Authors Note : Written 8-11-14
Crowded around a wooden table outside of a local pub, the Crown and Anchor, the highly praised hip hop group, Magna Carda host one of its regular band meetings. Dashing through a two page to do list switching from musical jargon to business seems easy for the group who have been performing in Austin music scene for almost two years.
The band who opened for underground hip hop artist Blu on Thursday and the next night opened for the Ben Baxter Band finds its magic in a mixture of sounds that put them between genres in their performances. The group performs live with an exciting yet soulful pace that seems to fit gracefully into the Austin Music Scene.
The 90s beat of Shoes and Money flowed out of the speakers in the Belmont and the band including Eric Nikolaides, guitar, Derek Van Wagner, bass, and Alvin Warren, drums began to fill in the beat with their respective instruments. The band showcased how their sounds all combine to create a fast and energetic anthem track which was topped off by Megz Kelli’s quick paced lyricism.
The Belmont has seen a performance of Magna Carda before , more than a year ago the band played with a fill in drummer, a different bassist,and a different guitarist .The drummer Alvin Warren returned to the Belmont this last week as a full time member of the band. Magna Carda has under gone a lot of changes in the last year and all for the better.
Dougie Do, producer, and Megz Kelli, rapper, formed Magna Carda after meeting at St. Edwards University. The two struggled with securing shows as a duo and realized that their best option was to add a band. After an attempt to build a band backfired on the first try Do and Kelli got rid of the band. The duo did shows in Austin but saw little progress or reward said Dougie Do.
“We were doing shows and we had the online game on lock,” said Dougie Do “But when we tried to get shows we always got like Wednesday night or Monday night. We get to Thursday night finally then I told Megz we should get this band back.”
After a few member replacements and many gigs Magna Carda has a line up and energy that seems to be unmatched than any group of musicians than they have had before. Wagner explains the addition of Warren and how he adds to the band’s dynamic on stage.
“Alvin is a seasoned drummer who has probably played more shows in the past than all of us combined,” said Wagner ”A lot of the time we look to the drummer to set the ‘feel’ of the song, whether that is hard, rough, soft or sweet, and Alvin seems to know what we’re all thinking.”
Warren moved to Austin just be a part of Magna Carda he said he was drawn the the talent and possibilities for the band.
“There is so much potential,” said Warren “ the skys the limit with this group, and I saw the talent Dougie and Megz had and said ‘I gotta be a part of what they are doing.’”
Warren was not the only person noticing the talents of this hip hop group. Magna Carda was invited to perform at the KUTX stage at the X-Games. Receiving acclaim from the media has given Megz push herself to create better music.
“ It just really motivates me to always do something better,” said Kelli “ I feel like if they like this then I have to come 20 times harder to make them like something else.”
The group has plans for the coming months to release a remix of their last album, Van Geaux. Magna Carta also plans to release a new album with its release date to be announced soon.