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DOWNEY – With many famous musicians originating from Downey, local artists also hope to have an opportunity to share their music with the world.
Among the established musicians born, raised or formed in Downey are 1970′s duo the Carpenters, heavy metal band Metallica, “American Idol” contestant Allison Iraheta, singer and actress Miranda Cosgrove, rock and country musician Dave Alvin, trash metal band Dark Angel, and parody artist Weird Al Yankovic. At one point these artists all started off as local entertainers until their talents and luck paved their way to stardom.
With many musicians making it big, local artists find inspiration and hope; some already have their foot in the door.
“I’m not really trying to make it big like [Lil'] Wayne or Drake. It would be nice but I want to just make my music known…like I want it to mean something to the world,” said 19-year-old rapper and Downey resident Mark Stansell, also known as Marcus Jay, who hopes to put out a mix-tape by the end of this fall.
Underground hip-hop based rapper Abraham Arzate said, “Hopes of being famous is every kid’s dream. I’ve had dreams of becoming famous, but as I matured throughout these high school years I’ve realized fame doesn’t mean much. I have everything I need. Everything else is just like a thorn to a rose.”
“I’ve been writing songs since I was in second grade. I wrote my first songs with piano and guitar in freshman year. It’s cool knowing I’m in a place where making it big is so reachable,” said Stevie Gaynord, known as Stevie Gee on YouTube and Tumblr, both social networks. “I write music because it’s the best outlet I’ve found. I’m just going to keep doing it because it makes me happy and if I get noticed and make it somewhere along the way then even better.”
Another band also on its rise is Echoes of the Sun, whose members are all from and currently located in Downey. This band consists of Richard Delgado, 21, Julian Whitfield, 19, Christian Delgado, 18. The three performed in various bands before forming their group in 2009 and got their name from local poet Dennis Zanabria.
“We’ve been playing in every show that gets handed to us to promote ourselves and other local artists. Our last organized show was a success at “Exposing Mute” on May 27… we feel like were the next best thing that’s coming from Downey,” said Delgado.
Erika Noemi Ruiz recently won the Apostolic Got Gift competition at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Because of this, she is in the process of securing an album fully sponsored by Advent Records.
Apostolic Got Gift has hosted concerts at Six Flags annually for the past 15 years where singers submit a video audition prior to the event. The 15 finalists competed on the day of the concert where three judges unanimously picked Ruiz as the winner.
“I feel so blessed for this chance to use a God given talent to spread His love,” she said. “I’m hoping that by the end of the year I have will have my single finished and published and maybe make a full album. My one main goal is to minister through this opportunity.”
With so many talents located all over Downey, a new star is certainly on his or her way to the top.
“They (the Carpenters, Metallica, etc) are an inspiration to many that play instruments, not only in our community but also to those around the world,” said music enthusiast Felix Montoya. “They show that it is possible to make something of yourself regardless of where your from.”
Published: June 2, 2011 – Volume 10 – Issue 7