People’s Champs is an all-star collective of some of Brooklyn’s most accomplished musicians featuring primary members bandleader Alex Asher, Cole Williams (vocalist), best known as a member of Pimps of Joytime and Melanie Charles (vocals, flute), best known as a member of Rat Habitat. Other members of the band have performed with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Lip Talk, Bajah and The Dry Eye Crew, Cuddle Magic and Delicate Steve, as well as The Superpower Horns, the recording studio horn system for Beyonce Knowles, who won a Grammy for “Love on Top,” which featured the horn system prominently.
Sonically, the collective sound draws from West African and South American dance rhythm, synth-based pop, old school soul, Afrobeat and several other genres into a trippy, funky and difficult to easily pigeonhole mix paired with positive lyrics. The members of the band believe that their music and their sound is for everyone, and that populist approach, along with an incredibly funky sound that has won the band attention across the blogosphere and the city. Building up on the buzz, the band’s much-anticipated, self-titled debut effort, produced by Ian Hersey, who worked with Rubblebucket, is slated for release later on this year. And the album’s first single “Hostages” bears Hersey’s touch as the song consists of breezily, ethereal synths, Charles’ gorgeous and effortless vocals, a subtle and sinus bass line, and subtle blasts of regal horns. Interestingly, this particular song meshes elements of synth-based New Wave and art rock with old school soul.