When alumni Sam Miller and Ryan Hauldren met freshman year through Ohio State’s Freestyle Rap and BeatBox Club, they had no idea they would become the high-energy, six-piece band Fortune Orange.
The two began working on music together, united by their love of rap, until their junior year when Miller was tasked with creating a song for his final project in Music 5638: Audio Recording Lab.
Miller and Hauldren then joined forces with blues-trained guitarist Jacob Kohoot and keyboardist Pat Jennings, who are also recent alumni, as well as bassist Drew Basile. The five then recorded their first song: “Resonate.”
“I think our whole entire goal for Fortune Orange has been to kind of blend [Miller and Hauldren’s] love of rap, all of our love of pop and try to integrate some of our blues and funk stuff into one big melting pot,” Kohoot said.
The group has dubbed its melting pot genre “funk-hop” and cites Anderson Paak as one of its biggest influences.
Hauldren said the improvisational aspect of blues and rap continue to play a major role in the group’s writing process.
“It’s usually music first, and that sets the vibe for what the song will become,” Kohoot said. The music is often followed by Hauldren and Smith freestyling.
In the coming weeks, the group plans to release a three-song EP, which will be followed by a string of the group’s latest singles. Born in an extra-bedroom-turned-recording-studio in a house shared by some of the band’s members, the singles also will feature the group’s new drummer Terron Howell.
When the Ohio State alumni aren’t making music, they’re busy working a variety jobs, whether it be Basile’s career in medical imaging, Miller’s new job as an electrical engineer or Jenning’s work as a mortgage banker.
But despite their day jobs, the members of Fortune Orange said they always find time to meet up at 4th Street Bar and Grill.
“We’re totally friends before the band,” Hauldren said. “It’s awesome because it brings a chemistry and a willingness to want to work and meet up with each other.”
Fortune Orange will be performing at Skully’s Music-Diner at 1151 N. High St. on March 4 as part of the Rock In Columbus show. Tickets are $10.