“Are you here for the mystery or the mastery?”
This was the rhetorical question from the teacher in a songwriting class I attended a few years ago. Without fail, those words resurface whenever I hear a musician who brushes up against both. In one moment, I see both the mastery of their craft and the mystery of their music’s power.
The latest episode of Songtradr Sessions is filled with such moments. As our team of music lovers and artists gather around the stage at Santa Monica HQ, we are reminded of why we are all so obsessed with music. The intimate office kitchen-turned-venue twinkles with dimly-lit candles at every table and festive string lights across the stage. In contrast, the buzz between our staff and the artists, and anticipation for the upcoming live music is palpable.
Performers, Jacob Mondry, BodaciousThang, and Madison Malone fill our space with the kind of heartfelt artistry that reconnects us to our core mission: creating a global community of musicians and connecting creatives who dedicate their lives to making art that impacts the world.
Now we bring these artists and their performances to you.
Jacob Mondry is an Indie-Pop artist and Singer-Songwriter. His talent for weaving together elements of familiarity and surprise, pushes boundaries that make his music tough to categorize.
During his set, Mondry moves from guitar to piano, keeping each song different and fresh. His compositions ebb and flow from understated arrangements to a perfectly-timed jazz chord or rhythmic change. In doing so, they reflect the same artful wit and charm of his lyrics. Like his newest single, “Color Me Blue,” his songs are full of imagery, metaphor, and new twists on familiar feelings. Revealed is a skilled wordsmith with an intriguing ability to show a familiar human emotion through a new lens. His songs carry you through a story, while chord sequences playfully diverge then bring you back home for an enchanting experience. With a background in musical theater and extensive study of healing modalities in Bali, Mondry delivers a stage presence that is at once wildly entertaining and deeply calming. Check out his performance and new single “Color Me Blue.”
BodaciousThang is a Punk-Soul duo featuring the powerful, untamed vocals of Cheyenne Jolene and the playfully mischievous guitar riffs of Luis Munoz.
Hailing from Kansas City, MO and El Paso, TX, respectively, Jolene and Munoz met as students at the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles and have been performing and cowriting ever since. “Punk-Soul” is their self-described sound, and it hits home. Jolene has the kind of timeless talent that brings the legends of Soul and R&B to mind, but she delivers her sultry vocals with modern twists and turns that reflect an original, fresh sound. This contemporary and progressive experimentation is reflected when Jolene uses a Korg Minilogue synthesizer to add unique textures to their sound. Meanwhile, Munoz’s epic guitar licks pull from Grunge, Rock, and Punk brought to life with electricity and rebellion. Together their energy is bold, full of attitude, and fun. With a bodacious-ness that is so disarming and magnetic, it is quickly apparent that nothing about them is an act. Their audience dances, smiles, and laughs along, and their lyrics are conscious and empowering, touching on social issues and relationships. They encourage listeners to be true to themselves and live as authentically as they do. Check out their recent singles “Perfect Luv” and “Drank!”
There is something other-worldly about Madison Malone. She is angelic and ethereal in her artistry and music. As her fingers move skillfully across the keys of her Nord and her voice floats above the notes, every detail feels intentional and effortless, like her music is simply filling the room through her from somewhere beyond.
Perhaps it’s her choice of notes, the timing, or the way her compositions are sparse enough in some moments to highlight the stunning layers of wonder in her vocals. Then again, perhaps it’s the artistic visuals or the vulnerability of her lyrics. These components ignite an alchemy of music that is full of healing, hope, and heartfelt sincerity.
A native of Wisconsin, Malone got her start performing locally and has since gone on to release a stellar catalog that includes recent singles, “Fragile Heart” and “Quiet Down.” She has also written for Sony Music and Warner and performed at some of the world’s largest music festivals including SXSW and SUMMERFEST, where she was voted ‘Favorite Emerging Artist’. Malone has sold out notable venues across the U.S. and recently expanded her global fanbase with a summer 2019 European tour. Malone donated a percentage of all merch sold to the Los Angeles LGBT Center and RAICES in Texas. We believe Malone’s artistic journey will continue to be one that touches many.
Karen Dezelle is a musician and songwriter with numerous placements in film/TV and a contributor to the journal, “Lyrics As Poetry”