Name: Meridian (Bradley Valentin & Yohimbe Sampson)
Where They’re From: Brooklyn, NY
Genre: Alternative rock-soul
Most Similar: Lenny Kravitz (circa Let Love Rule)
When They Started: 2011
Sounds Like: The soundtrack for She’s Gotta Have It set in 2012.
Ain’t no half-stepping for the Brooklyn alternative rock meets soul duo, Meridian. With their trippy, soulful, rock grooves that bang across cascading, sensual rhythms, it’s hard not to fall in love with Meridian’s do or die style. It’s Afropunk; it’s rudeboy-with-a-heart. It’s the kind of infectious, shape-shifting music that doesn’t fit all, but goes so hard that you simply can’t ignore it.
The story of Meridian is a coming-of-age tale through the seductive and often erotic eyes of guitarist/vocalist Yohimbe Sampson, and lead vocalist Bradley Valentin. It’s a story that banks on their borough playing a constant backdrop to their eccentric, boy-toy image, as passersby pale in the wake of their fervent guitar licks, melodious strums and strong, guttural soul cries. It’s an almost transcendent-like experience, where one can easily find oneself begging for more.
In all honesty, you are not their first. And it’s not as if the two have no history on the scene. Sampson, also a member of punk band Game Rebellion, and Valentin, who hustles by day teaching music to young urbanites, are of a different breed by nightfall. Like a gigantic fantasy, they are constantly colliding with standards and reshaping their world by pushing the envelope that much further. Their first single, “Magic,” urges you to ride their wave.