Pharell is like the random ghost of Christmas future of Miami's music scene. Every once in a while, he'll pop up at a club -- presumably between bouts of buying designer toys and street art -- then catch a random local act, murmur his seal of approval, and then disappear in a cloud of smoke. Just a few days later, whoever was lucky enough to be at the receiving end of that utterance wakes up in Egyptian sheets and then goes about crossing off "swim in private money vault" off his or her to-do list.
Okay, not really. But there are a couple of kernels of truth in that previous paragraph of BS. One, Pharell does like to pop in at Miami clubs like Bardot, and two, he has used his influence to pluck previously unknown artists from all locales out of obscurity and make them blog-hot. (See, for example, Massachusetts indie-ish act Chester French.)
And one of the latest artists to enjoy this official stamp of approval is Miami's Cris Cab, a genre-hopping singer-songwriter. Pharell first heard Cab four years ago, and they're now finally starting to work on music together -- that is when Cab, still a high school senior, isn't doing homework.
Here's how he spent his spring break: showcasing for some 400 press and label reps in New York, as well as 50 Facebook fans who all RSVPed within a minute for the privilege. With that buzz building, Cab's releasing a free EP via his web site, CrisCab.com, the same day he plays Roxy's in downtown West Palm Beach.
His original material is similar that of the covers he's released across the Internet to hundreds of thousands of views: a little reggae, a lot of acoustic, a heavy dose of soul, but with production that nods to hip-hop. It's the kind of multi-format sound that should appeal heavily to the iPod generation, and word is Cab's headed to New York in the fall (wisely, to attend school).
So catch him locally now before he blows up, and check out these videos of Cris covering Wiz Khalifa's "Black & Yellow" and Kanye West's "All of the Lights."
Cris Cab. 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 7 at Roxy's Pub, 309 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Admission is free; age 21 and up. 561-296-7699 or click here.