The Emperor Chaz

Names: Kevin Kesicki, Jared Levine, Martin McCarthy, Julien Thomas and Adam Davidson

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Musical Style/Genre: The Emperor Chaz self describes their music as Neo Soul/Hip-Hop/Jazz Fusion

Influences & Inspirations: With five band members, The Emperor Chaz have a wide array of inspirations. Some artists such as, Kaytranada, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, Glass Animals, MF Doom, J Dilla, EL-P, Run the Jewels and Tama Impala

Growing up, Julien Thomas’s vocal influences were a mix of early singers and popular classics like Nina Simone, Paul McCartney, Ella Fitzgerald, Elton John, John Jacob Niles, and Billy Joel. Recent vocalists that inspire me are Florence Welch, James Blake, Nai Palm, Britney Howard of Alabama Shakes, and both Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius. Artists that have recently inspired Julien include: Ben Howard, Alabama Shakes, Fleet Foxes, Mac Miller, and Pharrell Williams.

Influences of Jared Levine, both with his drumming style and general music taste, include: Hiatus Kaiyote, Karriem Riggins, Chris Dave/Robert Glasper, CHON, Travis Barker, Moonchild, Questlove, Dave Grohl, Anomalie, Rob Araujo, Sam Gellaitry, Lenny "The Ox", Christian Scott, D'Angelo, Flying Lotus, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lynn Carrington

Kevin Kesicki’s favorite pianists are Claude Debussy & Robert Glasper. As far as his songwriting and general musical influences he takes a lot from John Williams, Danny Elfman, Fall Out Boy, early Panic! At the Disco, Interpol, St. Vincent, UMO, Bratmobile, Childish Gambino, Amy Winehouse and Thundercat

Martin McCarthy’s musical influences are The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Jaco Pastorius/ Weather Report, Return to Forever, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Les Claypool/ Primus, Gorillaz, Toro y Moi and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. His rap influences and what shapes his style as an MC includes: Busta Rhymes, Jay Z, Big L, Big Pun, Mos Def, Ghostface Killa, Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt and most importantly MF Doom.

Advice to Your Younger Self:

“I would tell my younger self to strive to be open-minded, compassionate, and driven towards my passions. Don't give people your time if they don't value it, and don't let people make you a pushover.” - Julien Thomas

“I would tell my younger self to stick with it and learn more theory, to take music seriously and give myself good self discipline. And also not to care what other people think” - Martin McCarthy

“Definitely practice my minor scales and chord inversions more” - Kevin Kesicki