By: K'Nicia King
Local Bronx band, Twelve E, is making their way through the borough, bringing new waves of sound quite unexpected from the Boogie Down. This ‘non-genre’ group has a flavor of its own, combining multiple genres together to create something completely new. Performing jazz together since Celia Cruz High School, this four person ensemble thrives to be everything but ordinary.
The band is part of an art and entertainment initiative named “Kids of Summer Camp Kill It”, where they have become the face of is made up of four members. Wicked Swami is the lead producer and songwriter, Just Luis plays the drums, Tribal Florist is on guitar, and Ne Illest is the Emcee and on keyboard. The band name originates from Wicked Swami’s apartment “12 E”, where the group will come together and rehearse. According to Just Luis, “Twelve E is organic and where everything comes from.” Their diverse sounds speaks for themselves. Being classically trained and educated in music theory, each member brings a little bit of their style and technique in to the mix.
How to describe their music? It’s a combination of rock, jazz, classical, hip-hop, metal and more. According to Ne Illest the sound is “mixed AF”, which separates this group from the rest of the Bronx. ”We are always trying to be better musicians, better people, and enhance to make an actual experience.” explains Ne Illest. Coming from different backgrounds, they let their music speak for themselves. In turn, creating a completely new sound that blends entrancingly.
Though Twelve E is currently taking a break from performing, they have hit the stage numerous times. Performing all over New York City, they wanted to bring their music back to their home of the Bronx; working behind-the-scenes on production and focusing on “quality over quantity”. Most recently, this band performed during the live immersive performance of “Beauteous” at the Andrew Freedman Home. Though Twelve E has produced their own music video “Keep Your Love”, in comparison to a live performance, they all can agree, is “indescribable”. When asked how they combat the anxiety of performing, Ne Illest explains “The more you perform, the less nervous you get.” as Florist Tribal piggy-backs in response with feeling safe wherever, as long as the band is altogether.
And what do these guys do when they are not rocking a crowd? Lead Vocalist, Wicked Swami, is a full-time entertainer. Currently, working with the Long Island Nets, doing gymnastics, and dancing. Tribal Florist (Guitarist), mentors at the Roosevelt Island Youth Center entertaining and teaching kids the guitar. Ne Illest (Keyboardist), loves to hang with friends and enjoy hobbies such as sports. The band Drummer, Just Luis, enjoys being home and studying as a performer going to college.
Despite differences in outside extracurriculars, Twelve E plans to make a difference in the music industry. “Music is in a chaotic state, music is everywhere, raising vibrations.” admits Tribal Florist and the band. Collectively, they hope to make a positive impact for emerging artists of their generation and beyond. Their unified goal is to make creative music and shine more light and inspiration for the Bronx community.
To learn more about this mixed-sound band, check them out on OPEN with Host Rhina Valentin on November 8th! Take a look at their website and follow them on their social media pages at TwelveENYC. Check out their album "MIXD AF" out now on all music streaming platforms such as Soundcloud, Spotify, Tidal and more. But first, enjoy their music video “Keep Your Love” below, I’m sure you’ll want to hear more!