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by Lola Christina Alao

Get to know the new LA based music collective.

Three friends Jadagrace, TJW, and Koi have come together to create bold alt hip-hop sounds mixed with pristine pop melodies, and you need to get on board. Their recently announced debut mixtape there goes the neighborhood is produced entirely by 4th member of the group Dee Lilly, who has also produced dynamic sounds for Jamila Woods, Big Sean and Rejjie Snow.

Despite having roots all across America, they all have similar backgrounds which drove them together. Jadagrace was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had the desire to be “a triple threat” as a child. Coming from a creative family, she naturally found herself in dancing, singing, and acting circles. Back in 2012, she was signed after being discovered by Redfoo of LMFAO, and later released her first single. TJW was born in Manhattan and had been appearing in movies since the age of eight, then moved to LA after getting a Disney contract. As he got older, he found a love for music and started producing in his bedroom. KOI’s story began in South Carolina as the child of a pro basketball player and a mum who hustled her way through life. At aged 10, he signed a contract with Nickelodeon and moved to LA as a result. Previously starring in a Netflix series and Marvel TV show, KOI found the world of music and hasn’t looked back.

Brought together as like-minded people, the collective have a shared history as child entertainers and are appreciative of their beginnings: “I’m not gonna pretend like I wasn’t on Nickelodeon,” KOI says of the group’s stance on their past. It seems they all see their starts in life as something incredibly valuable, that taught them about how things could have ended up. On being based in LA, they explain that the city “mirrors [their] dynamic and mindset” and say that while they’re taking a big risk, “they’re betting on [themselves] this time.”

Speaking on the good and bad of their histories, they say “We were in the machine of child performers pretty much our whole lives, which is kind of a blessing and a curse…You have a lot of work experience and are really savvy and professional, but don’t go to a normal school so don’t have many friends.” It must be rewarding, then, to have founded a collective where they can come together and create, and we’re definitely grateful they have.

Out today is their first track “raise it up!”, which offers us an enticing snippet of their sound: playful, bold and feel-good. The video features Jadagrace front and centre and we see two versions of Jadagrace in dance battles, wearing cheer outfits. The choreography is reminiscent of late 90s/early 00s Missy Elliot videos, with a hint of Bring It On. Paired with retro art on the official  single cover, it’s giving us the perfect touch of nostalgia mixed in with 2020 innovation.

Press play on the ‘raise it up!’ video from grouptherapy below now, and follow them on Instagram here.

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Amanda Ferrarese
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