We first talked with musician Jeff Grant in 2014 about making music and running his record label. However, since that time, Jeff has gone on to co-found the Hopscotch Coffee shop in Bloomington, Indiana, and become a father. So I called up Jeff to find out more about his business, and life as a musician, business owner, and father.
This episode is with BCMusic1st. BC is a multi-talented artist, a hip hop artist, who, with his traditional undertanding of hip-hop, has addapted his life to mold into the traditional four elements of hip hop. As both a musician, and a videographer, he brings a ton of creativity to the table and his work can be seen and heard in many of the releases coming out of the Richmond hip hop community. So today, we talk with BC about how he approaches each art, his history in making culture, and how he approaches these things not only as a rap fan, but also as a father.
For a while now, Andrew Clarke has been the co-owner of 821 Cafe, a unique, and popular restaraunt here in Richmond. I say uniqe, because it is one of the few places in the city that has such a divere crowd. You will see a family, next to a punk rocker, next to a VCU student, next to a bar regular. And the place gets busy. So I wanted to talk to Andrew, who I met growing up, and who I played in a band with when I was younger, about how he got into the food business, why he decided to do the cafe, and what’s it like running such a busy thing as both a parent and musician.
Tim Towslee has lead an interesting life, from working at record stores, to roadeying for touring bands, to learning other trades like barbering, or working at a tattoo shop. But it was his drive for learning, and his realization of the issues in the public education system that drove him to what he spends most of his time on, teaching. In this episode, we talk with Tim about how he got into punk culture, how he decided to become a teacher, how the process of developing knowledge occurs in the school system, and I get his thoughts on things like attention in a social media culture, and on the rise of ‘alternative facts’. This was definetly just a sliver of what Tim and I can talk about, and I plan on having him back in the future for a part two.
For some folks, punk rock is more than a genre, it’s their way of life. For the past twenty years, that calling, to make music, do things yourself, and connect with a community has been heard by todays guest, freeman martin. As the singer in a number of bands, and as a tattoo artist, freeman has left his mark on a lot of things in richmond. But also, he’s a collector of these things. So I was excited to get to talk with him, about making music, culture, and life, which threw him a curveball three years ago, to which he took that punk attitude and overcame. Freeman can be found tattoing at Saunders Tattoo, and you can hear his latest band, park sparrows, at parksparrows.bandcamp.com.
Since the 2000s, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been gaining a popularity in the united states at an increasing speed. Today, you can find Gyms that specialize in Jiu-Jitsu with realtive ease. But it hasn’t always been that way. Andrew Smith was one of the folks that this art caught on with, and over the past decade he has been working to become both a highly skilled practioner, as well as, a teacher of the craft, through his Richmond Virginia-based Gym, Revolution BJJ.
For many years now, World of Mirth has been an iconic part of the Carytown neighborhood, here in Richmond, Virginia. packed full of curiosities for minds of all ages, it’s existence has brought both continued life to Carytown, and excitement to any whom enter it’s location. And For the past decade of it’s existence, Thea Brown has been the woman charged with keeping those shelves stocked with fun and unique items, as well as managing it’s day to day operations. In this episode we will talk with Thea about how she got involved with world of mirth, what she looks for in finding the products that make up the stores inventory, and keeping up the legacy the store earned, after the passing of it’s founder, Kathryn Harvey.
Gritty City records was started in 2011, by emcee, recording engineer, and label owner, Jono aka Johnny Cigs, as a place to make music for him and his friends. Part record label, part recording studio, over the past six years, Jono has led the Girtty City label on to release over 25 albums, and double that in singles, bringing their brand of hip hop to market, and representing a community of producers and emcees here in the City of Richmond.
When I first heard Fan, it was because he had contributed a verse to a song I had done with label mate, Ben FM. I was floored by the verse. Not because of the technicality of it, and not because he had the best worldplay, though his wordplay is good. But rather, because it had some special quality. A very special quality. After talking with him today, I realize that quality is what you call ‘soul’. Fan raps effortlessly. And his rhyme style is much like his beat production: There’s very little polish, but you can tell it’s done by a professional. Couple this with the first time I met him in person, he was wearing a Dead Kennedys shirt, and well, I’m stuck on being a big fan of his work. You can pick up his full length ‘loose bowels’ from Gritty City’s bandcamp. And if you scan their catalog, you find verses from him all over it. To keep up with his latest offerings, you can follow him on both instagram, and facebook.
Todays interview is with Abby Davis. Abby is a creative, but you could also call her an artist, craft maker, musician, and teacher, to name a few things. She documents her craft works on her blog, Crafty Lady Abby, teaches classes for Richmond’s ART 180, and sings with the space-punk band, League Of Space Pirates. I had a great time talking with Abby and learning about how she approaches life and making things, as well as diving into her views on the world around us.