You may not think of violins and cellos when you think of a rock band, but Cleveland indie artists, Seafair make it work. Ryan Kelly (drums), Michael Flaherty (guitar), Joshua Riehl (bass), Andrea Belding Elson (violin), Tara Hanish (cello), and Chayla Hope (vocals) know that making any kind of music is a team effort. Blending the best features from multiple genres, Seafair wows audiences with a unique sound that is all their own.
Six voices-one mission. Writing music on your own is a daunting task; Kelly finds that writing parts for so many different instruments is not as hard as it seems. He explained, “With six people writing music, you can have an idea and push it. Someone will be like, yes, let’s take it and run with it. Somebody else will put their idea into it and (ask), does it work? Or all right, we can use it for something else, because it’s always going to be so much a circular flow with us.” When any one member of the band gets stuck, there are five others to support and offer suggestions, because all the artists are songwriters. Kelly finds his inspiration in the company he keeps. He is constantly urged on by his bandmates, who provide encouragement, feedback, and positive reinforcement.
The Cleveland music scene is alive and well. It is a vibrant, close-knit community of musicians that create a musical atmosphere by thinking outside the box. Seafair has discovered genre labels do not really apply and enjoy the freedom to explore endless avenues of expression in their music. In 2013, Seafair was chosen as “Best Up and Coming Band” by Scene Magazine. They won the Judges Choice Award and a Gold Addy Award at the Cleveland ADDY Competition. This year, Seafair was voted “Best Band” by Cleveland Scene Magazine. Not only do other musicians rep the hometown band, the wealth of music lovers in Cleveland provide a fan base that is tailor-made for Seafair’s exclusive sound.
Move ahead. With the release of The Querencia this month, Seafair has seen an influx of interest in their music. As an unsigned band, most of the business end of music falls to Kelly, who is learning more about what it takes to succeed. There is always a balance between creativity and commercial viability that is difficult to discern. Lyrics from the song, “Inferno” state, “But I’m too proud to take that leap/Far too proud to take that leap/But I won’t back down” reinforcing that reaching for the stars is a good thing, and wanting more keeps you moving forward.
Up, up, and away. In August, Seafair will headline at House of Blues in Cleveland as part of the Cellar Door event. It is a chance to highlight their new album and perform with a full orchestra. They have already been working on new music for the next collection and continue to thrill Cleveland audiences with their distinctive Seafair sound.