Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Sometimes I am just embarrassed by the talent I manage to not have heard of in the city, and right now the person most making me feel like a failure as a music journalist is soul singer Alycia Miles. Dear God and everything Hee Haw, her voice! Seriously, play the below video for "Closed for Renovations"; Miles could sing the robes off a marble statue. It's a thing of absolute, staggering beauty.
Miles has been a constant presence in the music industry since she was just 14 years old. She started out singing Xscape and Blaque covers in a girl group made up of her best friend, her sister, and her best friend. Appropriately they continued the legacy of creatively misspelled names by calling themselves N-tyse. Though she began her path pursuing more straight hip hop, exposure to a few other styles as HSPVA led her to the more rock-inspired soul that she's become know for.
After leaving N-Tyse behind to start Entyse (sigh...), she's finally found her home with The Tribe and The Paper Amp Project. Where she'll go in the future is up to God, she says, but there's no doubt we'll be hearing her singing across the night for a good long while.
Home Base: Miles works on her music in her own private recording studio, preferring isolation and silence; she also doesn't consider herself a very good piano player, and likes not having anyone around to notice that fact. For playing live she will hit any stage that will have her and expresses no personal preference among Houston venues.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "I am truly bothered by the expectations of artists in the city versus the lack of payment," sighs Miles. "Respect my purpose enough to work way hard at it and be quite good at it. Please stop insulting artists by offering peanuts for five hour long performances."
Good War Story: "My first live performance, I'm 15 years old, we're doing a really slow Xscape song in a very rowdy club and four words in there's a resounding, 'BOOOOOOOO' bearing down on the stage," she recalls. "I can laugh now, it was NOT funny then."
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "It's my home," she says. "I was born and raised here. My support system is here. I would never be able to travel and work like I do if i didn't live in Houston."
First Song You Fell in Love With: "A one-hit wonder called the Voices; the song was 'Yeah Yeah Yeah," Miles thinks. "I played it so much that my sister broke my tape and left the guts on my pillow."
See more about Miles at facebook.com/alyciamilesmusic.
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 200
DJ Piam, Poison Girl's Bacon-Fat Funk Specialist Mister Insane, Host of The Insane Show Jake Rawls -- Kemo For Emo Is Back Santos Pastrana, Sound Engineer and DJ Ninja Heading Upstream with RIVERS' Chris Tamez DJ Dayta, Keeper of That Good Good Matthew Davis Buehrer, Runaway Sun's Globally Thinking Bassist Fat Tony, Third Ward to "BKNY" Noon, Rapper With a Lot on His Mind Matt Cash, Clear Lake's Cassette Tape Wailer Jason Smith, Alkari's Space City Rocker DJ Penetrate, All Lit Up in "Neon Lights" Catch Fever Is Catching On Renée Jonard, Princess of Noise Pollution Junior Gordon, Big Man With a Big Sound Chad Smalley, Blaggards' Barse Player Damien Randle, K-OTIX Man of Action Kevin Anthony, 45 Southbound Man DJ Good Grief Knows How to Have Fun Robert Kuhn, the Well-Traveled Islander Gunnar Cushway, Insko's Feel-Good Utilityman Mario Rodriguez, Tax the Wolf/Bang Bangz's Wonky Power Monger John Smith, Goodtime Continental Club Manager Dwayne Cathey, A Good Man to Scare People With Walter Carlos, Guitar-Punisher of Funeral Horse Ryan James, Putting Up a Good Fight John Cramer, Guitar Apostle of Project Grimm Big Gerb, Houston's Hongree-est MC Steven Higginbotham, Hard-Working Wheel Worker Alisha Pattillo & Her Swaggering, Soulful Sax Brandon Ray, Punk Rocker Turned Filmmaker/Animator The Excitable Boys of Another Run Flash Gordon Parks, DJ as Funky Professor DJ Main Event, Kratez Crew JumpOff Man Odd Hours and Back to Back's Hank Doyle Legendary K-OTIX Producer Russel "The ARE" Gonzalez Dylan Bryson Sings the Blues (Rock) DJ Damon Allen, R.O.C.O. Fellow Tom Lynch, New Kid On the Block Ashley Worhol, Goth-Metal Queen of Katy Joe Ortiz, Clockpole's Master of Nonsense Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker John Salinas, the Beat Beast of Only Beast Homegrown Cowboy Crooner Charles Peters Adam Bricks, NYC Expat Metal Journeyman and Blasé Bassist Alan Hilton Kyra Noons, Houston's Reggae Sunsplash DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW