’m really excited about it," she says.

Rock on, Carmen!

P.S. has a very accurate name for the style of music that she makes--she calls it “soul rock.” This description is so appropriate because P.S. is all soul while the musicians that accompany her fall closer to alternative rock on the musical spectrum. The mix of the two genres is refreshing and vibrant.

“When I hear the riff of the electric guitar it moves me so much. I want to fight with it and control it," she says.

P.S. says she knew soul rock would work when she met Carmen. According to P.S., fame would be great, but superstardom isn’t her main concern.

“Whether I make it big or not, I just wanna sing," she says.

Another sizzlin’ female rocker was Nonameko. Her voice is delicious and she is equally as beautiful. The Oakland, California native was turned on at a young age to Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Sly & the Family Stone, Peter Tosh and Whodini. Later she fell in love with Hip-Hop and knew her fate was to immerse herself in the art form. She is currently working on her debut album entitled Goddess, to be released by Loud Minority Records.

Spec Boogie


Brooklyn’s Spec Boogie was a special guest performer with Nonameko. I think photographer Angelo Rivera gave the most eloquent description of Spec Boogie when he referred to the rapper as “a throw-down man with class.”

Elucid also gave a stellar performance. He’s old school rap with a lot of character and strength. Great show, and isn’t the name Elucid cool??

Von Pea & Donwill was one of my favorite acts; I loved Von Pea’s engaging facial expressions and the duo’s jazzy Hip-Hop beats and rhymes. Von Pea and Donwill are two of the three Tanya Morgan players.

Che Grand took the stage at some point and I was glad he did! He definitely knows how to please the crowd, boogie and bust out the beat.

Cyren Young, aka Eric Jones, gave a fabulous performance. His voice reminds me of Stevie Wonder’s, and he’s very committed to promoting the artists in the Fresh Produce network where he is a key player.

P. S. and Carmen Chiles


Keep your eyes and ears open for upcoming Fresh Produce shows, or individual appearances by any of these talented artists.



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