Born and bred in Brooklyn, boy band/brass band Lucky Chops is on a mission to change the world. This band formed by members Josh H, Daro, Leo, Kevin, Josh G, and Buyo came to be in the year of 2006. Their passion and desire to bring positive music that can heal and inspire others is what drives this band to perform in a multitude of places. You can find them occasionally jamming to covers of your favorite pop songs in your local subway station. This is when you look around and realize that this is where the party is at, and everyone is talking about it. People watching all have their phones out recording and snapping photos ready to share across the social media board! This band is truly taking New York by storm.
I got the opportunity to interview Lucky Chops and learn more about this amazing live band and what sets them apart from other brass bands around.
How did you guys meet, and how did the band form?
We actually formed while in high school together at LaGuardia Arts in Lincoln Center. We were all in band class (obviously very popular kids) and Raphael decided to put a band together to perform at the NYC Filipino day parade. He promised us fame, riches and glory. We were duped. Regardless, we’ve been together ever since!
Why the name ‘Lucky Chops’?
One of our original members just came up with it one day. It had no meaning actually, ha. Since then though it’s come to mean a lot. Chops is a slang word for lips and when we play our lips get extraordinarily bruised and battered, before each show we all desperately hope for “Lucky Chops.”
One of your subway performances just got more than 1 million views! How happy are you about this and how do you think this will affect the band artistically?
We’re pumped! A few months back the same video circulated around and got almost 6.5 million, so we’ve got our fingers crossed with this one. It’s been great to connect with a global fan base and it’s awesome to see brass music lovers all over the world.
Are you signed to a label yet and if not, who would you like to sign with?
We’re the house band for a new weekly talk show on MTV called “Girl Code Live,” airing late this summer. We’re excited to work with MTV and it’s going to be a great show!
If you guys weren’t doing music, what other career paths would you have picked?
We all have diverse interests and that’s a fun question to ponder. Raphael is a registered nurse, Daro has a degree in anthropology from Columbia, Kevin would most likely be a pro wrestler, the Josh’s would open up a pizza and wings restaurant together called “The Josh’s’s” and Leo would take the modeling world by storm.
Who are among ‘Lucky Chops’ main influences?
We draw all of our inspiration from the people we meet every day. We believe that music is a medicine of healing and we play our music to affect the hearts and lives of our audiences. That’s our mission and it’s a joy to work at it every day.
What inspires your compositions/songwriting?
All sorts of things. We have eclectic taste and it all comes through in our compositions and arrangements. I wrote most of our songs while commuting back and forth between Queens and Manhattan, it gives me a lotttttttt of time to think!
Best/worst part about performing?
Best part: we never know what we’re going to do next
Worst part: we never know what we’re going to do next
What would you like your fans to know about you that they may not already know?
Raphael’s sousaphone is named Walter and he’s got quite a personality!
What are you most likely doing when you’re not busy performing? (Hobbies, interests, sports, etc?)
Camping, enjoying nature, reading, watching Battlestar Galactica, talking with people and trying to spread positivity.
Most memorable performance thus far? Good or bad.
Too hard to choose! We play every Thursday night at our home base, Five Mile Stone, and each night is always awesome.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
We’d like to continue spreading positive and encouraging music across the globe. Our plan is to open centers for music therapy and fund research about the relationship between music and mental/physical health. We want to do our part to make the world a better place.
Any collabs you’d like to do?
We’ve recently begun working with Ivan Jackson, a fantastic producer known for his work with Brasstracks. Stay tuned for exciting releases of our collaborative efforts!
Finally, where can we expect to see Lucky Chops in the next few months? Any tours?
We just got back from the Ottawa Jazz Festival (which was awesome!) and we’re about to head to Denmark/France for most of July. We also have a new record coming out and we’re playing a big cd release show at the Knitting Factory. It’s going to be CRAZY!!
Sounds exciting! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you guys!
This is a band who is truly passionate about music and who understands the unique effects it can have on your mind and your soul, because music is more than just lyrics and catchy beats; it’s therapy. Music can make you feel things. This is the message this amazing brass band from Brooklyn, New York is trying to send out to the world, in hopes of a more positive and brighter world. And I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t support that.
Written by Lupe Ramirez