COVID-19 has affected many different industries, one of them being the arts. As musicians cannot tour, hold concerts or perform it has been a tough time for them.
The Fox and King, Inc. (TFAK), located in Throggs Neck, recognized the struggles they are facing and decided to take a deeper look into the Bronx’s untapped music community and its relations to the boroughs culture, culinary scene and rich history.
TFAK founders Chris Vasquez and Fernando Michael launched a docuseries, “B-Sides” and it premieres on BronxNet Jan. 6, at 8:30 p.m. Michael explained that they had big plans for 2020 before the pandemic hit. There were numerous shows lined up and they hope now this can provide some respite for local musicians.
“With ‘B-Sides,’ we want to further display the independent music scene within the Bronx on a rawer, and more intimate, level,” Michael said. “Every artist has their own story that needs to be heard and this series will help to unveil, and present, those stories to our local community.”
The pilot episode follows Throggs Neck resident Alex Bondarev, lead vocalist for Bronx-based indie-rock band, Conversing with Oceans. From lunch at Jimmy Ryan’s Bar & Grill, to his live performance segment of his song, “Life,” Michael and Vasquez highlight the local rock scene, food and bar hubs and inspiration of the Bronx Underground within the Throggs Neck community.
The duo who have been in the music industry for a decade, said when the pandemic arrived they adapted. In March and April TFAK launched Nite Sessions, where their artists performed on Instagram Live.
But they felt the need to do more. With no broadcasting or film background, Vasquez and Michael decided to give it the old college try and dive into the lives of musicians.
“We’re trying to highlight local artists in the Bronx and their relations to the Bronx community,” Vasquez explained. “In a COVID setting we had to be innovative.”
The filming and interviews were done in the summer and they plan to do at least two or three more episodes.
Being their bread and butter is booking artists , it was not an easy experience, Michael explained, However, after numerous days of editing they are pleased with how it came out and look forward to its debut.
“It’s a bit of a passion project for us,” Michael said. “I’m very excited. I had no idea it would come to fruition.”
Their next scheduled interview is with Drew Torres of the Drew Torres Trio.