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H*Wood and Kid Vegas are two brothers working hard to build their brands in hip-hop

Brandon Bourdeaux, the rapper otherwise known as H*Wood, drops his new album today.
Brandon Bourdeaux, the rapper otherwise known as H*Wood, drops his new album today.

Collin and Brandon Bordeaux have been making music together since they were kids. The two brothers, better known in local hip-hop circles as H*Wood and Kid Vegas, act as each other's business partners, musical critics, marketing team and confidants. The former, who has returned home after four years in Los Angeles, is dropping his new album First Light today. It's the first release for the Denver native since leaving Dark Child Records, the imprint run by former manager Rodney Jerkins. From the sounds of the genre-bending tracks on the album, which infuse EDM with soul and hip-hop, he's clearly grown since the days of "Could It Be You (Punk Rock Chick)."

See also: - Tonight: H*Wood First Light album release at the Summit, 11/23/12 - The weekend's ten best concerts: 11/23-11/25 - Meet H*Wood, creator of the earworm that is "Could It Be You (Punk Rock Chick)"

H*Wood and Kid Vegas are two brothers working hard to build their brands in hip-hop

While H*Wood, of course, first burst onto the scene with that single a couple years ago, music has been part of he and his brother's lives since they were children growing up in the shadow of their father's church. "I respect his ear," says H*Wood of his brother. "I respect his view as someone who grew up with music. Many people don't know bro is a drummer."

Although many would file H*Wood's music under pop, he thinks his music is far more complex than that. "I'm not really pop," he explains. "I've always been fascinated with EDM, and over the last few years, I have learned far more about it. Also just taking time to study live music, which I love, has shown through in this album," says H*Wood, who worked closely on his new album with OneRepublic's Eddie Fisher. The album's first single, the dubstep-inflected "W.O.R.K." which has already been released, will be followed by "Gone," a more upbeat cut that people typically know him for.

In support of the album, which naturally features a few tracks with Kid Vegas, as well as LPeez and Amanda Hawkins (aka Jane Doed), among others, H*wood is preparing to embark on a short Southwestern tour of Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, followed by another series of dates with Alex Marley and Squidly Cole on the D.R.E.A.D. (Doing Right Equals Awesome Days) tour and an album release show later this month at the Summit.

 

Kid Vegas, meanwhile, has been steady building momentum in his own right since releasing "Go Get it Girl" last year. He's released a slew of video's on YouTube for songs like "Twerk Team" and "Tuna Roll" and had some choice opening slots in front of acts like 2 Chainz. Vegas says his latest release, "Running", represents his best work to date. "With all the previous material, I was just having fun with it," he notes. "But this record is really my favorite because I like to make those songs that are lyrical, too."

Vegas dropped "The Resume" mixtape last year, a project featuring many track produced by injured Broncos running back Mario Fanning, that Vegas plans to re-package for re-release with a few more songs.

H*Wood and Kid Vegas are two brothers working hard to build their brands in hip-hop

But even as their stature begins to increase, neither of the Bordeaux brothers are looking to sign with a label, opting instead for the independent route. "The days of old A&R label deals are dead," declares H*Wood. "We are building a lifestyle brand and just try to keep the music organic and be involved with all aspects of the music. We just continue to work hard and make music for the people."

H*Wood, album release party, with Kid Vegas, Amanda Hawkins, Lpeez, DJ Five8, 8 p.m. Friday, November 23, Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake Street, $10-12, 1-866-468-7621.




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