“I wrote these songs as a black man making rock ‘n’ roll in America,” proclaims Bluphoria’s lead vocalist and guitarist Reign LaFreniere. “Rock ‘n’ roll started as a black art pioneered by black men and women. I’m taking my people’s music back. We’re reframing it together in our way. The rhythm is the focal point. The blues is in there. Rock ‘n’ roll is definitely not dying.”
LaFreniere, 23, along with Dakota Landrum [20, rhythm guitar, background vocals], Rex Wolf [22, bass, background vocals], and Mia Roth [22, drums, background vocals] who replaced Dani Janae in December of 2023: Bluphoria is a rare collective who have figured out early on in their career how to combine rock, blues, alternative, pop, and psychedelia into a kaleidoscopic signature style of their own design. After spending two years amassing hundreds of thousands of streams independently and packing houses in the Pacific Northwest, the band took to the studio to pay homage to the past, while paving a path for the future and produced their 2022 self-titled full-length debut for EDGEOUT Records.
LaFreniere grew up in Northern California and attended art school in San Francisco. By the time he was in eighth grade, he was playing guitar. Under the influence of Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Sam Cooke, James Brown, and Pink Floyd, he carefully developed his chops as a songwriter and guitarist throughout high school. In 2019 he moved to Eugene to study film at the University of Oregon. Along with film school, Reign planned to form a band during his first year at school.
One weekend during his sophomore year at school, LaFreniere met Landrum, another University of Oregon student, at a party they were both attending. “He was the only other black guy in the area,” smiles LaFreniere. “He told me he was a sophomore, but he was only 17!” He also met the band’s original drummer at the same party. Wolf, a music major at the University of Oregon, and LaFreniere met through Instagram. The wheels were in motion. LaFreniere’s plan to form a band was unfolding. Inspired by a vibrant and sultry dream, he dubbed the project “Bluphoria.”
Bluphoria released their debut EP Alone, and double A-side Landfills & Bottlecaps (featuring the songs “Something More” and “Conscientious Debauchery”) as well as their single “Kaleidoscope” all of which helped the band to gain palpable traction on streaming platforms. Simultaneously, Bluphoria was playing packed out house shows with fans showing up by the hundreds. Then, in 2020, they started live-streaming their shows, but never missed a beat with their fans, always leaving audiences awe-stricken and hungry for more.
By chance, an EDGEOUT Records intern was at one of the famed house shows which ultimately led to the band signing to EDGEOUT / UME / UMG in January of 2021. Shortly thereafter, the band entered into EDGEOUT’s development program – “THE STUDIO” – where they wrote new material that embraced their unique sound while also learning the ins and outs of what’s needed to be a successful and well-rounded artist in the music business.
While in development, the band found themselves misaligned with their drummer which led them to part ways. Since the band was actively recording new material, he agreed to help find and train his replacement – Janae joined as the band’s new drummer and only female member.
In January 2022, the group drove across the country from Oregon to Tennessee to record their debut album with GRAMMY award-winning producer Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Fleetwood Mac) at East Iris Studios in Berry Hill, as well as at Needham’s personal Nashville Studio.
“The second we stepped into the studio, we could feel the years of experience Mark brought to the table,” LaFreniere said. “He helped us be better musicians. We got locked in. Everyone was on the same page.”
Following the band’s time recording in Nashville, they were invited to perform at #HAPPENS in Las Vegas as part of the EDGEOUT Records showcase where they played for hundreds of radio programmers, and tastemakers. Bluphoria’s first single under EDGEOUT/UME/UMG, titled ‘Set Me Up,’ was released on August 19, 2022. The band has since had three additional single releases, “Walk Through The Fire” on October 21, 2022, a festive original holiday single titled “When The Snow Falls (December 2022) and most recently released “Ain’t Got Me” on January 27, 2023.
The band continues to play a string of localized shows in their new home of Nashville, TN – while garnering a hefty amount of press attention in the process. With a recent televised news appearance on Today In Nashville on January 27, 2023 – as well as press mentions from Backward Noise, GLIDE, Guitar World and many more.
“For lovers of The Killers, Cage the Elephant, and Catfish and the Bottleman, Bluphoria should be the next band on your new music radar.”
– Backward Noise
The band is on track for another single, titled “Columbia,” was released March 31, 2023. The bands energetic and poignant debut record debuted on May 5, 2023.
You can currently catch Bluphoria on a nationwide tour from October to Mid-November 2023! Check out the ‘Tour” page for dates and tickets in your city!