The Urban State is the brainchild of R.Jay, an East London-based songwriter has brought together a collective of performers and artists to create music and art that celebrate the power of many, showcasing and challenging the talents of all involved and maximising the combined creativity by giving everyone a voice. And having a truckload of fun in the process.
This is just the beginning…
- Service to the State: Singer, songwriter, founder
- Manor: Haggerston, London
- Born: Accra, Ghana
- Classics: Amerie – 1 Thing, Basement Jaxx – Jump and Shout (Stanton Warriors remix), Kylie – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head (OH yeah)
- Right now: Beyonce – End of Time, Drake – Crew Love, Ms Dynamite – Neva Soft
- At my funeral: Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man
A sucker for a great tune since he could tie his own shoes, R.Jay started writing melodies at school. He kind of figured he’d grow out of it, so when after ten years in a ‘real’ job he found himself still addicted to creating sounds he set himself up a home studio and got serious. His first proper heartbreak soon after turned out to be just more fuel for the fire. Running away to Chicago on holiday, he had a moment of enlightenment while endlessly riding the city’s ‘Loop’ metro system.
His escape, he saw, was to be bringing the music into his head into the world, and heading home he wrote song after song that proved to him he’d opened up unimagined new musical horizons. Love On Loop is the break-up song which freed him from that batch of demons, and the Chicago Loop provided the inspiration for The Urban State’s graphic i.d.
Blessed with wildly eclectic taste that he’s enriched with culture-hungry travels in Europe, Asia and the US, R.Jay’s weakness is still for killer melodies, and mixing euphoria with darkness, edge with joy. Mixing these with the potential combinations of amazing voices, sounds and ideas today’s London offers, the possibilities are infinite.
- Service to the State: Singer
- Manor: Wales
- Born: Wales
- Classics: Groove Armada – Superstylin’, Rosie Gaines – Let’s Get Close, Grace Jones – Pull Up to the Bumper
- Right now: Labrinth – Last Time, Emeli Sande – Next to Me, Plan B – iLL Manors
- At my funeral: Nick Drake – River Man
Miss Reprazent is an accomplished vocalist heavily influenced by artists such as Chaka Khan, Mica Paris and soul of old.
Writing from an early age her influences include Donna Summers and Aretha Franklin. She has sung in various outfits across the world but has found her niche working alongside RJ and Mixmaster matt in The Urban State.
Her RNB style compliments the electro house flavours perfectly and she cemented herself as one of the mainstay vocalists with The Urban State project.
- Service to the State: Producer
- Manor: London
- Classics: The Cure – Let’s Go to Bed, The Prodigy – Breathe, Madonna – Justify My Love
- Right now: Azealia Banks – 212 (feat. Lazy Jay), Gotye Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra), Little Dragon – Brush the Heat
- At my funeral: Bob Marley – One Love
Mixmaster as the producer for The Urban State is always looking to break the boundaries with new ideas. His vision as a producer is always to look to the future of what will people be listening to. When it comes to making music Matt looks to create mUsic good enough to receive critical acclaim whilst bearing in mind a pop sensibility. Using a mix of organic instrumentation and all that modern gadgetry has to offer is key to Matts ethos of producing music. Matt has worked with bands in the past such as Leftfield, Finlay Quay, MC Neat, Boy George and System 7 to name a few.
The Urban State’s debut album Love On Loop is produced and arranged by Mixmaster Matt and R.Jay.
- Lives: Acton, West London
Chris Monaghan is a Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter/Producer from Preston Lancashire now living in Acton, West London.
He works as a freelance Session Guitarist/Vocalist and collaborative Songwriter for himself and Artist Development Programs, as well as independent artists around the U.K.
Previously working for several independent artists on recordings as a musician, producer and songwriter, he has also engineered for a variety of artists across different genres, using this time within studio space and around other musicians, he has developed a very professional craft that he enjoys as well as work very hard to maintain.
He is currently in the process of recording his debut EP for a Summer 2012 launch including many other great featured Artists and Musicians.
- Lives: London
Me’sha is a highly in demand vocalist whose versatility has seen her recording and performing in many areas of music. As a session vocalist, she has performed and toured with Bryan Ferry, Beverley Knight, Russell Watson, La Roux, Groove Armada, Heaven 17, Roxy Music, Donovan, Chicane… Her early career was spent as a resident vocalist at Stanley House Studios recording demos for Kylie Minogue, Victoria Beckham, S Club 7 and many others.
Her live work includes appearing at the historic Live 8 and Concert for Diana at Wembley stadium. She has performed on many TV shows including Later…With Jools Holland, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, BBC 6 Music Sessions, Manu Katché’s One Shot Not for French TV, Die Ultimative Chart Show in Germany and many more. Me’sha’s vast experience also extends to musical theatre having performed in numerous shows including Ragtime in the West End, The Little Shop of Horrors and several workshops including Porgy and Bess and Gone with the Wind under the direction of Sir Trevor Nunn. She has also appeared in and voiced advertisements for Nivea and recorded character voiceovers for children’s musical story books.
An accomplished songwriter, she supported Bryan Ferry on the European leg of his “Dylanesque” world tour, has produced a live DVD, “Me’sha Bryan Live at The Luminaire” and can be seen performing songs from her debut album, “Maybe Today” at various venues around the UK.
- Lives: London
I have been playing and performing music for several years and my passions in life are, firstly, to become a rounded musician and secondly, to meet and work with people.
I am originally a self taught musician, starting my education at the age of 14 by writing music and starting and running bands. I have studied an array of styles ranging from country, rock, metal, jazz, soul, latin and funk and am comfortable at adapting to musical scenarios and genres in vocals, guitar and keys.
I have been privileged enough to work with top producers such as Phil English (Feeder, Biffy Clyro) and the likes of Tim Rice. I work as a live and session musician, teacher, vocal and band arranger and MD, having worked with songwriters such as Alex Van Soos (All Saints). I have experience of writing, arranging, MD’ing and leading my band Ivan And The Wolves, working with professional songwriters Sophie Daniels and working live with up-and-coming talents Eric ness and Salena Mastrioanni.