Following much success last year, 2013 is set to be even busier for Edinburgh based hip hop sensations Stanley Odd.
Having recently performed alongside the 12-piece Electric String Orchestra at this year’s Celtic Connections Festival, the band are about to embark on their biggest gig to date.
Stanley Odd were crowned the winners of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland Big Apple Award, which will see the group perform at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom in April as part of Scotland Week.
Frontman Solareye is delighted that the band will be able to showcase their talent at the “home of hip hop” despite his surprise at being selected.
Solareye said: “We sent in an application to the Tartan Clef Big Apple Award last year, but we didn’t pin our hopes onto it. Then we were delighted to hear we were selected to play in the final.
“The final took place at the G2 in Glasgow and it was a great line-up. Again, we didn’t think anything would come of it as the competition was so good, so we just enjoyed playing.
“It was pretty amazing to be told that we had won. Getting the chance to play at a fantastic venue like the Bowery Ballroom in New York and going to the home of hip hop is just incredible.”
The alternative hip hop group’s rise in popularity has been meteoric. Formed in 2009 by MC Solareye and vocalist Veronika Electronika, the duo were later joined by bassist AdMac, guitarist Scruff Lee, T Lo on keys and drummer Samson the Snake.
The six-piece have gone on to release two critically acclaimed albums and three EPs in their short time together, and it seems that the process of writing and releasing material on a regular basis is a successful formula for Stanley Odd.
“We’ve always been on the move and we try to keep things busy,” explains Solareye.
“It’s something we’ve always done. I guess we don’t like to dwell on things, and whenever we put something out we always want to do better the next time round.
“We’re very lucky and can see things building in front of us; there’s a clear sign of progression. It feels like we are on the right track and getting towards what we want to achieve.”
Scottish hip hop bands are largely considered to be a rare breed, but Solareye believes that the genre is growing within the country.
“There’s a really healthy vitality among the Scottish hip hop scene. There were a lot of people doing fantastic things before we came along, and there are a lot of people making music to a high standard today.
“There’s Hector Bizerk and The Being in Glasgow and Silvertongue over here in Edinburgh who are all doing great things. These bands make us want to raise our game too so there’s a lot of good things happening.”
The group only released their latest album ‘Reject’ in September, receiving rave reviews, but Solareye and company don’t want to stop there.
Upon their return from the States, Stanley Odd plan to release a limited edition EP in May before gearing up to a hectic schedule performing across the summer’s festival circuit.
He said: “Reject is, in my opinion, our strongest album musically and lyrically and we are steadily building a profile, but we want to keep our foot on the gas and not take it off.
“We want to make the most of our time in America in April. We hope to get more exciting dates while we’re over there and that’s something to focus on.
“But behind the gigs and festivals, this year is going to be all about writing and recording towards a new album in 2014.”
Based on Solareye’s evidence, it seems that both Stanley Odd and their fans have a lot to look forward to this year.
For more information about the band visit www.stanleyodd.com