The Road to [Re]MEMBA: Vanlife to MEMBA Concert

Have you ever looked at a festival lineup and thought,”OMG, ‘So and So’ are going to perform here, I NEED TO GO!” Well, that’s exactly what happened when my girlfriend, Reina, and I saw the lineup for Okeechobee Music Festival. Who was this excitement for exactly? The up-and-coming duo of MEMBA. Made up of New York-based producers, Ishaan Chaundhary and Will Curry, they work up some ancient, tribal beats and some fat bass that are for sure to get you grooving and dancing. After listening to their music and really enjoying every song, we knew we needed to see them live. However, with us living in Arizona and getting ready to start our van-life journey, and with Okeechobee being on the other side of the country, we knew it would be no easy task to see them. 

With the beginning of van life on the horizon for us, we had to review our finances, our work/daily schedules, and begin the process of moving out of our apartment. As a famous wook once said, “If there is a will, there is a way,” and we were determined to turn this dream into reality.

After countless hours of going over different flight options, transportation to and from the festival and the airport, and different camping options, we decided to prioritize our van life dream. We even considered going to a show or festival on their tour closer to Arizona, but it just wasn’t possible. Devastated by this decision, we kept our spirits up by reminding ourselves that once we had our van, we would be able to attend almost any festival or show that we chose. 

One hot, sunny Arizona morning, Reina saw that MEMBA announced their “The Inevitable End” tour. Bursting with excitement we scanned through tour dates and locations, hoping they booked a spot along our van life route that we had curated. There were no shows booked for Arizona, but we did see a listing for Portland, Oregon. 


Photo of us and our van, Beep, at the RV Park in Portland

Which was one of our stops! We didn’t hesitate to sign up for the presale because we knew that this was definitely going to be our time. Now all we had to do was buy the tickets and countdown until the day arrived. 

So why the excitement and huge urge to see MEMBA? Besides being music producers they also identify as “experience designers,” in which they definitely portray in their high energy. The first song that Reina introduced to me was “Vexed” featuring Wide Awake and Xo Man. The unique drum sound design and groovy Middle Eastern influence is what caught my attention and I was instantly hooked. The Netflix Film of “Black Sunshine Baby” is about Ishaan Chaundhary’s little sister and her life as a motivational speaker at the age of 18 before passing away from a battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. The film features a song produced by MEMBA called “For Aisha“. The song is MEMBA’s Number One hit with over 32 million streams on Spotify. Every song that they produce is so unique and different from each other, but with similar vibes. 

Schools Out” is another certified banger along with “Say Less“, and my favorite at the moment “Thru The Ceiling” featuring Elohim. Their most recent release, “Fight or Flight“, is a collaboration with renowned DJ and producer Alison Wonderland. Along the course of our road trip, we would listen to all their bangers and one of their mixes from SoundCloud, play different playlists on Spotify, and sing out loud because who doesn’t love singing in the car while on a road trip? 


Photo of MEMBA performing at 45 East 

The day of the show was filled with anticipation and we just couldn’t wait to be immersed in the experience. We enjoyed the first half of the day by checking in to our spot at the RV Park. We visited some Portland favorites, such as Salt and Straw, a well known ice cream place with insane and unusual flavors and snagged a beer and burger at Loyal Legion

At around 9:30 p.m. we arrived at the venue 45 East. At first glance, it was definitely a new club set up for both Reina and me. There were extensive LED panels stretching across the roof, a second floor featuring a different DJ, and an outside seating area. There was also a bar on each floor making it easy to grab a drink. The show was kicked off with Trap artist Fabian Mazur, followed by UK legend, Tisoki, who brought in his variety of melody driven dubstep and dance music. As the show progressed, the venue filled with ravers and fellow partiers. We made our way to the front to get a clear view of the duo and to feel the massive subwoofers shaking the building. 

As all the lights went out, a dark screen was filled with an entity explaining how the music would possibly form a connection between the crowd and MEMBA themselves. The build up grew bigger and bigger and the entity’s voice grew louder and louder until the duo made their special appearance and the crowd exploded with screams as the first drop filled the air and walls with powerful. 


Photo of Ishaan Chaudhary, Reina, and I at the MEMBA show

The music began to bring out our feral side as we sang and danced our hearts out to the wonderful and powerful beats of MEMBA music. About halfway through the set, the music stopped and Ishaan went to the front of the stage, microphone in hand and started talking to the crowd. He said: “At MEMBA shows you are free. You are free to be anyone you want to be. You are free to move however you want to move, the weirder the better, and if guys go extra hard you get rewarded.” As he said that, he got closer to our area and explained how he had been looking at us all night. As he finished his sentence, he pointed at me and asked what my name was. I was in SHOCK and started yelling my name, Leo, like a madman! He pulled out a MEMBA bucket hat and said: “You cannot buy this, you have to earn it, and tonight you have earned it my friend.” He leaned into the crowd, gave me the bucket hat, gave me a hug and told me that I was a “beast”. I had no words, filled with adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. That moment will forever live in my brain, rent free. 


Photo of me in my MEMBA hat after the show 

At the conclusion of the show, we decided to stay behind to try and talk to the duo and luckily for us, they came out into the crowd to take pictures and talk with fans. They came up to us and instantly I started talking about how we LOVE their music. Reina mentioned our journey in the van and how we couldn’t see them at Okeechobee; their faces lit up with shock and happiness. They told us that they really appreciated us for going through all of that just to go see them. The whole situation was just and unforgettable, full circle moment from thinking that we wouldn’t get to see them, to getting to meet them in person. Life works in mysterious ways, but if you truly want something and work for it, the universe will do everything in its power to reward you. 

Photo of me, Reina, and MEMBA

– Leo (@vanliferavers)

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