Artcentron

Music Fans Prepare for Otakon Matsuri in Baltimore

Kieran Strange is expected to thrill music fans with her British pop-rock. Image courtesy of Otakon

Kieran Strange is expected to thrill music fans with her British pop-rock at Otakon Matsuri. Image courtesy of Otakon

MUSIC

Project BECK, Kieran Strange and Richie Branson set to thrill music fans at Otakon Matsuri

BY KAZAD

Hip-hop artist Richie Branson will entertain music fans at Otakon Matsuri. Image courtesy of Otakon

BALTIMORE, MD.- The organizers of the annual Baltimore Otakon Convention has announced the lineup for this year’s Matsuri concert to be held on July 23, 2015, at the Baltimore’s beautiful West Shore Park at the Inner Harbor.

Topping the list of musical performances for the Matsuri event is Project BECK, a tribute band for the anime series BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad. BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad is an anime series featuring a group of teenagers who form a band called BECK. Starring a cast of Daisuke Namikawa, Shigeru Shibuya, Mitsuo Iwata, and Miki Maruyama, this Manga series was an instant hit, attracting fans from across the globe. Some of the shows greatest fans include American pop punk band The Cheyenne Line, YouTube musician Kid Yuki, a.k.a. Cody Carsella, and long-time friend and bassist Houston.

Captivated by the series, The Cheyenne Line and other fans traveled from one state to another attending conventions as fans. After years of staying on the sideline, Sam Biggs and Peri Arreguin of The Cheyenne Line decided to combine their talents with Cody and Houston to start a band that will pay tribute to the BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad series. Working with voice actor Greg Ayres and nerdcore rapper Doctor Awkward, they formed Project BECK. The main objective of the group was to perform their favorite songs from BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad and entertain fans of the manga series.

Although what brought Project BECK together was the love of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, the group has since its formation been entertaining crowds especially fans of Asian culture, anime, manga, video games and East Asian popular culture. The group has also gained followership among lovers of musical animation.

Made of six talented friends, Project BECK includes voice actor Greg Ayres. Although originally formed for a single performance, Project BECK has continued to thrill audience especially fans of the musical series and Japanese and East Asian popular culture.

ENTERTAINMENT| READ ALSO: X Japan’s Yoshiki Thrills Fans at Baltimore Otakon

When Sam, Greg, Doc, Peri, Houston, and Cody get on stage during Otakon  Matsuri concert, there is no doubt that they will be electrifying. With loud rock music and adrenaline pumping, the band is expected to take their audience beyond the outer space in the celebration of an anime series that was made to excite. Like one of the show’s songs, Project BECK will be a Hit in The U.S.A.

Also performing at Otakon Matsuri is the celebrated British pop-rock artist Kieran Strange. Strange, whose songs focus on topics ranging from zombies, D&D and video gaming to serious issues, is expected to thrill the audience with her kind of music.

Strange is an eclectic performer who blends pop sensibilities with edgy guitars to create captivating rhythms. With her brand of British pop-rock, Strange performances and live shows are extremely high energy. There is no doubt that her fans will be blown away when she gets on stage at Otakon Matsuri.

Strange who is firmly grounded in the geek community describes herself as a “cosplayer, LARPer, Slytherin, Firebender, Half-Elf Rogue, and crazy cat mum.” Her music career began at a very young age 17, when she left home to pursue a career in music. Prior to leaving home, Strange lived above her grandmother’s pub in the small fishing village in southern England, where she listened to a variety of music genre.

Strange exposure and experience of a variety of music genre at a very young age continue to have a major influence on her music fans. These influences are evident in her debut EP. Titled Adamintine Heart, the EP shows her extensive musical sensibility. The title track combines rock with hip-hop and rock and roll to achieve a balanced composition. The lyric blends uniquely with Strange’s voice to strike deep emotions. In May, Strange unveiled her sophomore EP titled Last Hero Standing. With an amazing synthesis of rock, hip hop, and metal rhythms, she stroke an emotive tone.

Strange musicality has not only attracted followership on stage; several of her compositions and artworks have also been used for TV series including The Switch, a transgender television sitcom. Sexuality is just one of the issues Strange uses her music to address. Other issues include feminism and equal rights, autism awareness, cancer research, eating disorder and mental health awareness, and anti-bullying.

When Strange gets on stage at Otakon Matsuri, her die-hard music fans who call themselves the #Strangers, are in for a great time. Many of them who connect with the causes she fights to support will get the opportunity to raise their voices.

Also expected to entertain music fans at Otakon Matsuri is a music composer, producer, game developer, and hip-hop artist Richie Branson. Well-recognized for his work with Adult Swim, Marvel Studios, Def Jam Recordings and many others, Branson is expected to bring his amazing talent to play at this year’s Otakon Matsuri.

Born Marcus Brown II, Branson is an accomplished hip-hop artist. In 2012, he gained limelight after penning multiple songs for Adult Swim and touring with MC Chris. Building on the success of his composition for Adult Swim that helped him gain a loyal following as a hip-hop performer, Branson released From Guardia With Love, an album that helped him archive billboard charting success.

For his performance at Otakon Matsuri, Branson will bring a world of experience. An outstanding composer, Branson has worked on important musical projects, including providing the additional score for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) Marvel Heroes. He has also produced a soundtrack for mobile game Missio: G-ROK, backed by Grammy-Award winning rapper T.I. and legendary music mogul Russell Simmons.

In addition to music, Otakon Matsuri has a lot in store for the lovers of Asian culture, animation, anime, manga, video games, and music fans from the Far East. There will be games, contests, prizes, live entertainment, and great food. Admission is free to Otakorp members, guests, as well as the general public. Otakon 2015 will be held July 24-26 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD. The focus of Otakon 2015 is the celebration of fairy tales, folk stories, myths, and legends.

Project BECK will perform songs and music from ‘BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad as they thrill  Music Fans at Otakon.’ Image courtesy of Otakon

Join the art conversation: Share your thoughts and comments. Add to the story