WE THE COMMAS SPEAK ON SOCIAL INJUSTICE
STREAM THE DEBUT EP SARB (aka Surf Alternative R&B) NOW, HERE
“We the Commas manifest that unmistakable musical feel and sound of the surf and sand.” – AMERICAN SONGWRITER
“The band find a balance between throwback surf and doo-wop alongside modern alt-rock and R&B … as young Black men, they aim to redefine the mainstream perception of what beach town boys look and sound like.” – POPMATTERS
“…classic vibes layered with new school alternative sensibilities…” – SPINDLE
SoCal-based band We the Commas make a swift return following their debut SARB EP release with new single “The RZN” out now.
Written only 3 days after the George Floyd tragedy reignited protests against police misconduct and lack of accountability across the globe, the band of brothers came together and inked a sincere reflection on their experiences as young Black men. The track was never meant to see the light of day, in fact, it served as a cathartic personal exposition that brought the brothers closer together than ever before. Enlisting real live brass and string instrumentals to amplify the somber tone and message, the band’s poem reads: “In actuality, in history, it’s true we’ve always been oppressed and it’s the reason why I get depressed and the reason why I’m a mess… I’m singing to the heavens, if you hear me God, take my hand. God, if you’re in the sky, I think the world is on fire.”
We the Commas elaborate, “This song was our way to express the pain we were experiencing in the midst of the turmoil. We never planned on releasing it because it was just a song for us as brothers to hold onto. Long story short, about a month after the song was created we were getting haircuts and our barber randomly told us he heard a snippet of the song. He said that if even just a few people were touched by the song like he was, then it would have a huge impact. So here we are releasing it!”
About We The Commas:
On October 30th, We the Commas made their official independent debut with their SARB EP. Need a feel-good vibe that transports you to the beach? Press play on “Sherry” or “Custom Made.” Feeling like nothing is going your way and need a boost? Watch the Mad Max-inspired video for “Pissed Off” to find your escape. Want your R&B fix? Check out those vocal runs on “Too Long” and “All The Best.” No matter the track, We the Commas has something for everyone and any mood. Along with 3 new tracks on the EP, the trio shared the ‘90s TV sitcom inspired video for “I Will” that’s sure to put a smile on your face during these trying times.
Together the band of brothers Cam (18), Jordy (19), and Lenny Comma (23) coined the term SARB (aka Surf Alternative R&B) to describe their unique sound. Their SARB sound and style has since been applauded by the likes of Young the Giant, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Pink Sweat$, among others. Inspired by the warm sand and the inviting waves they cherish, the trio’s music encapsulates their stories as brothers living on the coast of San Diego. Lenny Comma explains, “We’ve been trying to figure out what genre to classify our music but it didn’t fit into just one space and nothing seemed right. We realized our music is its own kind of thing…”
“Pissed Off” – a clear sonic departure from the other tracks on the EP – combines bonafide lyrics with a commanding melody and electrifying guitar riffs. Trading in the soothing harmonies and chill vibes found in “Custom Made” and “Sherry” that make up SARB, the trio continues to separate themselves from the rest with their outstanding versatility. The story behind “Pissed Off” originates from Lenny’s college years, where he felt lost on the road towards his life’s destination and felt pressure to choose a career path. In turn Lenny put pen to paper and channeled his confusion and frustration into song. He notes, “I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I changed my major four times and I felt aimless. I finally had enough, and had to get my anger out because I was tired of feeling like a failure and I felt like no one understood me.” While the specifics of the situation may vary, the core tale of sullenly navigating the unknown is one we can all identify with, and so the band felt it was important to include this track in their debut offering. Cam relates to this same sentiment and states, “‘Pissed Off’ reflects a time in my life where I was really struggling to find fulfillment and happiness. I found myself trapped in a dark place that felt more lonely than ever. This song is a way to express and release all that negative energy. There is something so powerful about the rawness and vulnerability we all share in this song.”
Lenny, Jordy, and Cam have been deliberate with each lyric they’ve penned. As brothers, they recognize that the music they deliver is a representation of the values they embody, and that with each release they are being given an opportunity to present an honest illustration of the men they were raised to be. We the Commas explain, “Our mom and dad have a great moral compass. We hope to spread our message simply by how we treat people and how we live our lives.” A song about finding a love that is perfectly tailored to you, “Custom Made” builds on the integrity that was established with their debut release “Sherry.” Lenny adds, “Both of these songs set the scene for a healthy relationship. We want to show people that no matter what relationship you’re in, you always need to treat people with respect.” He expresses, “It’s only when you do that you have the fairytale experience depicted in both of these songs.”
Quickly establishing themselves in their local Southern California music scene, We the Commas previously performed on San Diego’s KUSI Morning Show as well as for their March of Dimes charity event in Balboa Park, and hosted a weekly three-hour gig at The Bunker House in Oceanside. It’s no surprise their drive captured the attention of one of their very own inspirations The Head and The Heart, Young the Giant, and acclaimed hip-hop/R&B producers like Rex Kudo (Post Malone, Young Thug, Nav, Lil Uzi Vert) and Charlie Handsome (Travis Scott, Khalid, The Weeknd, Drake) before even launching their project.
Their journey began early in their family living room void of cable, singing Motown classics like Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5 on an old school boombox, and later playing games like Rock Band. Music lessons soon followed and toys turned into real instruments, eventually leading to the formation of We the Commas. “This first project is really vulnerable,” says Cam, “and we’re really excited to share our story with everyone and have them connect to our experiences.” That openness stems from the band’s brotherly bond, which in turn strengthens the music. It’s natural for siblings to bicker and not get along often, but the trio quickly realized they needed to rely on each other as peers in order to be successful. “We’ll sit in studio sessions and we’re in awe of each other’s work,” Jordy explains. “It’s insane to see how connected we are. We can be separated for a week, but when we get back into the studio we take notes of what’s been going on in our lives and what we experienced. This cohesive story just comes together.”
As impressive as their story and sound is the integrity behind it. Lenny, Jordy and Cam Comma realize that from the outside looking in they don’t embody what the world might envision as “beach boy surfers.” Given their personal mission to break down racial and social constructs, We the Commas are committed to keeping their values at the forefront of everything they do. Lenny adds, “[Being Black] influences our music, because it tells our experiences. Especially where we live, there are not a ton of people who look like us, so we’ve learned to be the most authentic version of ourselves. We’re trying to do something different that people haven’t seen before… the overarching goal is to let people know that no matter what, don’t let fear or social norms restrict you from doing the things you love.”
To date, the genre-bending band has heralded support from Affinity Magazine, Alternative Press, American Songwriter, Buzzbands.LA, Culture Collide, Earmilk, idobi Radio, indie88, PopMatters, Popular TV, San Diego Reader, Spindle Magazine, The Wild Honey Pie, and more.
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