Heliphino rocks the Palmer Room in Culver City

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What do you get when you cross a hippo, an elephant and a rhino? Heliphino (pronounced hell-if-I-know), is a Los Angeles based-band whose sounds could be classified as a cross between pop, groove, funk, jazz and soul.

The band’s biggest musical influences are Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jamiroquai, Beastie Boys, and G. Love and Special Sauce.

Stephen Kelly, lead vocals and biology major at CSUN, Bodin Sterba, drums, Amrir Toufali, bass and keyboards, and Patrick Murphy, guitar, make up Heliphino.

Toufali and Murphy formed Heliphino in 2002. Sterba and Kelly, who came from Austin, Texas to pursue a solo career as a singer/songwriter while finishing up his degree at CSUN, joined the band several years after the band started.

“My solo career was actually going very well. I was playing venues like the Viper Room, Largo, and the Lava Lounge.” Kelly said. “Then surprisingly I was contacted by the highly talented Heliphino about an opening for a lead singer position and that they wanted me to come audition.”

Heliphino’s first performance was July 7 at the Gig in Hollywood. After performing together at the Gig , the band said that they believed their music could offer people a different sound.

Toufali, Murphy, and Kelly write the music, while Sterba applies the funk to their sound.

The band’s most recent performance was on Nov. 6, at the Palmer Room in Culver City, where the band has made a name for themselves by bringing in large crowds.

A local band Mooney Starr opened for Heliphino.

“They were a real downer. They looked like they hated being up there,” Kelly said.

Mooney Starr’s music and performance was weak and the audience did not respond with interest.

Heliphino took the stage dressed as the Beastie Boys and played “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys. The audience cheered and sang along with the band.

The band’s performance all around was fantastic. They played for the small audience as if they were playing for a crowded stadium, with enthusiasm and intensity.

The audience swayed to the music, danced and sang along to the band’s own songs and also the ones they were covering like “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys.

The group’s energetic performance, with its catchy lyrics and the band’s all around performance and energy, has the ability to draw in an audience.

Music is the blood that flows through their veins and keeps them alive. Without it, they would be nothing and without their music, their fans would be subjected to the other lifeless music that filters through the airwaves now.

The band is a true talent that will hopefully be recognized by a label and then their music can reach a broader audience.

Heliphino hopes to one day get signed to a record label. The band said they believe that making music together is great, but making music their life and living would be even better for this group of four.

The band is planning to put on another show at The Palmer Room in November. Heliphino will be playing at the Dume Room in Malibu on Dec. 10.

Candice Mitchell can be reached at candice.mitchell.619@csun.edu.