Brothers Damien and Tourie Escobar a/k/a Nuttin’ But Stringz are everything the music game’s been missing. Armed with classical sounds of the violin —yes, violins—retro-fitted with Hip-Hop and Rock beats, the South Jamaica, Queens natives bring a sophisticated twist to the musical landscape.
With their music leading the way, the Escobar brothers are simultaneously seeing their brand become a global phenomenon—already Nuttin’ But Stringz (NBS) won a pair of Emmy Awards, scored feature films, released a platinum album; and they’re only just getting started.
“We perform like Rock stars,” explains Damien, 26, the younger sibling by two years. ”We call it Urban because it has that Hip-Hop feel; we have the groove from the street. It has a heavy Classical undertone. The perfect marriage, we call it Urban Rock.” The old adage says you need to crawl before you can walk. Well NBS have paid enough dues that they are now in a full on sprint.
The duo formally formed Nuttin’ But Stringz in 2003 and then took their performances from subway platforms to the Amateur Night at the Apollo Stage in 2005. A lengthy run at the world famous Apollo got them a write up in the New York Daily News, which led to an appearance on The Today Show, which led to appearances on The Ellen Degeneres Show and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Maybe just as amazing is that Nuttin’ But Stringz’ television appearances to that point—as many as 30 in 2005 alone—were all secured while the group was still an unsigned act. NBS managed to perform at the White House (which led to their two Emmy Awards in 2008), and Sony Japan picked up their album ‘Struggle from the Subway to the Charts’. Re-released overseas in 2008, the album would go platinum in Japan and eventually platinum stateside as well. The album’s epic lead single, “Thunder,” was licensed and used in a number of commercials.
NBS was asked to audition for the third season of NBC’s reality/talent series America’s Got Talent. NBS would settle in for a long run on the show, eventually placing third. With even more national visibility from the show, NBS would perform for the 2008 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama and for the Prince of Dubai, aswell as appear on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.