"Everything in life is a blessing in disguise."
It is the motto of the band, "InDisguise," comprised of PAUL RHODES, of Kansas City, Missouri and SUZANNE JIAN, from the Pacific Island of Guam.
The adage has certainly been on point since the beginning of their partnership three years ago - they met while co-workers at a major non-profit organization in L.A.
It has not been an easy road, but the lessons have been well-learned and well-earned.
RHODES' musical quest brought him to L.A. in 1990, and has since taken him throughout the industry, on promotions and performances of artists including RAY CHARLES, AMY GRANT, CORY HART and WANG CHUNG, to national marketing and distribution for an independent record label, to a six-year contract with BMI, writing and publishing music.
RHODES, whose earlier works with BMI continues to be used in television programs throughout Europe, has opened for MANIC STREET PREACHERS and worked with MERCY BEAT, tapping his gift for creating musical intrigue, mood, depth and ambience.
For JIAN, a prolific poet and songwriter who started composing poetry at 11 and music at 13, creativity and spirituality have helped chart a meaningful journey.
Joining her first band at 19 after winning several talent showcases, she later formed her own - which captured top honors at premier Battle of the Bands competitions on Guam.
JIAN, a lead vocalist in several Top 40/Dance bands, and a former top government aide, was often approached by visiting club owners and musical directors from L.A. and New York. She accepted select invitations to perform while working with ALEX VARDEN of VPS, before opting to focus on songwriting and recording.
InDisguise' uniqueness lies in its members' ability to collectively blend their musical tastes and talents. JIAN contributes melody compositions and is the group's primary lyricist. RHODES' expertise lies in the utilization of sound effects, arranging and composing. Behind-the-scenes partner DAVID HADDAD is a gifted drummer, percussionist and programmer.
HADDAD tours regularly in Asia, Europe, Australia and the United States, having opened for such groups as HERBIE HANCOCK, OTIS DAY & THE KNIGHTS and THE COASTERS. He has also recorded with JAMES INGRAM, ROBBIE VINTON (Roxy-Live) and STONE RAIN (John Anonymous).
Results of their collaboration - a fusion of different music genres including Euro-dance, electronic, classical, Retro 80s, Goth and other underground nuances - are strong, rhythmic, thought-provoking pieces. They have been likened to groups like the EURHYTHMICS, DEPECHE MODE, BT, CHICANE and BERLIN, with an edgier, more modern flair.
EXPOSED, the band's first self-produced album, premiered by DJ DAVE RICHARDS of GROOVE RADIO & VIRGIN MEGASTORES, helped earn InDisguise featured spots on several radio stations, publications and special performances.
One of 12 acts chosen to be on "WITCHMIX," the Blair Witch 2 online soundtrack less than , InDisguise was also one of only four bands invited to perform during its webcast. The group, which has performed at such renown venues as the HARD ROCK CAFE, the KIBITZ ROOM at CANTER'S and the EL REY THEATRE, ranked number one in Farmclub.com's Electronic genre section for unsigned artists for nearly seven weeks, with its single, "Soulmate ... come to me."
InDisguise also performed at GAPSN's Pacific Bridge Awards Ceremony, its annual by-invitation-only event, honoring MARGARET CHO last year, and at the SAN DIEGO PRIDE FESTIVAL, which also featured CECE PENISTON and BERLIN.
InDisguise is currently finalizing its 2002 engagement calendar for performances at several pride festivals and other venues throughout SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
EXPOSED & soon-to-be-released follow-up full-length album, TRANSITIONS includes extensive background vocals by renown Filipino songstress and performer, CAMILLE RODRIGUEZ ARAULLO, daughter of Filipino film superstar CELIA RODRIGUEZ.
Final mastering on EXPOSED & TRANSITIONS was done by BERNIE BECKER, lead sound engineer for multi-platinum award winner NEIL DIAMOND. A tour-de-force in the studio, BECKER includes, along with NEIL DIAMOND, among his extensive engineering credits, work for FRANK SINATRA, DONNA SUMMERS, DOLLY PARTON, MICHAEL CRAWFORD and JENNIFER PAIGE.
The group recently released remixes of material from EXPOSED, including the "Those Fears Protoculture Mix" and "Can't Take Me Down Protoculture Mix" by SCOT LANG, aka PROTOCULTURE, of Braincloud, Primal Records and Hooj Choons fame. LANG, who has done remixes for several artists including TOM JONES, MOLOKO, DALATA, and many underground music projects, also has an impressive line of credits in the music realm of film and television including theme songs to MTV's "Becoming" and "Net Aid."
InDisguise's follow-up full-length album TRANSITIONS, offering more versatility, depth of groove and electrifying remixes by world-renown DJs, is scheduled for release this spring.