The B.U.N.K.S. have been Bringing Unmatched Noise Knowledge & Sound to the Middle Tennessee hip-hop community for the past eight years, and with their newest release, Generica, things do not appear to be slowing down. The summer 2008 launch of their artist-run independent label (B.U.N.K.S. Muzak!) and their publishing company (BUNKS In Ya Trunk Music) was the culmination of eight years of sacrifice, patience, and hard work. This is honest music for honest people.
Since June of 2008, the B.U.N.K.S.â€™ Myspace page has added over 6,000 friends, received 21,000 plays, and 29,000 profile views. A survey of the people who have added the site to their Top Friends list resulted in the realization that the majority of B.U.N.K.S. fans do not listen to hip-hop. Among those surveyed, metal, classic rock, jam band, and country were the most-favored musical genres. They are also watching their numbers rise on other sites such as Imeem (2,500 friends), ReverbNation, and YouTube.
Smo and Gro have been scholars of all music since early childhood including everything from church hymns to metal bands such as Mudvayne and Soulfly. These influences are evident throughout their expansive catalog. Their diversity guarantees that no matter what someone usually listens to, they will be able to find something that strikes their fancy from the B.U.N.K.S.
The B.U.N.K.S. are southern gentleman. Many have described their music as â€œconscious dirty southâ€. Deep driving bass, fierce drums and heavy synthesizers characterize the groupâ€™s up-tempo, hype tracks like â€œTired of Beinâ€™ Ignoredâ€, â€œI Know You Donâ€™t Need Meâ€, and â€œGladiatorsâ€.
They also like to slow it down from time to time with the simple, tear-jerking melodies and reflective, thought-provoking lyrics of songs such as â€œCoffee Flavored Memoriesâ€, â€œBigger Than Myselfâ€, and â€œAmazing Graceâ€.
The rest of the time the B.U.N.K.S. simply rock out! Their songs â€œAll About the Benjaminsâ€, â€œLovesickâ€, and â€œWe Rock We Rollâ€ mesh rock guitars, deep bass, and hip-hop rhythms to create a sound they can definitely call their own.
Joshua â€œSmoâ€therman is one-half of the B.U.N.K.S. duo and is a jack-of-all-trades out of necessity rather than by choice. He is not only the head of the label, but also the leading producer, engineer, and mixer for One Mic Studios (B.U.N.K.S. Muzak!â€™s in-house production studio); a songwriter and recording artist, as well as the man in charge of all marketing, promotion, and publicity for the group and the label. He does all this in his spare time.
The everyday man, known to all as Smo, is the father of four-year-old Jayden Paul and newborn Amity Josette, a full-time student, and a part-time employee. He received a Bachelorâ€™s of Science in Anthropology from Middle Tennessee State University in May 2008 and is currently working on a degree in Recording Industry: Music Business before applying to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D.
Joshua â€œGroâ€sch has been said to be the ying to Smoâ€™s yang. Gro is a poet, a developer of aspiring talent, and a connoisseur of music. He is the epitome of the working man but holding a full-time job and receiving a salary from a major wireless service provider does not stop Gro from making music. â€œEveryday I go into work (blah blah blah), all I can think about is the music and I spend my time talking on the phone to customers through the headset and texting Smo hook lyrics, song concepts, and beat ideas with my cell phone. I call him every break I get to talk music.â€
These two dudes from the small town of Manchester, Tennessee, joined forces in 1992 at the tender age of 10. After high school, Smo became a scholar and Gro went to work. Instead of studying and concentrating on classes, Smo slowly began building One Mic Studios, improved his guitar and bass playing, started producing hip-hop instrumentals, and turned his teenage-era poetry into mature flowing rhymes. After playing in a hardcore metal band (Pawn) for a year, Smo quit and started producing hip-hop for Murfreesboro-area emcees on a full-time basis.
In the meantime, Gro was providing the concepts, ideas, and authoritative flows that bring the unmatched noise, knowledge, and sound known as the B.U.N.K.S. Groâ€™s philosophy has been the cornerstone of the B.U.N.K.S. drive to spread their music and their family-oriented messages, â€œhate me now, hate me later, you gotta love me sometimeâ€. The group offers six albums from their 10 album discography as free digital downloads on their official website (bunksmuzak.com). With hundreds of songs written and years worth of music recorded, these guys offer something for everyone.
Smo said, â€œOur goals are as selfless as we can make them. We want to generate enough income off our music so we can feed and house our families, pay off our parentsâ€™ debts as well as our own, and give as much back to the community as we can.â€ The B.U.N.K.S. are currently involved in projects with artists in Virginia and Oklahoma as well as expanding their catalog with new recordings of their own. It might be safe to say B.U.N.K.S. Muzak! is the hardest working independent label in Middle Tennessee.
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