Imagine a stretch limousine pulling up to the Staples Center in Los Angeles in early 2022. Seven outcasts emerge from the luxurious car but nothing about them appears flashy.
Emcee Eric Rollin leads the pack with stoic swagger, while drummer Andre Walker glides along Rollin's stride. This hip-hop crew also comes loaded with musicians who share the spotlight: Ryan Sullivan (guitar), Elaine Mylius (trombone), Jon Weisbrot (saxophone), Dave Swank (keys) and Enes Reynolds (bass guitar) follow with their instruments in tow.LISTEN IN
Together they are Mistar Anderson.
"Once we're on stage thanking people for a Grammy, then there it is," Rollin said. "I want to see things go way further than that, but I think getting a Grammy would definitely cover a lot of bases for sure."
The core of Mistar Anderson formed when Rollin met Walker and his meticulously layered, jazzy beats, which lent room for more members who could replicate Walker's big-band-type vibes from wax to real life.
Wanting to put emphasis on live hip-hop music laced with jazz, the band started to recreate Walker's samples initially with guitar, drums and keys. By 2012, original music was being scored.
"And there's no limit. That's the thing," Walker said. "There's no one saying, 'You can't do this, you can't do that.' We can do whatever we want to do."
After Mistar Anderson released a four-track EP in February 2013, Sullivan came into the mix. Following Mylius' recruitment by a past member, Mistar Anderson's newfound jazz texture progressively built on its live hip-hop sound. The EP was fine-tuned into an album, which was released last June.
Reynolds, Swank and Weisbrot subsequently crossed paths with Rollin, who constantly is flirting with the Columbus music scene.
Five years following the inception of Mistar Anderson, an innovative hip-hop enterprise had formed, driven by the same thirst Rollin originally set out to quench: music as a way of life, not just a hobby.
"We all would like to have that (Grammy) as validation to our product just to say, 'Hey, we are at the table now,' " Walker said.
Mistar Anderson is deserving of the award. Even without a Grammy Award at the moment, Rollin expressed the group's sentiment about where they are now as a group and as career musicians.
"My goal was to get to the point where I was paying my bills making music," Rollin said with a dramatic pause. "I have succeeded."
Zachary Kolesar is executive editor for In The Record Store. Each week, ThisWeek is featuring a local music feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.