The year: 2003
The venue: The Canyon Club at the old Bronco Bowl
The Headliner: Tony Lucca of Mickey Mouse Club Fame, pre-The Voice days
The Opening Act: An unknown foursome called The Formula from Dallas, Texas
The crowd’s energy rose to a frenzy in anticipation of the start of what appeared to be a fabulous show! The Headliner was Mr. Tony Lucca, who had gained a large following throughout the USA,and around the world,as a member of the New Mickey Mouse Club. He had starred and toured with a number of budding superstars like Christina Aguilera, Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake, just to name a few. The lowest position on the bill was held by a four-man band from the home city who had barely scratched the surface of their potential, but were hungry to advertise the fact that they belonged. It didn’t make any difference to the guys that they were the opening act. They just wanted a chance to entertain the growing crowd.The Emcee took the stage, creating more of a frenzy as young girls beamed and buzzed with excitement! He eloquently expressed gratitude on behalf of Mr. Lucca, then ushered in the opening act called The Formula.
The first of the four members to take the stage was Craig Bradley. Known as the Incredible Sound Machine, or ISMfor short, Craig was considered the heart and soul of The Formula,and the creative force behind some of the group’s dynamic hooks. He’s a talented impressionist, singer, rapper and beat-boxer, driven by the history of his experiences as an Entertainer for over 25 years. Craig walked out on stage wearing an authentic, navy blue, Michigan Wolverines, Elvis Grbac #18jersey, and a pair of loose-fitting jeans. No one knew what he was going to do, not even his band mates. Nonetheless, ISM was poised to deliver. Without saying a word he grabbed the nearest microphone and began by ordering the crowd to clap their hands. As the claps built to a crescendo, ISM’s inner Jam Box exploded through the monitors. He commenced to summoning the remaining members of the group,one by one,as only he could. He altered his voice by tapping his hand across his throat and making it sound like a robot’s.
“Rhyno!” he called while continuing his a cappella, Beat box. Ryan Bedell entered the stage wearing an authentic, maroon and white, Texas A&M home jersey that had been worn by his best friend, Brandon Fells, who passed away a few years before the performance. He also wore loose-fitting jeans.Ryan has since changed his name to Chef B. He’s an Executive Sous Chef for Maggiano’s Little Italy in Plano, Texas by day, and a full-blown Beat Slayer by night. He busted out of his shell as an aspiring artist when he made his debut on The Formula’s song,Full Throttle, that same year. The Canyon Club show was his third live performance, but he was ready to ignite the crowd. The fans he brought from Grapevine and Colleyville erupted when he hit the stage!
“5Double – O!” ISM continued his summoning by calling for the talented Producer/Emcee, Travis Wallace. Travis entered the stage wearing an authentic, bright red, UNLV, Randall Cunningham jersey, and loose-fitting jeans. Known to his fans as 5DoubleO, Travis started spinning on decks with vinyl in 1990 as a Breaks/Techno D.J. in Dallas. He built his first digital audio workstation in 1997, which led to gradual growth in production and editing. His smile was infectious as he stormed the stage with ridiculous vigor and excitement! He was electric! The crowd appreciated the energy he displayed!
“Pro Found!” ISM called for the last member of the group. The full-figured emcee, baritone, and Beat Rider, Mark Evans entered the stage wearing an authentic, burnt-orange, University of Texas Longhorns, Chris Simms #12 jersey, and his own unique brand of loose-fitting jeans. The highlight of his outfit was a pair of Adidas Shell Toes with shiny, burnt-orange stripes. Mark had assumed the moniker, Profound, in the early 90’s, where he honed his rhyme skills while hobnobbing in the D/FW hip-hop scene with the likes of Robbie Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice), Sons of Sol (Ben Rogers, Jeff Skin Wade and Rob Rob LoveBenson), Mad Flava, and Deion Erotic D. Gabriel. He had been rocking stages for over a decade and he was prepared to smash this one.
Once Profound hit the stage, ISM closed his beat box and the group readied themselves for what would prove to be their most beautiful performance to date. They dazzled the crowd during their two-song set, leaving them starving for more. The Formula opened with their ode to the starving artist,Success. As the beat kicked in, Profound made his way to a nearby monitor and placed one foot on top of it. He began his rhyme by saying, “From the Dark Age to the airwaves, I craved to be on stage!” It was on from there! The foursome delivered rhyme after rhyme, while engaging the small crowd with the accompaniment of the soulful hook! “Success! Success! We strive to be the best! Success! Success! Blessed wit beats to battle stress!”
They closed the show with an upbeattune called Full Throttle, giving the onlookers a reason to continue the frenzy that had been boiling inside them throughout the entire night.The beat dropped, and ISM was again, center stage! He stood before the audience flailing his arms and moving his feet while singing, “Full Throttle! Turn the nozzle on the bottle! Let’s Roll! This Formula’s laced wit soul! True Emcees wit mic contro-o-ol!” There wasn’t a body in the building that wasn’t moving! Everyone had caught the bug of The Formula,including Tony Lucca himself! Unfortunately, that performance was twelve years ago.
The decision for The Formula to disappear into obscurity was a surprise to all of their fans and family members. 5DoubleO had grown weary of the members’ personal struggles; citing stress and inexperience as reasons to pull the plug. Fast-forward to the present day, and the group is back together again. In the summer of 2014, a conversation between 5DoubleO and Profound led to a reconciliation of The Formula. Soon they were back in the studio writing and recording with ISMand Chef B. The most impressive characteristic of the re-formed group is maturity. Each of the members have experienced tremendous growth as individuals. Travis is now the father of three. Ryan is the father of two. Craig has a biological son who is a young, adult and two step-sons. Mark is also a step-father of two.
The Formula was originallyformed on Super Bowl Sunday, January 26th 2003. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders were on Travis’s TV set in the studio while the four, budding stars constructed their first recording. It was a spirited introduction to the quartet called Full Throttlethat featured the vocals of Incredible Sound Machine on a catchy hook. They followed that song with a historical tell-all called Success. The songs were released on compact disc in a two-song, EP (Self-Titled) format, later that year. The Formula rose to local stardom after several performances in the Deep Ellum, hip-hop scene at clubs like The Galaxy Club, Sand Bar, and many others.
Now re-invigorated and re-focused, the group is hard at work on their first full-length LP, infectiously titled,Mixed Signals. The album truly showcases the unique styles of each member, highlighted by appearances from Travis’s ten year old daughter, Kylee, Mark’s nineteen year old step-daughter, Jennessa Hoppert, and local Crooner, Sterling Masters. Their music is a multicultural blend of Hip-Hop, R&B and Pop that incorporates the working class mentality, suburban swagger, cerebral intelligence, and country grammatical expression over Mr. Wallace’s electronically melodic beats. Their mission is to uplift and engagetheir fan base by producing and releasing lyrically powerful, hip-hop driven musicthat inspires and ignites the human spirit. They believe their reunion will allow them to achieve the greatness they felt they were destined for from the beginning.