Back in college, I was introduced to two genres of art that Magna Carda clearly fused into their distinctive sound. The first was spoken word, which I loved for its artistic presence and lyrical value. They’re messages that have a certain power to them when spoken and performed, rather than read or said. It’s more than the words. Its potency is amplified with the emotion and quality in which it’s executed. Also around this time, I was introduced to jazz fusion– mellow, groovy music that one can just float in and soak in the jam. Magna Carda takes the best of both worlds, mixes in hip hop, rolls it up, and blends it all into the original definition of “cool.” Megz Kelli leads Magna Carda, “with a D, not a T,” along with Dougie Do, Eric “The Greek” Nikolaides, Derek Van Wagner, and Mike Gonzales.
This team syncs up on stage and you can feel it. The keys pave the way for all the other layers to follow. The jazzy drums have just the right amount of chill, making the perfect filling. The bass brings the beat down your spine and throws the groove into the rest of your body, while the guitar accentuates the melody. The instrumentation always supports the message and never overrides it. Megz Kelli has a bite to her flow. When she has something to say, you hear it. There are some tracks that feel like a spoken word session lined with this jazzy, groovy flavor that goes down smooth. But, don’t get me wrong. Even if the beat is chill, these guys live in it. I saw Gonzales break his cymbal and have to lift it back up ‘cause he was jammin’ that hard. Megz Kelli at one point jumped into the heart of the audience and riled in that hype. Watching each member feeling their music is probably one of my favorite things about the act. Everyone is on the same page, everyone is having a blast, and every last one of ‘em just kills it.
Hotel Vegas was hosting shows all night for Do512’s Free Week and had stellar performances all night. A venue as quality as the set that night, and everyone was off the charts. Even in a packed house it was easy to move around if you wanted to enjoy the show from the back or move in for all the action. Their easy-going, friendly workers are always willing to help you out.
Magna Carda does a great job of carrying you through different levels of chill. They have relaxed jams that are just so cool you can’t help but groove to it. If you’re a fan of lyrics that hit like they know how, or you can feel a groove, these guys are gonna re-calibrate your world. They get the cool, pass the cool, and get the cool right back. And if you go see ‘em, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
-Matt Jain, TipCow
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