1-O.A.K.

Part of the Bay Area's Honor Roll Crew, vocalist, songwriter, and producer Brandon McFarland, aka 1-O.A.K. (One of a Kind), learned to sing and play drums and keyboards in church, and was raised on classic gospel and soul. The Oakland native set out to stick strictly to beatmaking -- he intended to save his singing for the church -- but he eased into doing both at once. After he was featured on tracks by the likes of J. Stalin ("My Mind," "When the Club Over"), Philthy Rich ("That's the Love"), and Teedra Moses ("So Special"), he released Special Request. One of the finest R&B albums of 2012, McFarland wrote, produced, and arranged the whole thing with some help from executive producers DJ Tap.10 and WhizWard, as well as Trackademics, among others. Near the end of that year, he and Trackademics collaborated as 2 Player Co-Op and released an imaginative EP featuring covers of songs originally recorded by the Smiths, LCD Soundsystem, Wham!, Go West, and the Cure. In early 2013, McFarland issued a deluxe edition of Special Request with a handful of bonus cuts. That May, he was featured on Zo!'s ManMade album. ~ Andy Kellman

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