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Tha Boogie: Funked-out Cali Soulsters Let Their Minds Roam

by Nicole Frehsee on Feb 14, 2011

. Photo by Tone.

Who: This trio (from Rancho Cucamonga, California) got a break when primary songwriter Tuko Proby e-mailed R&B star Raphael Saadiq with a link to the band's website, and he promptly hired them to open for him on a 2009 tour. "Next thing you know, we're flying to Boston, picking up our van to drive the East Coast," recalls Proby. "It was ridiculous."

Sound: A schizophrenic mix of soul-diva crooning, New Wave synths and scratchy guitars – plus some OutKast-style rhymes. "I get a little something from almost every style," says Proby, who name-checks everyone from Saadiq to Irish alt-rock band Two Door Cinema Club.

It's a Living: Though they play rock stars at night, each member of Tha Boogie holds down a day job. Singer Tamika Smith and Proby work in Proby's mom's accounting office. "A client will come in, and my mom will say, 'That's my son. He did a show at the Roxy last night!' " Proby says.

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