The making of a band is not all about big boy brawls and militant training as seen on MTV’s popular series. Instead, one local band is taking a different approach to entertain crowds by using their own unique sound.
Created in 2002, the eight-member band, Intensity, mixes jazz, R&B, neo-soul and hip-hop to stimulate crowds at FAMU and across the city of Tallahassee.
“We describe ourselves as a band without limits,” said Tony Blount, a singer in the band. “We make music that everyone can relate to, and that everyone can feel,” added the 20-year-old junior SBI student from Largo, Md.
Aside from vocal talent, Intensity incorporates different instruments, including the keyboard, drums, trumpet, saxophone and the guitar.
“Our music is a blend of old school soul with new school flavor,” said Joseph Billups, a 21-year-old MBA student from Birmingham, Ala.
Billups, who plays the piano, said he formed the band to bring together musical talent.
“I formed it because I saw a pool of talent and a bunch of people who wanted to do things so that we could make a powerful impact on the community and the world,” Billups said.
Billups said their fans not only consist of FAMU students but of older adults as well.
Adding further distinctiveness to Intensity is the band’s ability to write its own music.
Darwin Brascomb, an Intensity singer, helps to write many of the group’s songs.
“My intensity for writing music is from my life experiences,” said Brascomb, a 23-year-old SBI student from Orlando.
Over the past year, Intensity has performed their music at on and off campus events including the SGA Explosion, Vibe Yardfest, and clubs such as Down Under and Club Deep. Last Saturday, Intensity performed at The Longest Breakfast Table, an event held to help feed the homeless.
Wherever Intensity performs, publicist Sean Wells said their future is promising.
“Time and money has been invested,” said Wells. “Look for us on 100.7 and 90.5-we’re rising up,” said the 21-year-old senior social work student from Virginia.
Errol Allen, a fan of Intensity, admits he was shocked the first time he heard Intensity perform.
“It was a big surprise. I thought Joseph just got his friends together to sing but it turned out that they were really good,” said the 21-year-old fourth year MBA student from Houston. “The variety of the band is good, you think it’s going to be the same thing but it’s different types of music.”
Blount also admits he was surprised at the outcome the band has had.
“I never knew this was going to take off as far as it did,” said Blount.
“We’re going to keep striving.”