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 introduces their electro-bass mash up sound with their highly anticipated debut single “Redd.” Their forthcoming EP is as strange as it is sexy. For the band's three members Braxton, Mijo, and Stormi, 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. 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." Images and a video teaser that were leaked from the set grabbed headlines across the internet from AOL, MTV News, Perez Hilton and others, building intrigue for the project.
Elsewhere on the EP, the self-produced and self-written 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 pop star 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."
U.G.L.Y. is currently preparing their live show for an upcoming promo tour on the West Coast, playing Los Angeles venues like the Viper Room, Roxy, Troubadour and more to be announced. Look for the release of the music video “Redd” and the latest band news on www.TheEmpireUgly.com
Stormi hails from Tennessee, where she performed in regional theatre and studied opera and country music. She holds the title of 2009 "Miss Teen USA", and competed on Season 10 of American Idol. Mijo was born and raised in inner-city Los Angeles where he grew up dancing and singing in a local R&B group. He co-starred in David LaChapelle's acclaimed 2005 underground dance documentary Rize and went on to tour extensively with Chris Brown. Meanwhile, Braxton's guitar prowess and punk/reggae roots growing up in Hawaii landed him gigs touring worldwide with everyone from Ashlee Simpson to 30 Seconds to Mars.