Artist Spotlight: Pete Mako

Pete Mako (@PeteTheShark) is an Australian-born singer-songwriter who has primarily focused on performing science-fiction themed acoustic alternative music. Currently based in Columbus, OH, the 10-year industry veteran’s creativity, fascination with peculiar subjects, hard work ethic, and high-energy concerts make him one of the more sought after and standout artists in the local scene. His two full-length efforts are chock full of 19 different audio comic books between them that paint a vivid picture in listeners’ minds.

Mako’s first LP, 2015’s Relationships with Monsters, contains the would-be radio hits “So Far Away” and “Apparition of Love”.  These tracks demonstrate his ability to write mainstream songs in addition to those with a supernatural tone. Other notable tracks on Mako’s debut record are the high-octane “Full Moon’s Glow”, the ballad “Not Just Another Day”, and “Solomon Grundy”. Slickly engineered by Trevor Boggs, Mako went the DIY route on the record playing all parts himself. This is a perfect demonstration of his versatility that would serve him well later in his career.

One year later, Mako dropped The Undead Life, a Ka-Tet Records release that continues his previous album’s sci-fi theme. Much like Relationships with Monsters, Trevor Boggs was involved in this record’s creation. The 10-song album fuses unique songwriting, alpha male vocals, and spot-on acoustic guitar play into an alternative masterpiece. The fourth track, which shares a title with The X Files’ tagline “The Truth is Out There”, name drops David Duchovny’s character and is a nice ode to the recently revived TV series. Mako collaborates from time to time and on the record’s fifth tune “Haunted Trans Am”, Two Years Later mastermind Jamie Rogers contributed backing vocals. Days of the New and Peter Searcy fans will enjoy Mako’s vigor in delivering another quality album that includes songs about vampire romance (“Bite Me”), prostitution (“The Witch of West Hollywood”), and a cowardly dog (“Courage”).

For a time, Mako had his own backing band The Boogie Men who did live shows, but he eventually returned to his roots of going it alone. As of late, however, he has played bass in the supergroup Roxy Mae where he has joined vocalist/guitarist and charter member Matt Starr and Two Years Later co-founder and drummer Zak Toth. Whether it is with his new band or his unplugged solo work, 2018 is bound to be a huge year for Mako. With the sky being the limit for the self-proclaimed ‘Rock N’ Roll Devil’, he and his fans are on their way to experiencing the ride of their lives.

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Artist on the Rise: Sunroof

Sunroof (@SunroofMusic) is an American musician who is self-described as playing electro-acoustic pop-rock. Montana resident Jeff Simpson started the dream in 2012 playing live shows within that year. Fast forward to 2013 and Sunroof made tracks available for sale at iTunes and other online retailers. Given the quality of what he has released so far, it is crystal clear this artist is on his way to having a very successful career.

“Brave”, the song featured in this video, is not a cover of the Sara Bareilles hit, but a track with Sunroof’s own unique acoustic poppy spin. It is a track that with label support, would have a chance to crack the Adult Top 40 and Hot AC charts. On his official Facebook, page he lists Ed Sheeran, Secondhand Serenade, and Owl City as influences. The Owl City-esque single “The Treehouse” is an inspiring, uplifting song for the upcoming season that the entire family can enjoy. “Atlantic Dreams” has legs as a dance club smash and mainstream pop hit with an Ellie Goulding vibe attached to it.

Although Sunroof’s 2014 touring plans have not been revealed as of yet, but he has the look, the sound, and the drive to be a success this year. He may be without a record deal now, but if the right people get an earshot of what he has offered thus far, it will not be too long before Sunroof has inked a contract. Remember the name and remember the tunes as there is a feeling Sunroof will make an impact in the music scene for years to come.