What do you get when you take peace, love, and music; shake them up in groovey 4/4 time, and serve cool-as-ice? The Muso Project, of course! Let’s get the collective “aww’s” out of the way: The Muso Project was founded by the soon-to-be-married Toronto couple Rachenne Regozo and Edward Monzon. They spent two years as an acoustic-soul duo, making audiences swoon with their heartfelt originals and sing-along covers. They’ve since joined forces with some mega-talented R&B, soul, funk and jazz musicians: Charles Collymore (bass), Ben Healey (drums), Alex Tikhonov (sax) Kevin Cato (sax), and Rachenne’s funk-soul-brother, Kierscey Rand (keyboards). With the full band, they’ve got all the makings for slick Stevie Wonder-esque grooves that’ll get your body movin’.
The Muso Project have been recognized for their incredible vocal harmonies, funky solos and wildly entertaining covers and mash-ups. They’ve set stages ablaze at Lee’s Palace, El Mocambo and Sneaky Dee’s, and performed at large-scale events like TD Jazz Fest, Big on Bloor, and Toronto Wine and Spirit Fest and they have been selected to perform at Canadian Music Week ‘14.
They’ve got more big things coming up in the next few weeks! Firstly, their crowd-funded, highly-anticipated full length album, Dare Yourself is set for release on April 30th. Then, they will blow the lid off the Rivoli on May 1st for their CD release party!
Members of The Muso Project gave us the down-low on their music, writing, and advice for how to kill it on stage:
How would you describe your music?
RACHENNE: Our music is really soulful and smooth… with the right amount of funk. It’s the type of music that gets you bobbing your head, and you find yourself singing it the next day. Since our songs range from booty shakers to chilled-out vibes, we like to think we play feel-good music that anyone can enjoy.
What song would you like SDTC readers to hear, and why?
EDWARD: “Dare Yourself” is the track to hear since it will keep you wanting more. Not only is it a fun and catchy tune, but I originally wrote it to embody an important life philosophy of mine: dare yourself to do things outside your comfort zone. This album is a prime example. We never thought we’d have a full album, but with lots of hard work from our talented producers and band, along with support from our friends, family, and fans, we pushed our limits, and our dream came true.
What do you love most about living in Toronto?
BEN: Toronto is great for the diversity. The fact that there are so many different cultures and new things to immerse yourself in is truly amazing.
What inspires you to write?
CHARLES: What inspires me is the chance to express my thoughts, feelings and opinions through my instrument. It’s also an opportunity to inspire, create positive energy, and alleviate stress for those who choose to listen and enjoy it.
RACHENNE: For me, it mostly comes from very emotional experiences. I used to write only when I was frustrated or upset since those were times I’d need an outlet to express myself. Nowadays I find inspiration more from positive aspects of my life, including the creativity of my bandmates and hearing other artists that influence me.
If you could listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
RACHENNE: Amy Winehouse – Frank (deluxe album if possible!)
EDWARD: John Mayer – Continuum
CHARLES: Jamiroquai – Return of the Space Cowboy
KIERSCEY: Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life
BEN: Led Zeppelin – IV…maybe?
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
RACHENNE: Before any gig, we always have a group huddle on stage right before we play. Ed usually gives a pep talk to help us relax and get into the right mindset. A shot of tequila isn’t a regular ritual, but it doesn’t hurt every once in a while!
EDWARD: Not even the band knows this, but I go to the bathroom just before we hit the stage to actually look at myself in the mirror dead in the eye to psyche myself up. I picture myself in the moment and tell myself to kill it on stage. After playing so many gigs, you find that confidence is the key. You have to be honest with yourself and exude the fact that you love your craft, no matter what happens.