The Fox & King shines light on the Bronx’s vast music scene

Chris Vasquez and Fernando Michael of The Fox & King
Photo courtesy of The Fox & King

The Bronx’s own The Fox & King is highlighting the hidden gems that can be found in the borough’s music scene.

Founder, co-owner and CEO Fernando Michael lives and breathes the Bronx. Born and raised in the borough, Michael has seen first-hand what kind of talent can be found throughout the Bronx.

“I grew up going to the Bronx underground, seeing rock, reggae and ska shows for all ages,” said Michael. “Seeing energy on stage is where I realized to be in the industry.”

Michael teamed up with some of his friends, including Co-owner and PR Chris Vasquez, to create The Fox & King in 2011. Since hosting their first show in 2012, The Fox & King has been dedicated to highlighting Bronx artists through live events, including all-ages shows for the community and ticketed events for the older crowds.

For both Michael and Vasquez, highlighting the Bronx was and remains a very important goal, especially in terms of the borough’s music scene.

“First and foremost, the Bronx is the birthplace of hip hop, it’s here where it comes from,” said Michael. “It’s a melting pot of music and genres. People say hip hop is the main music here, but there’s more — Latin, jazz, fusions, there’s an unexplored landscape in terms of music, you can always discover something different.”

The Fox & King had a line-up of shows that were scheduled for 2020, but due to the pandemic, the shows were canceled. The group shifted gears and started hosting livestream shows for different local artists, giving them complete control over the Fox & King’s social media presence during those shows. What came next as a result of these live shows was “B-Sides,” a series that took a deeper, and dedicated look, into the Bronx’s untapped music community and the stories from the borough’s emerging independent artists.

“On vinyl, the B-side is the other side that you aren’t viewing, you have to turn it over and change to listen. We saw that as a way of seeing what’s in the borough, including untapped talent, culture, what’s growing, emerging businesses, and more awareness for the Bronx,” said Vasquez. “We thought, why not turn our livestream program into a program, something more tangible and reachable? ‘B-Sides’ was born for that. We started filming around September-October. It was a very humbling experience.”

“B-Sides” aired on BronxNet and drew in quite the reception from the community at large. The first season is now available on YouTube for those who want to go back and watch. The Fox & King is anticipating the release of the second season of “B-Sides,” which is set to begin airing this month, and they hope to be able to showcase more cultural institutions as well as the artists in the Bronx.

“The second season is still highlighting what the borough has to offer in terms of music talent and there are so many that people need to see here,” said Vasquez. “The different genres alone and different kinds of interaction that you find here is incredible.”

“In season two, we follow Danny Castro, who is an amazing drummer that has worked for a few bands,” said Michael. “He gave us a little quote: ‘I want to showcase how the Bronx is more than buildings and bodegas.’ And that’s what we did. He wants to take us to favorite his parks and really embrace the nature aspect of the borough.”

As for what’s next for The Fox & King, Michael and Vasquez are looking to relaunch their in-person shows, including a line-up of performances that are great for all ages. The crew is also looking to host open mics and get the Bronx Music Hall up and running again to showcase some of the Bronx’s talent.

“I want to create experiences for people like me and younger me,” said Michael. “We’re creating awareness for the scene in Bronx neighborhoods and appreciation for culture, you don’t realize the talent and gems in this borough.”

For more information, visit www.thefoxandkinginc.com or follow them on social media.