Meet "Do the Jingle" Finalist Earl Wang and the Pokechop XXXPress

Earl has been writing songs for 12 years, and his band has been together almost as long. Coming out of Houston, TX, they’ve been touring the Lonestar state and working hard to build their fan base. And the next step? Competing to win SafeAuto’s latest Do the Jingle contest!

At the center of the band is the frontman himself, Earl. For ten years, Earl’s been playing a variety of instruments: piano, harmonica, juice harp, and synthesizer, not to mention singing. He got into music shortly after getting married by picking up a harmonica at a thrift store and teaching himself to play. Earl made it a point to learn music theory, “I wanted know how people ‘smarter than me’ thought how they knew what they were doing.” Earl has tried everything in music, including a short stretch in a rap group, the Conquistadors, that was actually key in forming his band and leading them to Do the Jingle.

The band came together when Earl quit the Conquistadors, thinking that he wanted to do everything, but especially work as a songwriter and composer. He realized that he needed some eclectic people for his eclectic style. Ed, the drummer, and Earl knew each other from the music scene. But to get Ed, Earl needed a guitarist.

So Earl wrote dozens of songs on the piano, and toured until he got the attention of Chris Barnes, his guitarist. With that, Ed was on board. As for the bassist, who sadly couldn’t make the video, Earl recruited him from his hip-hop past.

So how did the band’s unique name come to be? “Earl Wang” is a pseudonym that comes from a harmonica manufacturer out of Korea, and Earl’s middle name. Earl hung onto the handle from his time in rap. Poke Chop XXXPress came from none other than the cult classic “Big Trouble in Little China.” Jack Burton’s ride, “The Pork Chop Express”, was already trademarked, so Earl made it just a little saucier and more Texan.

Earl defines his style as “across the board,” and has experimented with everything from country to reggae.

So what brought them to SafeAuto’s Do The Jingle? Their old producer, Chris Crunk, from the Conquistadors knew that Earl was interested in songwriting and jingles, and heard about the contest through Houston Press. He passed it on that SafeAuto was looking for musicians across the country, and Earl jumped at the chance.

Earl loves jingles for a simple reason, he jokes: “They pay you to write a one minute song that everybody is going to hear!” In other words, it gives a musician a reward that’s hard for them to find: a wide audience. “Knowing that people listen to this makes you want to try harder, to do more to reach people. It takes a lot of discipline to write a song to be catchy, you have to be a really good musician.”

Remember: voting for Do The Jingle opens January 2nd, 2012, and runs through February 29th, 2012. Acts from across the country have submitted their videos for your consideration, so take a moment and look through to see who you think should Do the Jingle! Click here to cast your ballot!

*THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED*

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