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Coming from different lives with mindsets that are completely unique to one another, Jason ‘Jase’ Vanterpool, Seneca Phillip Fortune, also known as ‘City Boi’, and songstress, Stephanie Lecor have combined to form the group, Kulture Shock and are determined to set the industry one fire. To hear the group in person, one could easily attest to their talent, but to get a better perspective of how unlikely their union is, all one has to do is take a trek back in time before all three ever crossed paths. Starting with the group’s lead male vocalist Jase and his upbringing in theBritish Virgin Islands, one can easily see how music would end up having such a huge influence on the group’s future.
“I was always involved in music,” Jase recalls fondly. “I grew up singing in the church. Besides from that I was always singing and I did a lot of music in high school. I was involved in a group when I was younger.” While those early days served as the foundation for Jase’ musical discovery, he would eventually take his talents to a different level. It wasn’t until later, by fate, that he would make the move to America and in doing so, an opportunity to flourish as an artist let him settle into life in South Florida.
Jase adapted to a new lifestyle inMiami, but admits that he was in need of help. That support would come in the form of City Boi, who crossed Jase’s path unexpectedly when he was looking for someone to work with on his track. In coming across City Boi, Jase found a a partner from a completely different background, with a connection through music.
Born and raised inNew Jersey, City Boi had a childhood that was far from typical. He learned to grow up on his own in many ways. With his father out of the picture in his early years, City Boi saw first hand how the streets worked through being around his older brother. City Boi learned the meaning of ‘street smarts’ at an early age and it gave him a different kind of appreciation for his life. Music was something that wasn’t initially instilled within him, because sports was his first love. “Sports didn’t pan out for me and it was only when I went to college when I first tried recording something,” City Boi reflects. “My boy was a DJ and he had a little booth and we were playing around, free styling.” With his love for music now apparent, City Boi would take that with him as he ended up making the move toMiamiyears later. While inMiamihe began testing his skills as an artist, but came to the realization that he needed someone to compliment his own style. City Boi reached out to Jase and the two would form a great bond with one another.
Jase and City Boi learned much while performing together, but eventually they would reach a plateau as a duo. The shady dealings of the industry would force the two young hopefuls to change up their plan of attack, even if only for the moment.
“We had gotten into a bad situation and we got shelved,” said City Boi, reflecting the duo’s managerial issues. “We had known Chuck from Poe Boy for a while and we came to him with a different concept. Instead of focusing on performing, we put our talents towards writing and gave him a sampling of some of our stuff. After that we did ‘Story of my life’ with Billy Blue, ‘Married to the Streets’ with Akon, as well as ‘High Definition’ for Billy Blue and ‘Test drive’ for Pleasure P.”
Combining their efforts with Poe Boy Music Group, the premier record label inMiami, was definitely a good fit for Jase and City Boi and they began learning other aspects of the music industry. Little did they know that collaboration of grand proportions was right under their nose the entire time.
The missing piece to the duo’s puzzle would end up being local artist Stephanie Lecor. If one is to get to know Lecor they will see that there is much more to her than her striking looks. Carrying with her a tremendous vocal presence and a down to earth attitude that is surprising, theMiaminative is like her band mates in that music is deep within heart.
“I started young,” Lecor said. “I was in the choir when I was young and also sang in chorus. I just fell in love with it the first chance I had. Before the choir, my father was in band so I have always been around music. Music has always been a part of my life.”
Lecor would hone her skills in theSouth Floridaarea and eventually catch the break of a lifetime when she was invited to perform on the Van Halen Fall 2007 Tour as a back up singer for opening act, Ky-Mani Marley. For LeCor, it simply didn’t get any better. “That was extremely rewarding,” LeCor reflects. “I really couldn’t be more grateful for it. I was able to travel to almost all of the fifty states and we performed at all of the big venues such as LAX andMadisonSquareGarden. Just seeing so many different cities and performing in front of thousands of people was a thrill. That was my first time on stage and I will never forget it.”
At the moment the group, known better as Kulture Shock, is in the early stages of trying to make their dreams a reality. With Lecor serving as the lead female vocalist, Jase the role of the lead male singer, and City Boi standing as the rap influence in the group, there is a clear diversity that exists amongst all three. Trying to find that common harmony is part of the group’s early objectives.
All three members experimented early in their years as solo artists and they now can see just how different working in a group is. “As a solo artist everything is on you,” Jase reveals. “You have to basically meet the criteria and fit the mold of what people are looking for. In a group I think you can experiment more because there are more dimensions to add to the mix. We can bring a lot more to the table. Instead of just one talent we now have a male singer, a female singer, and a rapper from different backgrounds. Our personalities and mindsets are also different. If you put that together, there is going to be some great music.”
At the end of the day the development of Kulture Shock is a rare and unique occurrence. Last but not least, Jase chimes in with his beliefs on everything that this once in a lifetime encounter could mean to all three members. While Kulture Shock may be after the pursuit of something historic, none of it can come without the unity amongst its members. Coming from different walks of life, Jase, City Boi, and Lecor are now in a position where they must fight endlessly to keep their bond unbreakable.
“There definitely has to be trust among you, because you are not in this by yourself anymore. Everything you do as an individual is a reflection on the group. That can really make or break you and you have to wise in what you say, do, and how you carry yourself. We definitely have a lot of trust with one another and good team behind us. I feel that its going to be a big run. I see big things in the future with us.” –Jase-
Keep Up with Kulture Shock at www.wearekultureshock.com