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Scott Corbin's band Casely and the Jank on creating a new subgenre of pop
A musician originally from Bellevue is helping to pioneer a new subgenre of pop music with strong connections to yoga.
Scott Corbin, 29, is one half of the band Casely and the Jank, named for partner Casely (née Jean-Carlos Casely) and the so-named "jank" musical style.
"We were working in the studio and one of the musicians said 'That sounds jank,'" Corbin said. "And we decided that was just the best description for it."
So what is jank? It's guitar-driven pop with with a mellow sound and influences from dance music, but the assignation of a specific musical style was made in retrospect, Corbin said.
What caught him by surprise was the homogenous feedback from listeners online.
"I've gotten consistent feedback from people saying it's a very visual music, very cinematic music in the sense that it tells a story," Corbin said. "I was taken aback by that consistency of response, because those were things I hadn't necessarily considered about the songs."
Corbin was exposed to guitar at a young age. His father was the Pacific Northwest representative for Gibson ("If it weren't for Gibson, I wouldn't have been born up there," he said) and picked up the instrument at age 11.
The family moved to the Chicago metro area when Corbin was a toddler. By the time he was a 19-year-old University of Central Florida student, he was taking jobs playing guitar in recording sessions for Transcontinental Records acts, such as Tilky Jones of boy band Take 5.
"Honestly, I got extremely fortunate," he said. "I was able to fly to New York and Los Angeles for recording sessions and I was able to network while I was still in school."
Corbin met the Miami-based Casely, a musician with an established solo career and extensive work with acts like Flo Rida and the Diaz Brothers, when they worked together on a live show at an Apple Store in Florida. They found they had similar musical sensibilities and, for a little more than a year, they worked to develop and release their debut EP "Brick: The Collection 2014."
That album is the first release, with plans to release further "collections" twice a year, on Jan. 1 and June 12. Working independently of a record label, everything will be distributed through digital online platforms like iTunes.
"The digital landscape is changing and we're doing our best to change with it," band manager Jeffrey Paul said.
Casely and the Jank has been able to reach listeners in 24 countries through the digital model, he said.
"There's a young lady who wrote us, she was from the Ukraine," Corbin said. "She found our music and she shared it with her art school. And she and the other students started listening to our collection while they painted."
In what is a somewhat unorthodox strategy, the band has made its music freely available through YogaMoves, an app featuring Casely that guides beginners through yoga poses. Fitness is important to the band and they wanted their music to reflect that, Corbin said. The group's music is currently played at the Black Dog Yoga studio in Los Angeles and they're in unfinished talks to become involved with a cycling company.
But the message Corbin said he wants listeners to take out of the music is a sense of community. Growing up, he loved the music that came out of Seattle, like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
"It's important to me to be a part of that community again," he said.