Meet Philly’s Own Velvet Rouge, MMR’s Local Shots Artist of the Month.
In 2016, Gina Castanzo was featured on NBC’s The Voice, where she sang Andrew McMahon’s Cecilia and the Satellite. Only seventeen years old at the time, her performance granted her a spot on Team Blake for the show’s tenth season. After The Voice, Gina set off on a journey with the local label Raw Life Records under her new name, Gina Zo. She released two albums: My Weakness and Free Your Soul.
Gina is currently the lead singer of the band Velvet Rouge and has performed at an eclectic mix of Philly’s music venues including a sold-out show at Kung Fu Necktie, MilkBoy, World Café Live, Bourbon and Branch, The Fire, and Voltage Lounge. Gina Zo describes the sound as “if Florence Welch had a love child with Stevie Nicks”. Joining Gina on stage are Buddy Mazzenga, Joe McEnany, and introducing Andrew Amado.
Mazzenga, a veteran Philly drummer, has circulated the Northeast music scene over the past 15 years with The National Rifle, Bondage & Discipline, and Sad Heaven. Amado, a Philly bassist played in local band,The Cultour. McEnany, originally found on Craigslist by Zo, can always be seen with a guitar in his hands – influenced by Led Zepplin, he has brought a new edge to the band with his groovy guitar runs and as he likes to call it… “sprinkles”.
Velvet Rouge’s debut EP Dark Hallways was released in October of 2021 (under their previous alias, Zo) amassing over 30,000 plays on Spotify. In 2022, Gina Zo was inducted into the Recording Academy Philadelphia Chapter and has set out on a journey to put her mark on rock n roll.
The rest of the year is jam-packed for the Philly Gypsy Soul Rock n’ Roll band as they work on their next set of singles with Brian McTear and Amy Morrissey (War On Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, and Dr. Dog) at Miner Street Recording.
Hear the Local Shots Artist of the Month on air every Wednesday at 6:30pm! Here’s how to stream live.
Thanks to Hunter Carrico for the great photo.