Under Greatness Lies You
If you draw back the curtain, crack the veneer, and look below the surface, you'll find U.G.L.Y. Beneath the acronym "Under Greatness Lies You," the Los Angeles musical collective introduced their electro-bass mash up sound this year with the highly anticipated single and video “Redd.” Their forthcoming EP called “DMT” is as strange as it is sexy. For the band's three members Mijo (vocals/triggers/electronic drums), Braxton Olita (vocals/guitar/electronic drums/production), and Stormi Henley (vocals/keys/synths), it's also much larger than music.
"U.G.L.Y. stands for something good," affirms Mijo. "We wanted to start a movement or culture for creativity and positivity. The idea is that you can do anything you want. Be as epic and as fly as you want to be."
Coming from three diverse musical backgrounds, they were also inexplicably drawn to each other. They officially merged under the U.G.L.Y. banner in 2010 and began producing and writing music together. Almost immediately, they tapped into an inimitable yet irresistible sound. "We're a melting pot of music," explains Braxton. "It's a cross section of R&B, reggae, punk, electronic music, and all of our other influences. The goal is to reach as many people as possible. We're pushing boundaries and incorporating so many styles into what we do."
The first single "Redd" and its hauntingly intense music video open up the doorway into their world. "It's about a certain feeling," reveals Stormi. Mijo goes on, "It's like you're in the zone, and you're on fire. You're focused and unbreakable. Everybody can get into that." The music video for “Redd” debuted on MTV2’s Top 10, aired on MTV Hits and grabbed headlines across the internet from E! Online, AOL, MTV News, Perez Hilton. Top producers like BLKNGLD, Christian & Rich and TUA created remixes for the track, bringing in different styles.
The band played their first live show at The Viper Room in June 2013 to a sold out crowd, and kicked off a promo run in LA hitting local venues like Hemingways, Los Globos, and more. U.G.L.Y. caught the attention of Chris Douridas at KCRW who asked them to play "School Night!" at Bardot and began playing their track “DMT” on his weekly radio show and in heavy rotation on KCRW's all music channel, eclectic24, which sparked more interest in their music and inspired the name of the EP.
The 6-track EP “DMT” is primarily produced and written by the trio themselves. The anthem "Light One Up" nods to '90s alternative with a healthy dose of urban bounce, while "Fairy Tale" conjures ethereal R&B sentiments floating over gritty bass music. "Think of it as a festival experience," Braxton explains. "You're going to hear the best of each genre in one place."
Creative visionary and international popstar Chris Brown has been the band's biggest champion throughout its development. In addition to signing them to his emerging indie imprint CBE also known as “Culture Beyond Experience,” he went so far as to personally helm the video for "Redd." He's integral to the overall vision. "He's like a part of our band," Mijo goes on. "He's as creative as we are, and he sees art and music the same way. It's incredible to have a partner like him."
Now, it's time for the rest of the world to join U.G.L.Y.'s journey. "We create something that everyone can be a part of," concludes Stormi. "We're expressing ourselves and thriving on this artistic freedom we have. Life is an amazing journey. Everybody can find greatness."
Most recently BMI featured U.G.L.Y. as their Indie Spotlight for Oct 2013 and hosted a “Pick of the Month” show at The Roxy. U.G.L.Y also opened for Chris Brown in Braxton’s hometown for Hawaii’s Power Bash, as well as at designer/tastemaker Taz Arnold’s annual TI$A Halloween Party in Los Angeles. U.G.L.Y.’s debut EP “DMT” will be available as a free download on 12-10-13 at www.UGLYofficial.com