‘Strong energy’ among members in ArtOfficial creates new vibe

Alejandro Elizondo practices with members of ArtOfficial in preparation for the shows this weekend.
Alejandro Elizondo practices with members of ArtOfficial in preparation for the shows this weekend. Marlena Skrobe//Photo Editor

It’s only natural that such an innovative and soulful band is 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 that consists of Danny Perez on keys, Ralf Valencia on bass, Keith Cooper on the saxophone, and not one, but two emcees- Newsense and Logics. Since their 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, with the vocals of Newsense and Logics braided through the rhythm and soul. All six musicians bring their own style to the group, with inspiration coming from all 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, will be playing on the keys with ArtOfficial this Friday at The Stage in the Design District.
“I’m just excited to have the opportunity to play with these guys,” said Elizondo, who has been playing piano since elementary school. “Each member makes strong contributions to the process of writing and recording, and there is a strong energy between them when they play together.”
If you can’t make it out on Friday, the group will be spreading their rhythmic beats on Saturday, during the Labor Day Finnegan’s Music Festival. Tickets are $10 if purchased this week and $15 this weekend.
Their upcoming album, “Vitamins and Minerals,” will be released this fall. You can get a taste of what is to come by checking out their newest song, “Migraine,” on ArtOfficialmusic.net.
“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.”