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3) Well, that's another hard question. I think that it's always good to have a weirdo held up in a room alone with a laptop and their favorite songs for a few years (i.e., Soulja Boy or Beirut), but exchange and exposure helps people avoid clichés and stop being repetitive as hell. So I'd say a good dose of both. I say do your thing on your own for awhile, develop where you stand, but never be afraid to get out there and absorb and share.
Visual artist and booking agent for Lenny's Bar, one of Atlanta's premier dives that offers its stage to both rock and hip-hop acts.
1) I like to bring cross-promotions into Atlanta. I think it's important that the scene integrate because we still live in a culture and society that has racial divisions. Our schools, neighborhoods, and yes, our venues and churches, remain sadly separated. It's important to the dream that was founded by our city's greatest heroes, [such as] Martin Luther King Jr., that Atlanta be a place where integration begins.
2) I like to think art. As a small booking agent I do my part to make cross-collaborations happen. Commerce is possibly the last thing on my mind. I think on a larger level. Commerce keeps racial division up and promotes division. If people from the rock and hip-hop scenes can forget egos and price points, and focus on art and music, the better off the scene in Atlanta will be.
3) I always believed strongly that the scene should be open to all people from every musical background, race, sexual orientation and creed. It's important that Atlanta be a global village. In that way we can truly bring something new and amazing to the city and then to the world.
Production credits include Janelle Monae's Metropolis, OutKast and Big Boi's upcoming solo album. Their own sound is more punk than funk. The first suite, Runaway Radio, is due this fall.
1) Ultimately, genres are created by people that like to categorize things. I don't give a damn – and no one gives a damn – about genres as long as your music's jamming. We just love great music. And we love the future. And that leads us to be brave and to keep searching. You know, there's so many great sounds left to discover.
2) Art, definitely. Commerce isn't strong enough now. No one's making any money off music. So artists are finally free to be themselves. You might as well take the risk to try something new, invent something different than what's on the radio because the radio's not guaranteed to sell you any records. Artists are truly listening to the times. And the times sound like an iPod on shuffle.
3) We just had an artists' summit at Wondaland. It was real inspiring. And we can't wait to do another one. We must have had 60 people there: everyone from Tendaberry and Jaspects to Proton and Hollyweerd. Just talking, planning. It was all about helping each other actively develop a scene that we can all be proud of. That said, to truly innovate sometimes you have to create alone. We basically pulled away from everyone to co-found the Wondaland Arts Society and do Janelle Monáe's first suite. It's like Apple; sometimes you have to build the hardware and software yourself to get it right.
Mutant hip-hop luminary Zano blurs the lines between jazz, noise, funk and rock with freewheelin' and experimental flare.
1) Money. Personal interests and personal tastes. There's always been a connection between hip-hop and punk that's been overlooked. If you look at the early days, back in New York there was a lot of cross-pollination happening with folks like Afrika Bambaataa and all of the early folks, Cold Cut, Grand Master Flash and the rest of the downtown crew.
2) Everything in this society is driven by commerce. But from the artists themselves, it's usually art. Because everybody wants to make something that sounds good and different.
3) A gated global apartment complex where people can go out to the court and hang out at the swimming pool and mix and get ideas and then go back to their apartments and do their singular things, and go back and forth. The village and the model both have their strengths, but they also have some pretty significant weaknesses.
He's Mathis when playing drums with local indie rockers the Selmanaires. But when crafting the polyrhythmic funk of Noot d' Noot, his alter ego Bimbi "Smoofus" Thomas takes over.
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