Members: Billy Mandarino (vocals/guitar),
Justin Michael (vocals/guitar), IZE (rapper).

Album: Four-song EP Acoustahop.

Style: A fusion of acoustic guitar and

Influences: Bob Marley, Beatles, Seal, Dave
Matthews, Coldplay, Peter Gabriel.

Prior Gigs: Rocks, Wildcat, Velvet Jones, SOhO,
Legends, El Presidio Chapel, and the Green Room.

The Skinny: Change uniquely blends acoustic
music and rap and exudes a spirit of unity. The band, which coined
the term “acoustahop” to describe its unique sound, calls to mind
Philadelphia’s the Roots and G-Love. Just two years ago, Mandarino
and Michael rearranged their store of original songs with the help
of rapper friend Nat “Natronics” Gonzalez. While improving, the
group’s sound evolved into the current blend of acoustic grooves
and freestyle lyrics. Adding the Pacific Coast’s best unsigned
rapper, IZE, Change now rotates drummers and bassists to allow for
ultimate diversity. The band has performed more than 80 shows in
town, including charity gigs for AIDS, safe sex ,and Hurricane
Katrina. Their concentration on the power of the human spirit and
need to help the community is apparent in their words as well as
their actions. The infectious lyrics of “You Change Me” won $30,000
of free press from and received national airplay. But
the breakthrough didn’t end there. The following month, Change’s
“The Way” won’s next contest and more airtime.
The band is now working on a follow-up EP, but check out their
favorites at or

Upcoming Gigs: Friday, September 15, at

—Stephanie Cain


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