While many American boys grow up imagining themselves as future basketball, football or baseball stars, things were different for the kids in Raheem Cohen. Its no real surprise that LAs Silver Lake neighbourhood the antithesis of traditional Americana - bears fruit of a different color, and thus no wonder that the brothers Melendrez - Miles, Alix, and Reece, to be more precise - were each wielding guitars before the age of ten and dreaming of life on stage instead of a playing field.
Joined by childhood friends Matt Mumcian and Lukas Frank, the Melendrez brothers took the band name Raheem Cohen, a reflection of the boys upbringing, as they were born of mixed race parents and raised in an LA neighbourhood famous for attracting people of all stripes. The idea of mixing a distinctly Jewish surname with a first name of Muslim decent was as reflective of their non-traditional home life as it was with the melting pot of musical influences that defined the bands sound.
The five youngsters that made up Raheem Cohen quickly proved themselves as naturally gifted musicians, playing small gigs (as small people) in their neighbourhood of Silver Lake, polishing their skills with covers of legends like Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and The Doors. Eventually Raheem Cohen left the comfort of cover songs to write their own music and develop their unique amalgam of sound one that deftly blends the funky soul rock of yesterday with the alternative rock sounds of today, leaning to and fro towards the music of The Strokes, The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog, and even TV on the Radio.
Raheem Cohen is a reflection of the eclectic world around them and the musical legends that they covered as children. A lot of bands are eclectic from song to song, as one track sounds funky, another song rocks, and a third song sounds like a soul tune, explains Alix. The difference with us is we have a bunch of songs that sound like many of those things all at once. Theres typically something within each tune thats funky, soulful, and still has kind of a gritty rock edge to it, too.
Now that the youngest brother Reece is in his final year of high school, Raheem Cohen have taken their songs into the studio to prepare for their introduction to the world outside of Silver Lake. With Simpler and Roads, the first two songs from these sessions, the young men (all still under drinking age) boldly deliver the carefree spirit of youth, the grit of city mayhem, and the confidence and musicianship of a band ten years in the making.