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Baltimore Backstage: Carolyn Malachi brings out ‘Brunch,’ Sofar Sounds plans Baltimore show, and ‘Wire’ cast accents the positive

Every week with Baltimore Backstage, we take a sneak peek into the local arts scene, and this time we’re going behind the scenes of some of the sounds one can hear around Baltimore. We catch up with two local singers who are adding to Charm City’s arts culture with relaxing and uplifting vibes. Plus, stars of “The Wire,” talk about Baltimore’s unique accent (be sure to check out the video to hear their impressions).

Grammy nominated Carolyn Malachi back with ‘Brunch’

After two years of being cooped up in the house, Baltimore-based artist Carolyn Malachi has a summertime tune that is a reminder to enjoy life and a perfect way to get your mimosas and pancakes popping.

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With “Brunch,” released June 17, Malachi hopes to “be a part of the other people’s fun,” when they vibe out to her music.

“This song ‘Brunch,’ the vibe is definitely ladies night out. It’s synthy, it’s poppy, but it has all those R&B and hip-hop feels that we love,” Malachi, 37, said.

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The Grammy nominated artist, who grew up in Washington D.C., and recently moved to Baltimore with husband Ayo Osho, has dual messages throughout the song – “one for each verse.”

“For the first verse it’s just really fun,” she said. “Social gatherings are so important for Black women in particular, I feel like that’s when we take a load off, let our hair down and talk about issues that are pertinent to us.”

The second verse is a lesson in not feeding into society’s expectations, a personal reminder for Malachi, who had fibroids and has had challenges conceiving. She said there’s a myth that “childless marriages aren’t happy marriages.”

“My marriage is fun,” the singer said. “My husband and I refuse to feel shame over something we can’t control.”

With her new single, she hopes that people will be reminded of fun social gatherings and good times.

“I just want the songs to bring joy to folks,” said Malachi, who plans to release a new album later this summer.

‘Brunch’ can be found on all streaming platforms.

Like Water talks name and prepping for Baltimore’s Sofar Sounds

West Baltimore native Like Water said her artistry is evolving and she’s bringing that freedom to her performance as part of Sofar Sounds, a global network of musicians and music fans who gather in various cities at secret locations — from living rooms to museums — for intimate concerts with local artists.

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“I find that I am now leaning into freedom and flow — like water,” said the artist formerly known as Christen B.

Like Water’s sound blends rhythm and blues, soul, electronic and ambient vibes, with what she calls “deep intention.”

Like Water performed at Sofar Sounds in D.C. a few years ago and “fell in love,” before organizing shows in Baltimore with her wife.

“It is something I’d never experienced attending or performing at other live music events,” she said. “The audience is quiet and attentive, ready to enjoy what you have to offer and to connect with the space and those around them.”

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She recalled a previous Sofar experience performing with her band “The Fam,” when she enlisted the audience to act as her background vocals. The response was so good, her group now includes it as part of every show.

“I can’t wait to create a new experience for the upcoming show,” Like Water said.

Sofar Sounds Baltimore takes place in downtown Baltimore on June 25 at 7:30 p.m. The exact location will be revealed 36 hours in advance. For tickets and more information visit https://www.sofarsounds.com/events/39951.

Stars from ‘The Wire’ sound off on the ‘Ballimore’ accent

Actors Wendell Pierce and Dominic West are from New Orleans and the U.K. respectively, but on “The Wire,” they played witty, slick talking Baltimore detectives. As the cast celebrated “The Wire’s” 20th anniversary, the two dished on formulating their Baltimore accent for the show.

“I don’t know if I ever got there,” Pierce said of adapting the Baltimore sound. He said there were two words he distinctly heard as “Baltimore.”

“Dug, which I didn’t understand. I was like ‘Are you saying dog?’ ‘Yeah dug,’” Pierce said. “And Hon… I thought that was a joke, and then I went to a cafe and they were like ‘Hey, hon, what do you want?’ And I’m like ‘Wow, this is really real.”

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The New Orleans born actor said that he was able to really develop Detective Bunk Moreland by jamming to Baltimore Club music.

“I just love that and I would always think of that, when I went into some sort of Baltimore voice or cadence,” he said.

West said he never really knew what he was doing “half the time,” when playing the show’s lead Jimmy McNulty.

The British actor enjoyed how Baltimoreans said a particular number and currency. “‘Tew dawllars,” West said jokingly.

He also appreciated “hon,” but said he was never allowed to do it as McNulty because the show’s creator, David Simon, told him that everyone would think it was a comedy if he spoke like that.

West also poked fun at his interpretation of how locals say the Baltimore baseball team’s name.

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“Oh and the Awriyels (Orioles)! ‘You going down to see the Awriyels?’”


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