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Non-P: hard work, a little luck and urban-pop group makes its mark
The road to music bliss has been anything but predictable for urban-pop group, Non-P. With a little bit of luck, a lot of hard work and a huge dose of talent, the Eastside-grown performers have become the newest up-and-coming group to watch.
Non-P, whose trend-setting style rivals their musical talent, paid a return visit to downtown Kirkland in early September, performing a live show at Lake Street Bar and Grill in front of a packed club.
Looking back, the members of Non-P have come a long way from performing at house parties for friends.
Growing up on the Eastside, Kyle Buff first crossed paths with future Non-P members' Chris Jenkins and A'Shanti Jenkins in 2000. The trio were far from friends in the beginning, but had respect for one another's musical talents.
"I'm pretty sure we wanted to beat Kyle up when we first met him, but then we heard him free flow and we were blown away by his skills," Chris explained. "We realized we shared a commonality with our musical tastes and began collaborating."
The trio continued pursuing their music, learning the business as they went along. To pay for new equipment and recording time, the group members spent their days mowing lawns and shoveling manure.
"It's been a learning process," Bluff explained. "We all knew it was going to be hard work and long hours, but this is what we love. Music is just a part of who we are."
As time went on, the trio realized it was time to relocate. The three friends packed their bags and moved to Southern California. They spent their days performing on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and selling CD's.
"We were very green about the whole process, but never gave up," Bluff said. "We just kept switching it up and moving forward."
In the fall of 2008, the all-male group decided it was time for a little female influence. The group got way more than it bargained for.
While driving down the road one day in September, female singer Taylr Smith randomly got a text message from an old high school friend. The message mentioned an all-male music group who were holding auditions for a female lead vocal. Smith decided to give it a shot.
"We must have handed out something like 300,000 flyers leading up to the auditions and Taylr randomly gets a text message," Chris said, laughing. "It's just crazy how perfect it all worked out.
Taylr's electric personality and talented vocal ability landed her a spot with Non-P, and took the group's sound to a whole new level.
In May, the group added Deejay Joseph Gettright to the mix and have now hit the road for a 30-plus college tour.
"This business is a lot about being in the right place at the right time. We've certainly experienced our fair share of that," A'Shanti said.
Luck has defiantly played a role in the group's success, but the natural talent, unfaltering synergy and endless creativity hasn't hurt either.
The four members of Non-P recently earned the title of 2009 breakout star by KIIS FM, a radio station based in California. The group performed at Wango Tango, a music festival put on by KIIS FM and headlined by Lady GaGa and the Black Eye Peas. Their first single, “One of Those Days,” is available on iTunes.
Non-P has also earned placements on CSI: Miami, Point Pleasant, Big Brother and MTV. They have also been played through international media outlets in such countries as Australia, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Finland, France, and the UK.
Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425.453.4602.
Check out more on Non-P including their latest music video here.