Vincent Van Great and SistaStrings Make A Unique Combo At Company Brewing

SistaStrings.

Hip hop artist Vincent Van Great teamed up with classical-string-duo SistaStrings at Company Brewing Friday evening in celebration of the Riverwest brewery’s four-year anniversary. Complete with an ice cream cake, this celebratory experience of a local favorite was a night to remember.

Vincent Van Great performs with a live band, Ninja Sauce. They are keyboardist/backing vocalist Bart Caldwell, drummer Warren Crawford, and Lonnell Ray filled in for Maurice Buck Harmon on bass. Van Great recalls how he came up with their name.

“I’ve always been a fan of Power Rangers and Mortal Kombat type shit. That’s me to the core…and I’m a huge wrestling fan so it all came into play. I had a single a couple years ago called Ninja Sauce before I even started working with the band.”

Van Great dropped his debut full-length album “Ungrateful” in 2017 and collaborated with Dana Coppafeel on the 2018 project “A Tape Called Fresh.”

“(Coppafeel) and I are under the same management, Unify Records, so it was just meant to happen that way. Dana has been a huge inspiration to me throughout the years in the MKE hip hop scene. I whipped up the beats and we were working in the studio weeks-months at a time. It was meant to be. Big ups to Dana because he was like “dude I’m just happy we’re doing this dope shit and I want you to have full control, I want to challenge myself and do the tunes you wanna do.””

Van Great is dropping his self-produced second album, “Ladies, Please,” later this year. His final song of the night, “Supa Fly,” is a track off the album.

“I don’t want people to put me in a box that I’m just a rapper and I make beats. I want them to know I produce records and I’m well-rounded.”

Vincent Van Great performs at Pabst Brewery & Taproom on June 1st.

SistaStrings are sisters Monique and Chauntee Ross. Monique is a cellist and Chauntee plays violin, while they both exchange vocal harmonies. They felt the audience had been quiet Friday night, although it did not stop them from delivering their fullest.

“I feel like they were afraid to be vocal,” Monique said with a laugh. “I’m a concert-goer – my sister knows this – and I’m always the loudest person in the crowd. You will hear my voice in the silence.”

Not only are the two sisters and a music duo…they also live together.

“We know how each other plays,” Chauntee said. “Monique has her riffs she always plays and I know where she’s gonna go. I know her body language. And we make eye contact. It’s not like that way with anyone else.”

“Chauntee will go on her tippy-toes since she’s so short and she’ll be killing a violin solo,” Monique said. “Then she’ll go flat and I know she’s ending.”

SistaStrings has their first body of work, an EP, coming out this summer. Monique describes the process.

“Being sisters, we’re very comfortable with each other and used to performing. But we wanted to put content out, so last year we did our fundraiser show to raise funds so we could actually get into the studio. We’ve been working at Silver City Studios which has been amazing. We love Josh very much. We just finished recording and we’re now mixing and mastering. Then we’re gonna dive straight into our album…we’ve been working closely with Nickel & Rose and are doing a nice little East Coast tour with them in summertime.”

This EP will be largely a review of material they’ve played live up to this point, while their album will contain a number of original compositions. SistaStrings plays Cactus Club on May 24th.

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