Midnight Riptide is a multinational Pop band formed in 2016 as a project. The group’s musical style primarily resembles pop along with rock and elements from EDM. The band consists of founding members Melvin George, Josh Scalz, Joy xx, Mimi Sparks, Terezija Štimec, Ricardo Forbes, Jerry Clark Tebbs, and Sarah Vardi. Previous members include; Richard Clash and Jordan Levy. They primarily met through various social media channels, which eventually led to the formation of a full-fledged band. Members can be found throughout various locations all over the world including; The United States, India, Greece, Croatia and The United Kingdom.
HISTORY AND FORMATION
Early years (2015-2016)
The original concept for Midnight Riptide was conceived in the beginning of 2015. When the concept for this, now incredibly diverse, collective was very first born, the lineup consisted of guitarist, songwriter, and jack of all-trades Melvin George, from India, and EDM producer Ricardo Forbes, from Florida, US. As fate would have it, they met rather unexpectedly, as members of a mutual Facebook group. After discussing the possibilities of combining talents, they found themselves embarking on a new creative journey together with a completely original collaborative endeavor. They began functioning as a duo which led to the production of their their very first composition. Their first single, ‘Electric Lights’, was intended to be released as their first self-titled track.
Around June, 2015, they began expanding their horizons as co-founder, Melvin George, added singer, Mimi sparks to the project. As a trio, they proceeded to revamp their debut single to reflect the individual talents of all three members. Unfortunately, they ran into financial difficulties that prevented them from finishing their work as a newfound trio. They abruptly discovered that they were lacking some of the freedoms typically afforded independent projects with adequate financial backing.
Determined to keep their vision alive, Melvin George sought a practical resolution for their financial woes. With such a strong desire to take action so as to preserve the time they had already invested in their project, he proved his natural ability to lead demonstrating agility through exercising superb critical thinking and problem solving skills. He found himself engaging with an enthusiastic supporter who would prove to be a major asset to the group. Sarah Vardi, an avid music hobbyist, came to their rescue by volunteering to manage the existing project with the necessary financial backing to assist them with the next major steps, taking their “project” inches closer to becoming a “group.”
They continued to amp up production with the addition of popular YouTuber and singer/composer/songwriter Joshua Scalzitti from Indiana, US, who goes by the “stage name” Josh Scalz. With more than enough manpower to leave their mark in this insanely competitive industry, they had built up momentum fully equipping themselves with everything they needed to really begin leveling up.
Now with an incredibly ambitious number of talent, up to five members, they resumed work on ‘Electric Lights.’ With their growing arsenal of musical talent, at this point, they thought it would be more suitable to define themselves as an actual “band” rather than just a “project.”
Maintaining the theme as an “international music group” Joy xx, a well-known YouTube singer from Athens, Greece, was inducted into the group. Jordan Levy, a YouTube Singer, composer and songwriter from New York, US, was then discovered through a common Facebook group, joining the ranks in November, 2016.
They finally had enough, strategically allocated talent, to move beyond their original efforts and were no longer stuck on one single. Since they had acquired such a strong production team the band decided it was time to use their talent to the fullest capacity and began focusing on producing an entire Album. At this point, however, there still appeared to be something missing.
After sifting through a series of potential band names, Josh Scalz and Jordan Levy produced the concept for their title. They determined that they needed a name suitable of the type of music that they were producing. Since they felt that they were channeling a darker and more subliminal side of their creative energies, they thought “Midnight” would be an appropriate expression of their collective chemistry. However, to maintain balance and relevance in such a volatile industry, they determined that “Riptide” could arbitrarily lighten their image. On November 8th, Melvin George officially dubbed their group, Midnight Riptide.
Debut Album and further development In 2017
With the assistance of Josh Scalz and Jordan Levy, Melvin George developed the lyrics for 6 new songs. Jordan Levy and Josh Scalz wrote “Every Second Counts” and “Cloud Memories” while Mr. George diligently worked to fill in any gaps.
They continued to become even more enthusiastic about the work they had completed on the album as they inched closer to the notion of building a live performance act as elemental component of their group. They began recruiting additional members of their live performance piece by introducing a drummer to the group. This is where Jerry Clark Tebbs, a sound engineer, music producer, DJ, and drummer from Utah,US, first offered to pitch in with his talents. They determined that a live drummer capable of executing the arduous task of performing to a click track, would add significant depth to their live performance piece. Not only did he agree to join the band as a live drummer but he also became an integral part of the production process by offering his expertise with mixing and mastering their tracks. The addition of these new skillsets allowed them to make significant progress towards their ultimate goal of taking their act to the stage.
They continued to press forward in their search for additional instrumentalists capable of breathing life into their production. Terezija Stimec, a Keyboardist from the United Kingdom, as well as guitarist, Richard Clash, joined the team in 2017. Richard was discovered through a Facebook group for guitarists and was eager to join them.
During July, 2017, they resumed work on their first release, making proper use of the home studio spaces belonging to Jordan Levy and Josh Scalz. They were finally able to complete production on their very first single as a unique and diverse group of creatives. August the 28th of 2017, marks the date when they debuted their first release ‘Cloud Memories’.
Things appeared to be moving along rather smoothly, that is, until tragedy struck. Without any warning or indication of any type of illness, lead guitarist, Richard Clash, was found dead on October 11, 2017. This came as a shocking surprise to the primarily “virtual group” as they didn’t discover that he had passed away until a solid week after his death. As a “virtual band” not only was it difficult for them to solely rely on their online communication channels to provide them with the instant gratification afforded most traditional groups who meet in person to plan and rehearse, but despite being a bit distant from a physical form they still faced limitations based on the human condition. Even in this quasi-virtual world, the death of someone whom they had been working so closely with still proved to be a stark reality check for the group. The loss of Richard Clash left an eerie feeling of discomfort that was not easy to shake. The band went on a brief hiatus before attempting to record the remainder of their album. Shortly after, Jordan levy departed to pursue her education. The remaining members continued to work on their forthcoming Album.
Every Great Band has a Fanclub!
They thought of just about everything. They even considered a few options for how their die-hard fans could address themselves. Melvin George suggested the name “Midnitizers” while Josh Scalz thought “Ripples” would be better. However, Pamela, a fan of the band, thought they should be called “Ripties”. After much debate, they decided that they would just let their fans decide that part!
The Backstage Crew
During 2017 Melvin George met Alexander Terry, a graphics designer from Norway and Gabriella Frazone, an enthusiastic music supporter from chicago who were discovered from a kik messenger group who would prove to be an asset to the group by creating Lyrics videos, fliers and Album arts joined as backstage crew members.
Melvin George – Songwriter/Guitarist
Josh Scalz – Singer/Composer
Joy Xx – Singer
Mimi Sparks – Singer
Terezija Štimec – Keyboardist
Ricardo Forbes – Edm Producer
Jerry Clark Tebbs – Drummer/Edm Producer
Sarah Vardi – General Manager
Alexander Terry – Graphics Designer
Gabby – Graphics Designer
Richard Clash – Guitarist (2016-2017)