Meet the Musicians: Stereophonic

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

“We are the best band you’ll hear in your entire life,” Ben Cadle of the band Stereophonic told me with a straight face, before he and his bandmates broke out in uproarious laughter to begin our interview.

Ben is joined by Cooper Woods and Reece Rowan in Stereophonic. They are a hip-hop band whose influences include The Roots, The Beastie Boys, and Kendrick Lamar. And they have big plans. 

“We wanna put our city on the map,” Cooper tells me. “We live in a big musical city with a lot of talent. If we can play a part in people looking in this direction, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Healing Appalachia

Ben, Cooper, and Reece will take the stage on the opening night of Healing Appalachia. For the first time this year, West Virginia artists will be featured in a free concert on Wednesday, September 20, to begin the festival that benefits substance use recovery efforts across Appalachia. 

Stereophonic will play at 7:15pm. 

“This show means a lot,” says Reece. “We know a lot of people living here who are recovering or who are addicts. We wanna help. We wanna be part of that positivity.”

Ben agrees, and is especially honored to share a stage with Tyler Childers. “He’s a great example of an Appalachian artist who made it out and did it on his own terms.”

Skip Class, Play Brass

For Ben, Cooper, and Reece, it all began when they were part of “Skip Class, Play Brass”, a small group they put together during high school. They all had an interest in similar music, and before they knew it they had six songs recorded. Their first album came out at the beginning of this year, and their second album is in the works already. 

The unique thing about Stereophonic is that they’re a hip-hop band who play their own tracks with their own instruments. Ben says, “We can have a full live show or just the three of us. We have a drummer and guitarist and a live band.”

Cooper adds, “Something cool about being a hip-hop group is when we can’t do a live band we can run tracks.” It gives them maximum versatility with their own music. 

One such track, which I have to mention because I have beef with its subject as well, is a diss track about Bette Midler.  

“We wrote it in a few hours,” Ben remembers, “talking about how she was a hypocrite.”

“She was very poor growing up in Hawaii,” Cooper adds. 

“She’s not a saint who’s coming in to save us,” Reece says of the song’s message. “Then three days later we all got COVID.” They wondered if it was karma. 

Check them out…

Stereophonic’s confidence is matched only by their competence musically and lyrically. They have real range. And I’m excited to see where all that talent takes them.

If you’d like to listen to their music, it’s available on all online platforms. You can also buy CDs at their shows. Watch them for free on September 20 at 7:15pm at the WV State Fairgrounds in the Ag Pavilion. 

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