“The Pitch,” a talent search showcase put on by Five of Five Music Entertainment, a CSUN student-run independent record label and entertainment company, proved to be a success, with dozens of people hurrying into Plaza Del Sol in order to get a good seat.
The showcase brought three bands together, “Fire Chief Charlie,” “The Nature” and “Sad Robot,” all with their unique style performed. While the show began at 7:30 Wednesday night, guests were welcomed to come an hour early to network with people involved in the music industry.
Among the big names present at the event were Dave Stroud, celebrity vocal coach and founder of the vocal app “VocalizeU.” Daniel Rojas from A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group, and Ramsey Kouri from Digital Marketing at Warner Bros. Records also attended. David Joyce, a studio vocalist who has worked with U2 and Michael Jackson (among others), Ron Sobel, an entertainment attorney, Leo Medrano from Heyday Media and Heihachiro Fukuda from MCL Music Services were also present during the show.
Students involved in the production showed anticipation, especially Leah Ford, a junior who worked for the asset management portion of the show. Moments before the show began, she expressed her joy in seeing all their hard work pay off. “I’m excited for this event,” Ford said. “As a music industry studies major, it definitely gives me, and everyone else, a chance to indulge in real-life working experience.”
The first band to perform, “Fire Chief Charlie,” proved to be a pleasant surprise. Jamie Devitt’s soft melodies provided a quiet, tranquil and relaxing start to the show, while Jonah Malarsky’s vocals provided a balanced contrast. As a self-proclaimed “folk collective” from Chicago, the three-piece ensemble combined several slightly unusual instruments into their set.
One particular song, “Tonight You Belong to Me,” incorporated the use of the ukulele, giving off a happy, tropical vibe. Other instruments used during on stage included the tambourine, harmonica, shruti box, and a tom drum.
“The Nature,” consisting of four members, upped the tempo quite a bit with four energetic, raw and full-of-life songs. The crowd’s energy was clearly heightened with the introduction of their first song, “Taurus.” Drummer Vince LiRocchi kicked it up a notch with complex beats intertwined with interesting vocals and melodies from the rest of the band.
The third and final band, “Sad Robot,” could be described as a hybrid of the two previous acts. L.A. based “Sad Robot,” is a three-person ensemble like “Fire Chief Charlie,” but also highly energetic and dynamic like “The Nature,” evident in their alternative, “dirty indie rock” sound. Vocalist Katherine Pawlak’s raspy, soulful voice combined with Nick Perez on the guitar and Jake Hogenson on the drums created a very distinct style of music.
The audience was able to vote for their favorite band through texting. This year’s winner, which has not yet been announced but will soon, will be provided with a music video, CD release party, portfolio, physical and electronic press kits and representation by the record label.