For the dynamic septet known as 13 Crowns, making music is a family affair. The members of the Tongan-American band, the seven oldest siblings out of 13, are the offspring of professional musicians. Their father is Haini Wolfgramm who was the bassist in the 80’s Minnesota family band The Jets who were popular for such hits as “Crush on You” (#3 on the Billboard Hot 100), “You Got It All,” “Cross My Broken Heart,” and the #1 dance hit, “Sendin’ All My Love.” Their mother, Sarah, was a singer-songwriter for the group Blush who was signed to RCA in the ‘90s.
The ages of the members of the band range from 12 to 21. The members of the group are Nora (12 years old, drummer), Maikeli (14 years old, guitar), Abraham (15 years old, lead singer and songwriter), Tihane (16 years old, lead singer and songwriter), Isabella (18 years old, bass), Heinrich (20 years old, lead guitar), and Eve (21 years old, keyboards). Their genre of music includes Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Pop. Music artists such as The Fugees and Arrested Development and The Roots have influenced their music which is upbeat with positive messages. According to their official website, “Other touchstones include the high-energy performances of Bruno Mars, Beyonce’s larger-than-life persona, the island sounds of Bob Marley and Rihanna, the upbeat theatrics of Earth, Wind & Fire and the ska-influenced No Doubt.”
The band released its debut single “Grateful” from their upcoming five-song EP on their YouTube channel on Sunday, 10 September 2017. The song was written by Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd (Justin Bieber, Usher, 112, Chris Brown, Big Boi) and showcases the group’s ability to create strong melodies with their unique style of Top-40 Pop. The message of the song is a reminder to us all, as the band explains, “even though we go through challenges and difficulties, we can rise up, become stronger for it, and in the long run, be grateful for what we’ve learned and overcome.” The EP will be released on independent label H&S Records (distributed through Sony/RED) this winter. It was recorded at the famed Record Plant and Westlake Studios in Hollywood. The production team was comprised of The Audibles – Dominic “DJ Mecca” Jordan and James “Jimmy G” Giannos (Justin Bieber, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, Chris Brown, The Weeknd, Young Jeezy, Trey Songz, Drake, Ciara, and Rihanna), and Poo Bear.
The first two singles from the EP, “Grateful,” a pop-soul anthem that speaks of family unity, and the upbeat dance-floor hit, “Together We Stand,” which offers a message of unity, were written by Poo Bear. Tihane wrote “Rise,” a piano-driven song about achieving your goals, and “Appreciate It” which tells of the journey and sacrifices they’ve made to get to this point in their careers. The song “Only You” was co-written by Tihane and Abraham, and spotlights the duo’s awesome harmonies.
The story of the 13 Crowns is awe-inspiring – almost like a made-for-TV movie. According to the About Us page on their official website, when Poo Bear heard their story, he said, “Where’s the camera crew? This is history in the making.”
The oldest members always aspired of following in their parents’ footsteps. Eve commented, “It means something to grow up in a home where platinum records hang on the walls. We were on the road as little kids seeing our dad play shows and travel, and that’s what we wanted to do, too.” And so, the musical journey began in 2006 when their dad purchased instruments and taught them how to play. Plenty of woodshedding, practice and live performances helped them hone their craft.
About their music, Tihane remarked, “We really enjoy playing for people our own age. They can relate to our music and message.” And about the band’s name, Abraham said, “We hope that everyone will recognize, under the surface, we are all royal in our own way and each of us wears a crown.”
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Sarah Wolfgramm, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been named 2018 California Mother of the Year by the California chapter of American Mothers Inc., for her work with families. She hails from Upland, California, a city in San Bernardino...