Something strange has been happening with the Miami music scene the last six months. People are actually paying attention. The bands down here have been getting more and more national coverage. And now Miami has one more artist to add to our ever growing roster of hype-worthy musicians: Ryan DeGrandy, AKA Kabuki Iron Kolors, AKA Rashid Tali.
Born and raised in Miami, Ryan moved to NYC at 20 to pursue higher education at City College where he majored in jazz and orchestral composition. Over the past four years, he has recorded a lot of music, over 75 albums to be exact. Just for comparison's sake, the Rolling Stones have been a band since 1964, and have released 27 albums to date.
His music ranges from hip-hop to funk to jazz to traditional Cuban music. It's definitely worth noting that he has recorded most of these albums by himself. When asked about making all that music and the difficulties that come along with it, he says the hardest thing is making music he likes, because if he doesn't like a song or even an album, there is no one else to blame.
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His roots in the Miami music scene go way back to the cavernous black hole that sucked up years of many people's lives, better known as Kaffe Krystal. A lot of Miami's bands started as young kids playing at the Kaffe and eventually the Alley. Back in the day, Ryan was part of a young band called Pointless, and then he did Dead Lions with friend Ryan Haft and Collin Smith, who went on to form Capsul.
And now Ryan is again living in Miami and really loving the place he left years ago. Currently, he doesn't have many shows booked, but there will be a couple of Kabuki Iron Kolors appearances for Art Basel in December. So if you see him out playing a show, take the time to say, "Welcome home, Kolors!"
-- Yakov Israel