Artists who can easily delve into a variety of mediums are so admirable. That’s just the type of duo that Ethos 33 is. They make music pulling from the main influences of r&b, retro soul, and funk, but they also work with sustainable fashion and film. On top of this, they delve into their fair share of activism and do what they can to help teach others. They have a focus on creative expression, and this can be seen through all of their mediums. A great example of their musical prowess is their latest single, ‘Small Hallway.’
Small Hallway is a beautifully done r&b track with heavy jazz, soul and funk influences. The bass, funky synths, electric guitar, slightly raspy vocals and brass instruments culminate into the perfect chill but passionate vibe. There’s such a dreamy atmosphere to it. The vocals work a lot with bends, and they’re built into creative harmonies showing the many different tones of vocalist Tekh Togo’s voice. The wobbly synths pull in the perfect groove. The sax brings in just the right jazz atmosphere, and the solo is extremely well played. This track is extremely original when put up against much of the r&b of current-day music, and that has much to do with the more jazzy soul influences.
There’s something so sultry and loving about ‘Small Hallway,’ and that extends straight into the lyrics. All of the lyrical lines have a distinct loving passion, a great example being, “Maybe forget my original plans / just want to grab your hand and let you in.” This is definitely a song that lets the phenomenal musicianship take the forefront, but it’s also well written and hits such a specific tone. When you listen to it you can’t help but feel like you’re falling in love.
Ethos 33 consists of the members Tekh Togo (Guitar, Bass, Keys) and An Trieu (Keys). They met during a concert at Billy’s Lounge in Grand Rapids in 2011, and they were later able to make music by pulling in sounds from both of their musical backgrounds in 2021. Ethos 33 isn’t just a musical project, they also delve into fashion, film, and activism. They’re truly muti-faceted. ‘Small Hallway,’ captures an extremely personal and literal experience. In Tekh Togo’s words, “The song is about a first encounter I had seeing a woman at the opposite end of a hallway while paying my cousin a visit at her apartment complex.” The creativity from that one experience culminated into a phenomenal track, and it bodes well for the future of Ethos 33.
Written by Sage Plapp