Hip Hop Country Rock
In the 90's and early 2000's, Tracey Lande + Lorenzo Conte's musical careers seemed to be on an upswing. Their writing and production team, Trenz Music, Inc. Was busy writing and producing for many R+B, Pop, Rock, and Hip-Hop artists, scoring record deals and releases with labels such as Clive Davis's Arista Records, Universal Records, MCA Records, Motown Records, and more. However, artist attitudes, crazy managers, and label problems - forces outside of their control - always seemed to cause each project to fizzle in some form or another. In 2002, being frustrated by putting their energies and creativity into other artists, Tracey + Lorenzo decided to take a hiatus from the music "business" and return to their musical "live performance" roots by picking up a guitar and bass, and playing out live purely for the love of music. And in perfect timing, an old friend from the 90's happened to stop by right as they desperately needed a drummer - in entered ERNIE 'BERNZ'. With Ernie locked down on drums ... Lorenzo on guitar ... and Tra rockin' the bass and lead vocals ... The trio began playing their first small local bar, the Nip + Tuck in Long Branch. Although there were only a few people there (seriously, folks, THREE people!), they had so much fun playing and had such chemistry that it didn't even matter. All three people (!) in the club had a BLAST watching this funky trio. The Xchange quickly became a Nip + Tuck favorite, and their repertoire of tunes was like no other band ... they played a crazy mixture of Hip-Hop, Rock, and R+B tunes never heard before by other cover bands. Ernie got wilder on the drum kit, adding a lot of theatrics and that Bernz BOOM, Renz played some killer guitar, and Tra continued to hone her skillz as a frontperson ... incorporating melodic rock vocals, spitting hip-hop lyrics, and mixing stage charisma from her many years prior as a dancer and performer. And the crowd loved every minute!!! Next entered guitar player Rob Meehan... after seeing The Xchange play at a local show, Rob was blown away by the band's electricity, and Tracey + Lorenzo knew he had something special to add to the band. He joined the trio for their first rehearsal together, and he fit in perfectly, making The Xchange's sound even fuller. The Xchange was now complete. Soon The Xchange became a local hit, packing clubs, and expanding to bigger venues, playing their sassy and eclectic mix of Hip-Hop, Southern Rock, and R+B hits. One night after driving home from one of their most incredible, packed shows at The Downtown Café, Lorenzo felt unfulfilled considering the amazing show the band had just played. "I felt like 'so what' ... we are a great band, but we are still only playing other people's tunes ... 'It was at that moment Lorenzo decided to bring in some of the writing and producing craft he and Tracey had honed for the past decade into the wild, live experience known as The Xchange. Originally, Tracey + Lorenzo began writing straight-up rock songs for the band. The songs were hot, but they just weren't 'different'. In true Gemini nature, Lorenzo decided to blend two worlds together ... southern rock guitars along with Hip-Hop beats ... 'As a kid, I grew up playing guitar in Rock + Roll bands. In the 90s, I was producing rap and Hip-Hop along with R+B and dance music, but in my mind they were all separate compartments with separate artists. I also looked at songs I loved like RUN DMC and Aerosmith's "Walk This Way", and artists like KID ROCK. But I never saw anything like that done with a FEMALE vocalist. And, hello, Tracey was rapping and singing ... why not just have her do BOTH in the same song?' The pivotal moment came when the chorus for their original song "came to be" one late night. The song was called "Hip-Hop Country Rock Jam". Tra's lyrics tell the story, and it was then that the SOUND of The Xchange was formed. "It could be called "Hip-Hop Country Rock", it could be called "Country Crunk", call it whatever you like. There's nothing better than taking down walls, and I believe we have formed a brand new sound." Currently, The Xchange are in the studio working on their debut CD. They continue to perform live regularly, and their shows are becoming legendary. The new fusion of sound is exciting and fresh, and mixed the with the live antics of each special band member? THE XCHANGE is definitely a musical force to be reckoned with ... and they are coming soon to a speaker near YOU!!! "I dig that country, mixed together with a rap beat, add the soul to make it rock me, whatcha got is a Hip-Hop Country Rock jam!" - The Xchange.