We Found New Music Gives West Hollywood Another Evening Of Pop Perfection
LOS ANGELES, CA- Ever since lockdowns got lifted, WE FOUND NEW MUSIC has been steadily hosting new artist showcases every Thursday at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood. Having attended two amazing performance dates in the past few months, I decided to take a flyer on the 1/20/22 lineup, music unheard.
There’s always a risk to attending a show without being familiar with the artists slated to perform, but given the state of living during the age-of-Covid, I decided that I couldn’t just sit at home and watch Netflix and chill when tomorrow we could all be mandated to “stay at home” for the foreseeable future. Life’s too short, and I needed some live music to stir up my life.
The first artist to perform was the singer/rapper Anees Mokhiber p/k/a “Anees”. Hailing from Washington D.C., Anees saw his audience grow exponentially when Justin Beiber, unprompted, joined him on a casual Instagram Live performance. In the video clip (which you can view in its entirety by clicking the photo above), Justin is praising Anees’ musicality and lyricism. The two had an open discussion about relationships and inspirations.
I didn’t know about Anees’ interaction with Justin prior to seeing him perform, but I can honestly say that I was just as smitten with Anees’ music as Justin was. There was just such a grounded, organic quality to his music that had me instantly hooked. Anees performs like he’s having a conversation with you, effortlessly spitting lyrics and telling his story to eager ears. I didn’t know the dude at all, but his performance- the musical substance and his demeanor on stage- had me thinking that he was an artist that I had been following for years.
When researching more about his history, I discovered that he was an attorney before he decided to pursue music as a career. That fact made me connect with his music even more. As an attorney myself, who spent a year between undergrad and law school dipping my toes in the music world as a singer, I found someone whose music and story I could truly, and sincerely, envy.
If I recall correctly, this was also Anees’ first live show in Los Angeles. I am glad that I got to witness it.
The next performer was the lovely Meron. I loved the emotion that she brought to the table. There was a real tenderness and vulnerability in the music that she sang. Her soprano voice was light and mellifluous and floated over her instrumental backings … and when she sang the lyrics “Would you still love me” in her song “Would U”, all I could think was, “Who wouldn’t love this girl?”
While most of the songs in her set were unfamiliar to me, she did perform a cover that everyone knows: Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On”. I definitely feel like Meron embodied the contemporary soul/R&B stylings of Bailey Rae. The two share similar aesthetic qualities, although I actually prefer Meron’s voice slightly more. I would love to hear Meron cover Bailey Rae’s “Like A Star”. I think could really wrap that song with some serious emotional gel.
From Hip-Hop and Soul, the We Found New Music line-up started to veer into the world of pop-rock with the lively stylings of Pepper Lewis. After spending time early on in her musical career writing music for TV shows such as Catfish, Vanderpump Rules, and The Real Housewives, she dropped her debut EP, “She Told Me To Sing My Heart Out”, in 2021.
What caught my attention about Pepper’s performance (besides having the legendary Norwood Fisher from Fishbone play bass for her at the gig) was the fact that Pepper really has a knack for songwriting. Catchy hooks/melodies, seamless thematic transitions, and youthfully clever lyrics are the hallmarks of an artist who’s got the goods. I still can’t get the lyric “Your purse is Gucci, but it’s empty” (“The Gucci Song”) out of my head. Her set seemed shorter than the other acts of the evening, but the odds are good that she’ll be writing more gems and performing longer set in the future.
Next up was Kaeyra, and I could immediately tell that she knew what she was doing on that stage. That young lady knows how to command a stage. When I googled her after the evening was over, my assumptions were correct. Kaeyra has been singing and performing all over the world for years, and even had a stint on America’s Got Talent Season 13 where she was able to make it all the way to the “Judge Cuts” round. She knows what she’s doing on stage.
Her sultry alto voice has a sexy raspy quality, and she really knows how to use her breath support to make her vocals project and carry throughout the room. While she has plenty of music on streaming platforms, I got the feeling that she was using this WFNM performance to really explore the rock and roll in her. She covered Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Kings of Leon’s “Sex On Fire”, and seems to avoid the dance/R&B and jazz-influenced music that she’s recently released.
I really like the performance that Kaeyra gave. Wearing her black, leather ensemble, and strapping on the ax to shred on a couple of the songs, she exhibited the kind of rocker energy that had me feeling some of those classic Ann Wilson- with a definitely modern slant- vibes. Good stuff.
The final act of the evening blew me away. Who is Buzz? Who is “ThatGirlBuzz”? I need to know more. Google was useless. I need answers!
From pulse thumping, melodic electronic dance music to blissed-out, harmonized lullabies, buzz covered the entire sonic and emotional gamut during her 30-minute set. Her song “Liberation” was a revelation. Just her and her key-tar and her vulnerable soul. It was amazing.
Buzz only has 3 songs up on Spotify, but I think they perfectly encapsulate the musical and emotional range and she left on the stage for We Found New Music. I’m certainly glad I found her. Definitely going to keep my eyes out on her.