Music Compound to Highlight Local Artists
SARASOTA — A singer-songwriter, a music producer, and a talented guitarist perform original songs together for one night only at Music Compound on May 21st. The trio features Jennifer Msumba, Brandon "Wilson B” Wilson and Luis "Axel” Buenrostro. All three co-wrote and co-produced each song. Music Compound’s owner, Jenny Townsend, came up with the concept.
"They all have different skill sets,” said Townsend. "I thought it would be a great collaboration to bring three completely different artists together for this amazing program,” she said.
Msumba, Wilson and Buenrostro take lessons at Music Compound and haven’t worked together before. Msumba, who is autistic, is a multi-instrumentalist who plays keys, guitar, ukulele and violin. She overcame several life challenges including being bullied in school and has lived in residential schools and state hospitals since she was 15. Msumba survived so much in her life, it’s no surprise that she writes uplifting songs about overcoming difficulties.
Her original song, "Dandelion” is a personal song about staying strong in the face of adversity; something Msumba knows all too well.
"I compared myself to a dandelion in a world filled with roses and carnations and everyone tries to get rid of the dandelions,” Msumba said. "They’re really tough and they come back every year no matter what you do so I wrote it around that.”
Msumba’s favorite song the trio wrote together is a "Summer” song called "Summer Vibes” - a song about being positive and adapting to changes. It’s definitely a theme that so many can relate to during the pandemic. Msumba is excited about her rap verse and says the song is a "cool vibe.”
Wilson is a sax player turned beat maker and producer. He found Music Compound through a former sax teacher. It was there that he developed even more as a musician by singing and taking piano lessons.
"It opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me with music,” he says regarding his experience at Music Compound. Wilson considers piano his primary instrument and has been playing for seven years.
Wilson released a three-song EP "Wilson Branded” last December. Wilson’s songwriting process includes a daily exercise. He writes poetry everyday to stay inspired and typically starts with lyrics first then creates the music around it. Sometimes he starts with a beat, then writes lyrics with the beat in mind. The 18-year-old will attend FIU this fall, to earn his Bachelor of Music in Music Technology.
Buenrostro has enjoyed the collaboration process so far. "I was always a solo kind of guy,” he said. "It’s just me and my guitar when I perform. And now opening up this whole possibility of jumping on a track and seeing the amazing work Brandon does with tracks and having the three of us on there - my ability to put electric guitar on there, which I haven’t performed with. It’s just been opening doors for me.”
Buenrostro graduated from Sarasota High in 2017. He considers John Mayer, BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughn as musical influences. He also says this experience has stretched his musical muscles.
Music Compound instructor, Aaron Schiavone, is the show’s coordinator and is tasked with consulting and keeping the flow of the rehearsals. He has worked at Music Compound for four years. He says the most rewarding part of his job is watching his students grow.
"In music, it’s not like you gradually get better, you’re practicing and practicing and then a flip of a light switch; you’re better,” he said. "And the few times I get to actually see in the moment - that’s probably my favorite part.”
The group began their creative process in mid-February and took three months altogether through Zoom and in-person meetings to complete. All three songs have been recorded and will be released. Msumba, an award-winning filmmaker, will turn the footage they filmed while creating the songs into a mini-documentary with hopes to submit to film festivals.
The public is invited to watch the performance via livestream on Music Compound’s Facebook page. The Original Artist Collaboration will be featured in the 7:15 p.m. show.
Music Compound is a music venue as well as an after-school program for kids to hang out and connect with like-minded people. Kids of different ages and varying styles are welcome to jam, perform and connect with other musicians. Check out their website for more information.
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Reader CommentsMaria Houston
MAY 16, 2021 • So glad to read this article; kids and young adults need outlets to express themselves in positive ways. Great article; hopefully this place will become a popular venue for future talented young people!