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Local Spotlight: The State Of

July 13th, 2011 -

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The State Of
Steph Taylor – Keyboard, Synthesizer, Vocals
Nabedi Osorio – Drumset, Vocals, Percussion/Accessories

What’s the origin of your band name?

“The State Of” is a nod to Bjork, conceptualized from the lyrics of her song Joga. We like the open ended aspect of this name and decided to go with it after coming up with a seemingly endless list of band names to choose from. Her music is a big influence on both of us.

Tell us the brief history of your band.

We met 11 years ago, when I was 17 and Nabedi was 19. A mutual friend introduced us because we were both musicians and naturally, that led to us jamming out in my living room and the musical connection was immediate…like as if I found my musical soul mate. When I graduated high school and left for college, we lost touch and both of us were involved in our own musical projects and endeavors until I moved back to Miami in 2007. We bumped into each other at a Bravery concert and decided to start jamming again like the good old days. It was obvious that we had both grown as musicians and as people and from the very first note that we played together, it just felt right. And so in late 2007, we played our first show at Tobacco Road. It’s been full force forward ever since.

How do you describe your music to people?

We call our music dark indie pop. It is music that has a melancholy tone, but to a fun and danceable beat.

Who are your musical influences?

Steph: As a piano player, I have to site Tori Amos as a major influence. I learned how to play a lot of her songs and it changed the way I played the piano. When I was 9, my dad Challenged me to learn as many Beatles songs on the piano as I could learn, and that ended up teaching me a lot.

Nabedi: As a drummer I’ve always looked up to Neil Purt of Rush, Stewart Coplan of The Police and Adrian Young of No Doubt. I memorized Adrian Young’s parts to No Doubts’ Tragic Kingdom album and would mimic his parts beat by beat in the air, I didn’t have a drum set at the time. My mom would catch me practicing and playing along in the air with my headphones on and saved up enough money to buy my first drum set. She felt that I was wasting my talent without having the proper tools to further my musical career as she’s always supported and believed in me. When that day finally came, I sat on that set and played my heart out to the entire album from beginning to end without skipping a single beat. I’m a self taught drum set player, never having a single lesson on the drum set. Nowadays, I’m able to share my talent through teaching people of all ages, starting as young as 5 years old.

As a band, we pull a lot of influence from Radiohead, Bjork, Interpol, Electronica music, Lamb, 80′s and 90′s music, etc…

What’s your favorite song to perform live?

We both love to play “I Know”. It’s the perfect live song because it’s a total dance and sing a long. Nothing makes us happier than playing music to a room full of people dancing, singing along, and having a good time and that song seems to have that formula.

What was your first concert experience?

My first concert was to go see Paul McCartney and Wings. I grew up in a house full of Beatles fans which in turn made me a Beatles fan. I had more fun at that concert than I did at the New Kids on the Block concert that I went to a few weeks later, it was 1990 and I was 8.

We have been following you since your demo was released back 2002 in Gainesville. How has your music and live performances evolved?

2002 was the year I released my self titled first demo. I was 19 at the time. That was almost 10 years ago. When people ask me if I miss doing old Steph Taylor solo stuff, I tell them that The State Of is me exactly in my element. The State Of is the project of both mine and Nabedi’s personal evolutions and the evolution we create together. We have a lot of fun together on stage, so it’s thrilling to share the spotlight with the funniest person you know. I would say the biggest difference between the old Steph Taylor shows and the current The State Of shows is pure and simple F-U-N.

Where is your favorite venue to play in South Florida?

That’s a tough question to answer, and I really can’t narrow it down to one because we love different venues for different reasons. Vagabond is really fun to play because the crowd energy is so good there. Same thing goes at DADA in Delray Beach. Amazing vibe in that place. We are really drawn to a good vibe where people can have fun.

Finish this sentence. Support local music because…

there are so many amazing bands playing locally who do not have mainstream resources and they are far more talented than most of the stuff you hear on the radio today. Plus, good local music is more accessible. For example, with a local band, you can watch them play a mind blowing set and then meet and even hang out with them after. You can buy their CD directly from them and tell them yourself how their music makes you feel. It makes the experience of seeing live music so much more personal and rewarding for the musicians and for the audience. I also want to note that we are part of an AMAZING local music scene here in Miami, and not enough people both locally and nationally know about it.

Upcoming shows:

Fri 7/29 @ The Speakeasy Lounge , Lake Worth

Thurs 8/4 @ Green Room, Fort Lauderdale

Fri 8/5 @ Bardot, Miami

Fri 8/19 @ The Electric Pickle, Miami

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