Hanging Out with Worldtown Sound System

Listening in on Worldtown Sound System’s rehearsals is something else. It’s confounding that eight distinct musicians could set their ego aside and collaborate in a way that blends each of their individual sounds beautifully─ but it’s what Worldtown Sound System does. It takes effort, practice, and no small amount of compromise, but eventually each player and each sound seem to fit together like a puzzle piece.

It was no surprise then that when I spoke to some of the bandmates about how Worldtown Sound System came together, their responses were a dreamy, “It just happened.”

Jonifin Marvin (Vocals)

“Worldtown Sound System is the epitome of artistry. You never know where a project will go with so many like-minded talents focusing their energies on a common goal.”

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“Ben didn't really ask me to be in the band… He asked me to come and rehearse a song that he and I recorded and during that rehearsal, he told me to add something to the other songs that were in our Halloween Party set. After the Halloween show, we were like, 'Yeah... this works... let’s stick to it.'”

“I think my years of experience as a performing artist allow me to be able to work with the others in the band cohesively and constructively. My range goes from sounding like an emcee with the call and response, to singing on the tracks, to providing harmony with our awesome bass player Jay.”

Jay Powerz (Bass)

“We are just babies, but we are like babies on steroids about to take down the giants.”

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“Ben and Femi didn't really approach me directly to join Worldtown Sound System. Ben was coming to Music Church at the Boom Room and through our interactions there we became friends. Ben expressed that he had been collaborating with musicians and would like to work with a live bassist. I explained to him that I had a vision which could work well with the Worldtown Sound System project, so I encouraged him to get together with me and drummer Gary Dann. He was actually resistant to the idea but I pushed because I knew it could work.”

“My bass style brings the funk, dance, disco, rumble to the mix of Worldtown Sound System. I’m still working on developing my sound for Worldtown and there is much more to come. I also bring creative vocals and vocal harmony to the mix. I’ve been working to make sure the songs have hooks and vocal melodies that people can grab on to, not just straight electro beats.”

Ben Arsenal (Producer/Percussion)

“WTSS breathes new life into dance music.”

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“The concept of Worldtown is a natural magnet for people from different places, who have traveled, and who have interest in global culture. I think my bringing the dance music background in production and DJing has definitely fueled the vision of Worldtown Sound System. Based on my reputation doing both, the folks in the band have given me the green light to push the group forward as a dance band.”

“We are looking to wrap up a few singles this summer, solidify and extended festival set and play a few festivals we've been invited to. Next summer we hope to have more traveling opportunities and set up some gigs in NYC and DC.”

Learn about the rest of the band, DJ Oluwafemi, Mateo on piano, Gary on drums, Basskitty on sax, and DJ Paul2Paul, here.

Worldtown Sound System's newly released EP, "We People" can be streamed on SoundCloud.


(Photos and GIFs by Clarissa)