Inside ArtOfficial: ‘Strong energy’ among members creates new vibe

Alejandro Elizondo practices with members of ArtOfficial at a local high school in South Florida.

It’s only natural that such an innovative and soulful band be born in a city where diversity runs deep through all forms of art.

These new sounds come in the form of ArtOfficial, a group formed in 2006 with Danny Perez on keys, Ralf Valencia on bass, Keith Cooper on the saxophone, and not one, but two emcees – Newsense and Logics.

Since its formation, ArtOfficial has been delivering a fresh sound to venues all over Miami and the east coast.

“We were all looking for a new project and through a few people knowing each other, and being in the right place at the right time, we formed,” Cooper said. “We all seemed to come together through a few different friends and ended up at the same place. We jammed that night and were super pumped on what came out and decided to keep it going.”

ArtOfficial’s sound is a mix of jazz, funk and hip-hop, along with Newsense and Logics’ vocals braided through the rhythm and soul.

All six musicians bring their own style to the group, with inspiration coming from aspects of life in Miami.

“You have so much input from each other and what they’ve grown up listening to,” Cooper said. “I feel like inspiration comes at very random times. I was surfing the other day and the lifeguard kept blowing his whistle in a very rhythmic pattern, which got stuck in my head and made me think of a new horn line.”

Alejandro Elizondo, a music business and contemporary music major at the University of Miami, played the keys with ArtOfficial at The Stage in the Design District last fall.

“I’m just excited to have the opportunity to play with these guys,” said Elizondo before the performance. “Each member makes strong contributions to the process of writing and recording, and there is a strong energy between them when they play together.”

The group also spread its rhythmic beats at the Labor Day Finnegan’s Music Festival.

Their most recent album, “Vitamins and Minerals,” was released in November.

“In this album you can hear our growth as a band and us becoming a lot more comfortable in the studio,” Cooper said. “We all think that this is the best stuff we made, and are real proud of it.”

July 11, 2012


Marlena Skrobe

Co-Photo Editor

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