Rocco & Lizzie on offbeat music, Queens renaissance
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Apr 08, 2015 | 6847 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photos courtesy of Jase Michael Photography
Photos courtesy of Jase Michael Photography
Rocco and Lizzie want you to experience music that you’ve never heard before.

The band, who began performing together last May, pride themselves on music that is an amalgamation of varied sounds and lyrics. Their new EP, entitled “#SomethingForEveryone,” covers a plethora of genres and subjects such as punk, bluegrass and astrology. When Phil Duke, the owner of Continental Recording Studios, first heard the EP, he told the group that it was unlike anything he’s ever heard.

Megan DiBello, one half of the creative pair behind the band, wanted to coin the term “Queens rock” to describe their sound.

“You end up questioning the songs all the time,” DiBello said. “We wrote this album for people to really dig deep, research the lyrics and find out the true meaning of what we’re talking about.”

DiBello, a poet and the owner of Queens-based company Poetry Teachers NYC, wrote the lyrics to all of their songs. Her partner Colin Clough, a foreman for a high-end construction company, wrote the music. They have used friends, such as bassist Shako Khiski and drummer Tony Shing Siu Sze, to contribute.

The group’s name spontaneously occurred to DiBello after she gave thought to her and Clough’s distinct personalities.

“I felt like Colin is this cool guy with tattoos who had gone through so many things in his life and had overcome so many adversities,” DiBello said. For instance, Clough was the victim of a hit and run just two weeks before the release of their EP. He’s okay now, though.

“I’m kind of the sweeter, more business-focused portion of us,” she said, adding that the name Lizzie came from her middle name Elizabeth. “We both balance each other out even though we are on different ends of the spectrum.”

The pair first met in 2013 when Clough was visiting from Virginia. They spent the Fourth of July weekend culminating in songwriting and ultimately kept in touch. By the spring of 2014, Clough moved to New York and they began performing music together.

Their EP has been consuming all of their time lately. Together, they wrote and produced the entire thing in one month. DiBello admitted that recording has proved to be one of the most difficult things that she’s ever done.

“You’re the one who is laying down the original track and you’re on such a microscope,” she said. “Now when I hear it, I feel like I’m singing karaoke to myself.”

While they are both still working day jobs, the band hopes to continue touring later in the year and reach a wider audience. They also remain passionate about spreading the arts throughout the borough of Queens. Working with Queens photographers, recording studios and fashion designers, like Queens 88, has been important for the band as they want to be Queens-centric and leaders in the artistic community.

DiBello called the recent changing arts scene in Queens a renaissance, and is glad that everyone around her “is a part of something positive and wants to build more.”

Additionally, the band’s appreciative that through performances and social media, the community has been supportive. They are now looking to put out a full-length album of 14 extra songs by the end of summer. And their hoping to add some more Queens talent.

“We want to work with other artists so we’re happy if people reach out and want to collaborate.”

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