One Man Down
UIC Radio’s Battle of The Bands kicks off tomorrow, March 19th, at 6pm in the Illinois Room of Student Center East. This is a free event so there’s no excuse to miss out. One of the participants is One Man Down. This talented artist goes by the name of Tanous El-Kareh. I got to interview Tanous and from that I got to know more about his work and his background.
I’d like to thank him once again for answering my questions and for his time. So let’s begin!
First off tell me a little about yourself. Do you live on campus/off campus. How do you like Chicago? Whats your major at UIC? Where are you from? What are your plans after college?
I am a graduating Senior from the School of Theatre and Music, I will have my BFA in Performance, and I am very excited to be heading out into the professional world. I have lived on campus for the last 4 years during the actual school year, but I do live up north in Rogers Park during as my permanent residence. I am from Woodridge, Illinois but moved to the city two years ago. My plans after college involve auditioning like a madman all around town, continuing to write and perform music in and around Chicago and honestly I am just excited to begin this next chapter in my life… and see where acting takes me.
When did you first get into making music? How did that happen? What instruments do you play?
Well music was always around my house when I was growing up. It didn’t matter if it was my dad or uncle’s, but there would always be some sort of music happening. I am half Lebanese so there was a lot of Middle Eastern music that was full of full blown orchestras which is where I began to develop my liking for classical music as well. But I only started my journey five years ago; I joined my High School’s choir and then eventually picked up piano. It wasn’t until my senior year that I started to write songs and it has been a non stop obsession since. I do a lot of my writing with my best friend Joe Butler and between the two of us we have produced, written and recorded three LP’s. I play piano, mandolin and guitar!
How would you describe your style of music?
If I was to describe my style I would say that it is indie folk rock. Since it is just me most of the time I find that most of the songs I write are me and my acoustic guitar.
Who are your influences? What kind of music do you listen to? Some of your favorite artists?
I love newer bands like City and Color, Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran and The Milk Carton Kids, but I would say that I am influenced by artists like James Taylor and Elton John for there incredible songwriting chops. I love R&B too, Musiq Soulchild and John Legend have made huge impact on how I shape and write my songs.
Who are some of your favorite local music artists in Chicago? What do you think about Chicago’s music scene?
Well I guess I am biased because he is my best friend but in terms of local talent a gentleman named Trace Hamilton brings such energy to his shows and I would recommend his shows to anyone who wants to be entertained. Now I understand that were not Nashville, but the venues around town that showcase local talent are tough to beat. I believe that the music scene is growing and is only going to get bigger… It is a really exciting time to be an artist in Chicago.
Do you know any of the other bands that will be taking part in our Battle of The Bands?
I actually know both The Brothers StarRace and Brigade very well because we have all performed and done shows together at the Theatre.
Have you performed in front of a live audience before? If so where?
I have been performing in front of live audiences for about 4 years now all over Illinois. At the DeKalb Summer Bluegrass Festival, The Store and The Elbo Room here in the heart of Chicago, The Two Way Street Coffee Alley and Balleydoyle’s in Downers Grove and various coffee shops around the greater Chicago-land area.
Are you excited about taking part in our first ever Battle of The Bands?
Honestly, I have lost sleep I am so excited to be a part of this Battle of The Bands for a number of reasons. First of all because so many of my friends and local artists are going to have the opportunity to be apart of a bigger scale show. Secondly, because the thought of opening for Spark in The Park is tremendous, but overall I feel that this show represents an experience for all the groups included to take with them going on to follow their respected dreams. First stop UIC Radio’s Battle of The Bands and who knows where the next stop could be? All I can say is that this Wednesday at 6:00 pm cannot come any sooner.