D.C.-based alternative dream pop/rock band Pretty Bitter is one of the area’s multi-dimensional musical treasures. With three out of five members identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community, much of their lyrical content is heavily informed by topics surrounding life as a Queer person, so it was only fitting to catch up with these talented musicians – Miri Tyler (she/they), Mel Bleker (they/them), and Zack Be (he/him) – to discuss the band’s inspiring music and the importance of being a visible Queer person, not just during Pride Month.
Pretty Bitter was born in 2017 by Miri Tyler (bassist & songwriter) and Mel Bleker (vocalist & lyricist) after meeting on Tinder. When sharing creative ideas, a connection was formed as they realized their artistic visions were synced. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Zack Be joined later down the line, as well as the other two members, guitarist Chris Smith and drummer Jason Hayes.
DMV-based Salvadoran-American artist and dancer Chipelo discusses his debut single, the importance of cultural representation, what inspires him to give back, and more.
For Salvadoran-American artist Chipelo, music is a lifestyle. The DMV-based musician, dancer, producer, and actor fuses his diverse talents into his art seamlessly to create a vibrant full-mind and body experience for new and existing audiences alike, and the Towson University senior is just getting started.
Join contributing writer Cynthia Gross as she connects with Chipelo to discuss his debut single, “SIN TI,” how he prepares physically for high-energy performances, the importance of cultural representation in his art, what inspires him to give back to the community as a mentor for youth in Baltimore, and his upcoming performance at TreeFort Fest in Rockville, Maryland on June 10.
Chipelo aka Benjamin Molina has been immersed in music since childhood. He has fond memories of being introduced to Spanish music and Salvadoran culture by his parents at home, and English and American culture in school, as a first-generation child.
West Coast record producer and sound mixer Chris ‘Von Pimpenstein’ Carter now calls D.C. home
Award-winning record producer and sound mixer Chris ‘Von Pimpenstein’ Carter discusses his journey from the West Coast to D.C.
Before you reflexively defend our city and its music scene, at least hear out Chris Carter, an audio mixer and record engineer who moved to the capital region—but isn’t quite on the bandwagon that D.C. is a music mecca. Carter, who earlier lived in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, claims that he isn’t “down on the D.C. area” and its soundscape; rather, it’s simply not the main business keeping the capital city going.
“This is a government industry area. Los Angeles is [based on] entertainment. Nashville is the center of all songwriting,” Carter said. “By going to Los Angeles and wanting to get into the federal government, it’s not going to work out super great.”
Carter wishes to reiterate that he isn’t hating on Washington but being realistic. Audio engineers tend to gravitate to the coasts, Atlanta, Austin, and the aforementioned country music capital of Nashville.
More to Watch DMV-based Hispanic American rock band, Perro Sombra, bring on distorted psychedelia with the music video for their latest single “Algoritmos.” Perro Sombra “Algoritmos” album art Directed by Emmy-award-winner, Nestor Bravo, the video showcases a world policed by officers in large, off-putting dog masks (very fitting given the band’s name). We move between […]
This year’s Wammies night was a night to bring the DMV music community together to celebrate its achievements: “DC is the beneficiary of world-class music creatives who enrich and inspire millions of people around the world! The Wammie Awards is The MusicianShip’s 35-year-old awards show aimed at recognizing DC, MD, and VA area artists & musicians for their artistic works and community impact across our region.” Fifty-one awards were given throughout the night, honoring the area’s music educators, artists, musicians, and more. WUSA 9’s Emmy award-winning anchor Allison Seymour and Darren Hayes hosted the event. Excitement buzzed from the red carpet to the award hall.
The night was themed “The Hitmakers Ball”, celebrating the DMV region’s rich music legacy and its culture-shaping influence on style, fashion, and community. It began with a pre-event reception with music by DJ 24/7. The awards show with music by DJ D-REX featured a variety of live performances, including performances by the iconic Go-Go band EU fronted by Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliot, Grammy-nominated MuMu Fresh, The Howard University S.H.O.W.T.I.M.E. Marching Band, Rayshun LaMarr from NBC’s The Voice…
Dave Mallen of Innovation Station Music: ‘I Didn’t Get Into This Line of Work to Just Set Up Mics and Hit Record’
Three-time WAMMIE Award winning producer Dave Mallen has contributed to some of the best music of the DMV, as evidenced by the 200 plus artists whose careers Innovation Station Music, his one-stop-shop studio, has advanced. Join contributing writer Cynthia Gross as she connects with Mallen to discuss his early starts, the circumstances that led him to transition from a full-time career in IT consulting to music production, how being a Highly Sensitive Person allows him to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for clients, and what Mallen considers his “why” beyond the music. Take us back to the beginning. Where did you get your starts in music?
DAVE: From age 2, I’m told I was always running to the piano at my grandmother’s house. My grandmother was a trained opera singer and pianist and was probably my first inspiration for becoming a musician. She would always tell me to “play with feeling”, and to this day, I try to inject as much emotion into the music I play and produce.
Mothers and mother figures in our lives make an indelible impression. For many of us, these powerful women embody strength, resilience, and unconditional love – while creating a better world in the process.
In honor of Mother’s Day, Alchemical Records connected with artists from across the DMV and beyond who balance double duty in their responsibility as mothers and creatives with grace. Learn the one word the artists use to describe motherhood, how their music has been influenced by their parenting role, advice to their younger self, and what a perfect Mother’s Day looks like – well, at least as perfect as can be.
More to Watch Rachel Burns has recently released a new single and video, “Mansplainin’” – illuminating “the dilemma of women everywhere”. Pop/Soul Singer-Songwriter Rachel Burns is a Washington D.C.-based artist who has recently released a new relatable single and video, “Mansplainin’” – “a fun, upbeat soul song that illuminates the dilemma of women everywhere: having […]
Multilingual Artist Clifford: ‘The World Is a Very Large, Yet Small, Place Filled with People Who Are Just Like You and Me’
Maryland-based genre-bending artist Clifford creates music from a place of freedom. His distinct signature sound prompts audiences to live colorfully by embracing their authentic selves. Join contributing writer Cynthia Gross as she connects with Clifford to discuss his journey. Learn how being a multilingual dual citizen influences his songwriting, the most important lesson he has learned from collaborating with Grammy Award-winning drummer Jerome Brailey, fun stories from his experiences growing up on a farm, and why he believes that “evolving is your duty as an artist.”
Recent Articles Multidisciplinary artist and multi-instrumentalist Charles Maybee of NOX ETERNA is a consistent creator and collaborator (full disclosure—he’s one of our contributing writers here at Alchemical). So when Charles found in-person collaboration impossible during the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic he took the opportunity to develop a completely brand new project from scratch […]