If vibe from the Sanctuary lounge in Love Jones were to unite with Mo’ Betta Blues’ Black Cat club, the combination would reflect what many Tallahassee residents have come to enjoy as “Concept Live. Since their first performance in 2001, the group Concept, has provided music lovers with an eclectic musical venue. “Concept Live,” a blend of authentic jazz, sensual soul and mindful hip-hop music, all of which are presented in an air of Afro-centric culture. “It’s a very low key, very classy set,” says Misty Gibbs, a bartender at the Grove. “I love working when Concept is performing, their style is a very welcomed change, and there’s always a good crowd.” After only a year and a half of performing around Tallahassee, Concept was able to travel to Philadelphia. They accepted an invitation to perform for Soul Fusion This event, hosted by the Black Action Society at Temple University, they brought together the talents of Concept, Bohemian 5, People’s Mural, Kindred, and more. Not only did Concept get to perform and hang out with acclaimed artists, who were impressed with their sound, the group also got a chance to enlighten a new audience . “It was cool because members of Jill Scott’s band, Fatback Taffy, were really feeling us,” said Prophit, the band’s drummer, co-founder and manager. “There’s nothing like getting love and respect from artists that you have spinning in your own CD player. Playing in a line-up of other established artist could have been intimidating for Concept, but they took the stage and rocked it. And in return, artists and audiences alike felt the funk. “Everyone liked our energy, if not that, our stage presence,” said DJ Halo, the band’s lyricist and marketer. “Everyone commanded their own light and the people really embraced us. It was inspiring to have people outside of Tallahassee feel us, and then seeing successful artists who were once where we are was very encouraging. It made our dreams seem more attainable.” Concept will continue to with shows coming in Tallahassee. But they say, Philly has not only gotten them focused, but has been a real confidence booster. The band plans to lessen the amount of cover tunes, in order to feature more original pieces. Members say that the best feelings is when crowds dance to their original pieces. “We don’t want to get pigeon holed in cover tunes,” said Butta-Fli, one of the songwriter/vocalist of the group. “We are original artists with original voices, and we need to express our original creativity.”
Concept’s goal is to inspire the people, but they believe that the movement won’t grow without support.
“The best way to support Concept is by attending the shows and spreading the word,” said Halo. Those who have experienced Concept Live usually leave feeling musically enriched. “It was nice to come and vibe in this atmosphere,” said spectator Valerie Newsome, after attending Concept’s “Philly or Bust” benefit show. “I love them, I can’t wait for an album.” “It was a very soulful experience,” adds Okon Onuntuie. “I can appreciate my people coming together, looking good, and grooving to Concept’s music.”
The band has serious plans to hone their craft in music. They are a group connected by the golden threads of music, and will be together for a while, for golden threads don’t break easily.