FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 17, 2022

Contact: Pierre A. Evans
Media/PR Director
The Corbett Music Group
Contact: pierreevans@hotmail.com


The Corbett Music Group presents the timely release of

“The Bell Tolls for You”

A poignant and profound social justice song featuring the rich and powerful voice of singer/actor/producer J.D. Wesley

VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwiShOzKJ-o&list=RDMwiShOzKJ-o&start_radio=1



In the spirit of remembering and celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, the release of this song couldn’t be at a more perfect time, when the world is going thru racial uprisings and tensions, as well as the threat to OUR voting rights. “Lyrically speaking, “The Bell Tolls for You” speaks to the socio-economic injustices and marginalization of people of color. It also shines a spotlight on those souls “we lost along the way” and ends with the important issue of voting, because “The Bell Tolls for You”, says Corbett.

Tyrone Corbett is a singer, songwriter, producer, engineer and the owner of The Corbett Music Group. Corbett is not new to the entertainment industry which has drawn the attention of industry luminaries including Babyface. Tyrone has worked with artists from mega shows including American Idol, The Voice, and Diddy and DJ Khaled’s TV show The Four.

Corbett’s latest release “The Bell Tolls for You” is a timely, poignant and profound social justice song written by Tyrone Corbett, Clarence Penn and Joseph Guida. The vocals are provided by dynamic singer/actor/producer J.D. Wesley, whose impressive vocal abilities are not only powerful, but heartfelt and soul-stirring.

Corbett says, “Making this video was inspirational, but also emotionally draining, due to the subject matter. From the moments I wrote the lyrics, I knew the song was special. One of the most affirming moments happened when we were filming in NYC @Union Station and a crowd gathered. People were applauding, cheering and crying. The people were young, old, Black, White and Hispanic. That’s when I knew that it was impactful to others, as it was to me.” In less than four weeks, the YouTube video has been viewed and experienced by almost 13K souls.

YOUTUBE VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwiShOzKJ-o&list=RDMwiShOzKJ-o&start_radio=1

PURCHASE LINK: https://music.apple.com/album/1598058724?app=itunes&ls=1

“The Bell Tolls for You” is available at on ALL platforms and can be purchased online on all music platform sites including https://music.apple.com/album/1598058724?app=itunes&ls=1

# # #

 

THE BELL TOLLS FOR YOU Video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwiShOzKJ-o&t=2s

Tyrone Corbett is a songwriter, producer, engineer, videographer and owner of The Corbett Music Group.

Corbett is not new to the entertainment industry and has worn many hats over the years. He started as a background singer and has worked with some of the industries finest artists in the Smooth Jazz genre. Corbett has worked with:

Gerald Albright, Norman Brown, Will Downing, Lalah Hathaway and many others.

While Corbett has worked as a background singer with many Smooth Jazz giants, he is also known for working as a songwriter/producer and has a catalog of songs which cover all genres. He’s worked in Pop, R&B, Gospel and Country. Corbett has also worked with artists signed to major and independent labels, including Clive Davis’s coveted, J Records.

Corbett’s work has drawn the attention of industry luminaries, Babyface, Daryl Simmons, Carole Bayer Sager, as well as David Foster. Carole Bayer Sager said, “Tyrone’s work shows massive talent”.

Additionally, Corbett has worked with artists from American Idol, The Voice, and Diddy & DJ Khaled’s TV show, The Four”.

Some of Corbett’s diverse work includes awards for a Grammy winning album as a background singer and a Billboard #1 record as a recording engineer.

Corbett’s latest release, “The Bell Tolls for You” is a poignant and profound social justice song written by Tyrone Corbett, Clarence Penn and Joseph Guida. Penn and Guida have both been long time collaborators with Corbett. The vocals are provided by dynamic singer, J.D. Wesley who’s impressive vocal abilities are not only powerful, but impassioned and earnest as well.

THE BELL TOLLS FOR YOU Video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwiShOzKJ-o&t=2s

Lyrically speaking, “The Bell Tolls for You” speaks to the socioeconomic injustices and marginalization of people of color. It also shines a spotlight on those “We’ve Lost Along The Way” and ends with the important issue of voting because “The Bell Tolls for You” says Corbett.

Corbett’s release of “The Bell Tolls for You” includes his visionary work as a burgeoning filmmaker as well. Corbett said:

“Making this video was inspirational, but also emotionally draining due to the subject matter. From the moment I wrote the lyrics, I felt the song could be special, but one of the most affirming moments happened when we were filming in NYC at Union Station and a crowd gathered. People were applauding, cheering and crying. These people were young, old, Black, White and Hispanic. That’s when I knew how impactful it was for others as it was to me.”

“The Bell Tolls for You” is available in all major online stores and streaming platforms and can purchased at:

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1598058724?ls=1&app=itunes

 

THE BELL TOLLS FOR YOU Video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwiShOzKJ-o&t=2s

Credits
Directed, Filmed and Edited by: Tyrone Corbett
Writers: Tyrone Corbett, Clarence Penn and Joseph Guida
Producers: Clarence Penn & Tyrone Corbett
Lyrics: Tyrone Corbett
All Intsrument Programming: Clarence Penn
Bass: Robert Kubiszyn
Guitar: Joseph Guida
Lead Vocals: J.D. Wesley 
Background Vocals: Ha-San Smith
Vocal Production: Tyrone Corbett 
Recording & Mixing: Tyrone Corbett
Mastering: James Cage
 
 
Tyrone CorbettThe Corbett Music Group
www.TCMG.biz
(973) 736-5400

COMMENT in the comment section below and on the YouTube link!!

Reprint of LIFETIME’s YOUTUBE video:

VIDEO PROMO HERE: http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPHFcDHJYTU

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Night one of #Janetdoc premieres Friday, January 28th at 8/7c.

The four-hour event, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Janet’s first album, Janet Jackson (1982), is set to simulcast on Lifetime and A&E, two of the flagship channels of the A+E Networks portfolio. With full, unprecedented access to the global icon, JANET is an intimate, honest and unfiltered look at her untold story. Producers Workerbee have been filming the incredible documentary for over three years and were granted exclusive access to archival footage and Janet’s never before seen home videos, along with star-studded interviews.

This will be the definitive story on Janet Jackson. One of the best-selling and highest-earning artists in music history, Janet has enjoyed immense levels of success, experienced incredible tragedy, and endured a tumultuous private life in the face of extraordinary public scrutiny. With no stone left unturned, JANET lifts the lid on her private life for the very first time and reveals some of her most intimate moments ever caught on camera.

#JanetJacksonDoc

Check out exclusive Lifetime content:
Website –https://mylt.tv/myLifetime
Facebook – https://mylt.tv/facebook
Twitter – https://mylt.tv/twitter

Lifetime® is a premier female-focused entertainment destination dedicated to providing viewers with a diverse selection of critically acclaimed and award-winning original movies, scripted dramas, and unscripted programming. A favorite and trusted network for women, we are continually building on our heritage by attracting top Hollywood talent and producing shows that are modern, sexy, exciting, daring, and provocative. Visit us at http://www.myLifetime.com for more info.

VIDEO PROMO HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPHFcDHJYTU

Photo credit: Jake Scherm

 

Originating from Chicago, Illinois, Quis Wright aka Cuee, is a hip-hop artist in Lawrence, KS. He exhibits an energetic and fun, yet smooth and motivational edge to his style of music.

One of his most meaningful steps in his evolution, has been writing more openly about his sexuality and queerness when recording. As a transgender man, Cuee manages to carve a lane where gender identity and budding artistry blend. His voice transition was an additional lane to carve.

Drawing major influence from artists such as Chance The Rapper, Kanye West, and Jay Z one could see why his storytelling essence fuses with harmonic flows.

Cuee came from a musically based family that peaked passion for music as early as middle school. Cuee began to use lyrics as a platform to speak on life’s accomplishments in a way that’ll have you repeating hooks.

Tapping into his talents, Cuee released three consecutive mixtapes, “The Evolution Of Mixtape”, “Master’s Cap”, and “Shameless”.

Cuee released a new project titled, “Gospel”.

CUEE will perform LIVE this FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17th, in Chicago, @The Point (1565 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622) with Brad Varsity, The Kid Fraze, Jared Jones and Joel Leoj!!!

21+
Doors at 7:30 PM
Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to the event is required for entry.
Face masks are required.

Cuee is hitting the road and would love to bring the ultimate experience to each city!!!

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Please tell our readers how and when you first got started in Hip Hop. What attracted you to it and when you knew you wanted to pursue it professionally?

Cuee: I grew up in a home that listened to Hip-Hop/Rap, House, Gospel and R&B. I first got into Hip Hop when I was around 10 years old, after my stepfather introduced me to some of his favorite artists at his music shop. We would listen to artists like Jay Z, Rick Ross, and Twista – I wrote my first remix to Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin’” in like fifth grade. One of the biggest things that attracted me to Hip Hop was the culture’s embodiment of storytelling on these dope beats. I wanted to be able to take my story and turn it into songs people connected with through music.

I have so many passions and have worked in a variety of places, but I knew I wanted to pursue music professionally when I started performing, and navigating the music scene in Lawrence, KS. It felt like where I needed to be.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: You were born Quis Wright in Chicago, but currently reside in Lawrence, KS. Why did you choose to relocate there and how would you describe your life in Chicago, in comparison to life in Kansas?

Cuee: I first came to Lawrence to attend The University of Kansas for college. I attended for my undergraduate and graduate degree programs before choosing to stay here to continue my music career. I would say, life in Lawrence is definitely different. It’s a huge college town and has a dope music community, so the opportunities are unique. I’ve found my place in Lawrence, my community and the support here is solid. Chicago will always be my roots. My home. I rep Chicago and I am so excited to be performing back home.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Congratulations! You recently transitioned from female to male. When did you know you wanted to transition? When did you actually transition? How did you gain the courage and confidence, and how has it affected your life?

Cuee: Now that I look back to my younger self, I was assigned an identity that was not me. All along, I knew who I was, but I didn’t have the tools to understand what I was experiencing or language to talk about it until later in life.

I started medically transitioning in 2019, but like I say in my song “I been me since the beginning.”

I have always been confident in who I am. Gaining the knowledge and community has just heightened that so much more.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Has your music changed or evolved, after your rebirth? If so, how?

Cuee: I think my music has evolved as I’ve grown as a man and an artist. Living in my truth, my purpose comes out in my writing and performance. Like I said, I am so confident in who I am, it is unmatched. I love my sound and the way my voice has changed. But most importantly, my music feels more me and that allows me to connect more to my fans through my story.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: When it comes to your music, how are you involved in the process of writing verses, music, producing beats, recording, or video shoots?

Cuee: I’m all hands in when it comes to my music. It’s a collaborative effort when it comes to producing my beats, writing, recording and shooting videos. I have a group of people who I make beats with. I have folks I write with. I have a team that supports my video productions. I’m blessed with a supportive team around me. Sometimes, it just me and a notepad or my iPhone notes app, writing on the couch. That’s where I do some of my most authentic work.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: : Have you noticed any change in the way that you are treated (negative or positive) from family, friends, the public or fans, since transitioning from female to male?

Cuee: This is a loaded question. Whew!
Answering this would require a conversation on power, patriarchy and racism. So yes, there have been changes in the way that I am treated and I’ve recognized where it comes from. Overall, I’ve receive an immense amount of support and I’m grateful for it.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: You are and will be an inspiration to many in the entertainment industry, especially those in the Hip Hop community that may be afraid or hesitant to come out of the closet or even consider full-fledge transitioning. What advice would you give someone, who’s in the industry, that may struggle with this dilemma?

Cuee: Its amazing to watch artists like Lil Nas X and Demi Lavato and many others come out and proudly proclaim who they are and then put that into their art. My advice: It can be scary, but all we have is this one life and we have to claim our voice and moment in this time. There are people out there waiting to hear your story and would love to support an artist like you. Being who you are is freeing and finding chosen family (fans) feels like freedom.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: When and where was your first performance after transitioning and how did the audience receive you?

Cuee: My first performance was in Lawrence, KS, at one of our largest venues – The Granada. It was Pride 2019 and hundreds of people in attendance. The audience was turned up! It was amazing!

Lawrence is a supportive community, a sanctuary even. It’s an honor for me to be on this journey, in that community.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: How have other Hip Hop artist accepted you? Please describe if it has been a smooth or rough transition.

Cuee: I would say I have a lot of support from other artists. After coming out, many artists have been respectful in using my pronouns and addressing with respect. Nothing really changed in the circles I run in and I love it.

 

Photo credit:  Fally Ifani, I Heart Local Music



GO BANG! MAGAZINE: You have an upcoming show here in Chicago, on Friday, December 17th @Bourbon on Division Street. How would you describe your stage performance to new fans and what can they expect at the “Cuee the Experience” concert?

Cuee: The show has been moved to the Point, their sister venue. I would describe my stage performance to new fans as an experience. I like to move, shout and really get the crowd involved. My fans can expect a show! Many of my fans in Chicago have been bumping my music since my first tape…so now, it’s time for me to bring the energy to them on the stage.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: If you had the opportunity to work with or perform with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Cuee: If I had the opportunity to work with or perform with anyone in the world, it would probably be like Missy Elliot, Chance the Rapper (performing), or Kanye. Their creativity and style is complimentary to mine and I think we would make a hit.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Go Bang! Magazine wishes you the best in your career and in your life. Is there anything that you would like to say to the public?

Cuee: Appreciate the wishes. Support goes a long way!

This world is still very violent towards people in the LGBTQ+ community. I hope that there’s a shift and push to change. Change systems, laws, and society’s hearts and minds towards folk. To my fellow trans community, I see you. I’m with you. I wish you keep creating and being.

Follow and support me on my journey – @cueemusic on all platforms

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: In conclusion, please tell our international readers what you are working on, what do you have planned for the future and when do you plan to tour again.

Cuee: I am currently working on a new album to be released 2022, along with a Summer tour, that I’ll announce in the Spring!



For touring updates visit my website: https://cueemusic.com/home

For music, follow me on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5vuWUABfGvkUxib7zgMMc6?si=efzxgKBkSpCRk3w0LZprSA

You can follow Cuee on social media:
@cueemusic (Instagram)
@cueemusic (Twitter)
@cueemusic (Facebook)

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION




Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.








Cedric “Whoa Boi” Collins, was raised in the most impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Englewood. Despite all the crime, violence and drugs that saturated his community, Whoa Boi wrapped himself in his music. At the age of seven, Whoa Boi was playing the organ and drums for his neighborhood church. This fixation and fascination for music quickly grew as Whoa Boi grew from just merely playing instruments, to producing and writing music of multiple genes.

In late August of 2013, Mr. Whoa Boi won the Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes National Championship in Miami, Florida. He went head-to-head with champions from 16 other cities nationwide performing their own original songs live and in front of a live audience. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Whoa Boi dropped his very first mixtape “Englewoodvilla”, which included his hit single “Chi Raq.”   ChiRaq is a moniker given to Chicago used to describe the violence in his hometown. The song ChiRaq received national attention. 

 



Mr. Whoa Boi, or Whoa as he’s affectionately called by friends and fans, is also the Ceo/President of his own independent label, PladBoy Entertainment Inc. He and his artist make not only music for you to dance and party to, but he also paints socially conscious portraits of life, injustice and love. The self-proclaimed voice of the voiceless, tackles matters such as black on black crime, police brutality, child abuse and a plethora of other relatable topics that are considered taboo, but many deal with in silence daily.

Mr. Whoa Boi’s talent doesn’t just stop at music, he also acts. He spent four consecutive seasons on the Emmy winning Fox television show “Empire”, where he was a core cast member playing the head of Lucious Lyons (Academy Award nominated actor Terrance Howard) security. Whoa Boi has also starred in several independent films such as: “Lil Ceaser”, “Roseland”, “The Walk of Rufus”, “A Masquerade Trapp” and Paramount Pictures/Singles Film and Music’s upcoming film “United Nations.”



In a society where we are plagued with pandemics, rumors of war and violence, it is pleasing to know that there are still artists like Mr. Whoa Boi, to not only speak our truths, but to also grant us reassurance that we can and will overcome our adversities through perseverance and love.

Get ready world… Whoa is coming!


GO BANG! Magazine: Growing up in the infamous Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, have you witnessed anything that had a major effect on you personally or professionally?

Whoa: Growing up in Englewood wasn’t for that faint at heart. I’ve literally watched family and friends murdered in front of me.

GO BANG! Magazine: Although Englewood has gained a negative reputation over the years, not everything or everyone coming from there is bad. How would you describe Englewood to someone not familiar with it, to shine a positive light on the neighborhood?

Whoa: Englewood, although it has the moniker as “the worst neighborhood in the city” when it comes to crime, is a beautiful place with beautiful family oriented people, beautiful parks, several landmarks and a host of talent.

GO BANG! Magazine: Performing as Whoa, your stage presence is magnetic. How would you describe you style, your sound and your mission?

Whoa: My style is gritty, grimy, smooth, yet melodic.



GO BANG! Magazine: You’re not only gifted on the mic, you are also a musician and producer. Please tell to our readers about your skills as a keyboardist, drummer and producer.

Whoa: Well, it all started in church, where I learned how to play the organ, drums and bass/lead guitar.


GO BANG! Magazine: Many of our readers may recognize you, from not only being a Hip Hop performer, but also from tv and the silver screen, as a regular on Fox television’s hit tv show “Empire” and several Billy Ray Valentine films. How did you get started in acting and do you have any upcoming roles that you are pursuing?

Whoa: Acting was something that kinda just fell into my lap. In 2015, I had a performance at “Tailgaters” (a popular nightclub) in Bolingbrook, Illinois. After I got off stage, I was approached by two gentlemen and a lady whom asked me if I had ever acted before and at that point I hadn’t. They took my info down and called me the next morning asking me to prepare a one minute monolog for an audition that took place the following Monday. Having no idea what a monolog was, I first researched that and chose a Samuel L. Jackson scene from the film “Pulp Fiction.” I literally drove my family crazy for the next few days rehearsing (lol.) To make a long story short, I got the part and played on the show for the next four years. It was a surreal experience that opened the door to many other great opportunities.

GO BANG! Magazine: The subject matter of your music is not the same ole same ole that we’re used to hearing. You tackle real life topics that many artists avoid. Why do you choose to tackle those topics and what do you hope to accomplish by doing so?

Whoa: I believe what cones from the heart reaches the heart, so I make sure I am aware of all socially conscious topics. Music isn’t just about partying, dancing and bobbing your head, its an outlet to reach, teach and console. Music is a universal tool. If used the right way, can change lives. So I’m extremely careful on my content.

GO BANG! Magazine: Chicago has quite a few Hip Hop artists that have made it. Who are some of the artists that inspire or motivate you, whether or not they’re from Chicago?

Whoa: Kanye West, Common, Crucial Conflict, Donny Hathaway, R. Kelly, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Rakim, Nas, DMX, Young Jeezy, Shawnna, J. Cole, to name a few.

GO BANG! Magazine: Since the Covid-19 outbreak, violence in Chicago has increased drastically in ALL neighborhoods, especially carjacking and retail theft. Why do you think that is?

Whoa: Well, whenever there’s pandemonium, there’s (gonna be) a sense of anarchy, panic, etc. So when a neighborhood is already impoverished and lacks opportunity, there’s crime, violence and chaos.

GO BANG! Magazine: The Entertainment industry can be a dog-eat-dog world, especially the music industry. What advice would you give to someone that may be thinking about entering the music industry or acting field?

Whoa: Stay true to your craft, stay to yourself and never give up. Also, educate yourself in the music business. Never leave your fate in the hands of others.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are the CEO/President of your own independent label, PladBoy Entertainment Inc.. Please tell our readers about your label and some of your artists.

Whoa: Well, PladBoy Entertainment is a melting pot of talent, that isn’t just limited to music. Incorporated in 2012, we have a slew of poised and polished talent: Julian T. Allen aka as Tha One @julianallen (Actor/Model/Singer/Emcee/Dancer), Tony Gramz @omg_its_tony (Battle rap extraordinare, emcee), Lil Whoa (Emcee/Actor/Singer) @spg_woooski, Medusa Savage @medusasavage738 (Emcee/Actor/Model), Hakeem Pittman aka Savage Pitbull (MMA/P.B.E Sports), and my business partner Joshua “J Swag” Womack. We stand firm for our artist and prepare them for the business. It’s not artist development as far as performing. We educate them on how to read contracts, in the proper way, to get music published, copywritten, etc..



GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, please tell our international readers what you are working on or have planned for the future.

Whoa: Currently, I’m filming a movie called “United Nations”, directed by Billy Ray Valentine, slated to drop Christmas of 2022. I am also working on my album “I AM LEGEND”, slated to drop first quarter of 2022. I AM LEGEND includes features from Cold Hard of the legendary Rap group Crucial Conflict and K-Ezzy Grease of the legendary group The Mercenaries. It’ll also include Tha One, Tony Grams, Lil Whoa and Medusa Savage, all members of the PladBoy Entertainment roster.

“The Walk of Rufus” drops in April of 2022, where I play Theodis Jones, younger brother of Rufus Jones. Theodis is a livewire and will pop off at the drop of a dime. In this movie, the Jones brothers are trying to go legit with their family business, but all doesn’t go as planned. If you like gangster flicks, you’ll love this. All together, I have four movies dropping in 2022.

Lastly, I’d like to thank you for this interview, especially with this being such a prestigious publication. I’d also like to thank my family and fans for being the fuel that drives my passion.


GO BANG! Magazine: You’re welcome brutha. It’s my pleasure to shine a light on you. That’s the purpose of GO BANG! Magazine!

PEACE & POWER!!!



For touring updates visit my website. https://mrwhoaboi.godaddysites.com/

For music follow me in Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5y46mq70os9Fgpd3s1nug5?si=zCpBNx8rTE-o96RG4dfIJw&utm_source=copy-link

You can follow Whoa on social media:
@mrwhoaboi (Instagram)
@gowhoaboi (twitter)


PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION




Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

 House music is the third largest music genre in the world!!!!

Here is the trailer.

https://vimeo.com/633808501

 

Black Harvest Film Festival will virtually stream The Woodstock of House November 13- December 2, 2021.

Streaming Ticket Info: 

https://watch.eventive.org/gsfc/play/6168922c7c7500030b0cfe7a

The documentary “The Woodstock of House”, a film that explores the origins of Chicago House music and its’ enduring worldwide appeal, featuring Chicago’s own The Chosen Few DJs, was selected for Chicago’s prestigious 2021 Black Harvest Film Festival and will screen in person on Thursday, November 11th @8pm and Friday, November 12th @8pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center, located in downtown Chicago!

On debut night, Thursday, November 11th, the audience will be blessed with live appearances by Writer/Director/Executive Producer/Producer Rodrick F. Wimberly, who will be joined by Tressa Epps, Executive Producer/Producer, Vonda Paige, Executive Producer/Producer, Steve Toles, Executive Producer/Producer and Senuwell Smith, Director

GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER WEBSITE: https://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/

164 N. State Street

312-846-2800 

 

MOVIE WEBSITEhttps://www.woodstockofhouse.com

 

TICKETS:  

https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

 

Here is the trailer.

  


This documentary details the triumph of a music genre that was attacked and nearly destroyed by mainstream America in the late 1970s for being too black, too Latin, and too gay.

It explores the music’s mutation, development, and re-birth by African American teenagers on the southside of Chicago in an underground culture of marginalized, largely homosexual nightclub constituents.

It is the untold story of the role of Chicago’s Chosen Few DJs in the creation of House music. It celebrates the enduring legacy of the annual Chosen Few Music Festival, dubbed the “Woodstock of House” that brings together more than 50,000 people of different races, ages, sexual orientations, and class together in an environment of unity, peace, and love.


TICKETS:https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

 

GO BANG! Magazine had the opportunity to meet the creative and production team behind THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE, as well as a few members of the cast. As a fellow lover of House music, it was an honor for me to be granted the opportunity to interview the creators and producers of this long-overdue documentary on the origins of House music.


Now, let’s get to know “THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE” posse…


RODRICK F. WIMBERLY
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/WRITER
A veteran of the film and television industry, Rodrick’s love for the film industry is enhanced by his knowledge of the law regarding the business of film, including contract negotiations, corporate formations and business entities. He is an executive producer, producer, writer and a director for the documentary, “The Woodstock of House” (2020) and produced the short film, “UH-OH” (2018).

 


SENUWELL SMITH
DIRECTOR
An actor, screenwriter, editor and director, he appeared in the Blind Faith Theatre Company’s production of “Streamers,” for which he was nominated for a Black Theater Alliance Award. He appeared in “Pullman Porter Blues” at the Goodman Theater in 2013. He has directed and edited several music videos. He wrote and directed the short film, “UH-OH” which was screened at the Pan-African Film Festival and the Roxbury International Film Festival in 2018. He is a director for the documentary, “The Woodstock of House” (2020).

 


VONDA PAIGE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
She has more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management, marketing, social media and public relations. She is an award-winning journalist and the founder of The First Black Woman, a digital media project recognizing the historic contributions of Black women. She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Vice President of the Virginia Tech Black Alumni Society. She is the executive producer of the independent short film, “UH-OH” (2018) which was selected by the Pan African Film Festival.

 


TRESSA EPPS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
A sought-after independent filmmaker, Tressa has worked on a number of award-winning independent film projects, ranging from independent short films to feature films in a variety of roles as an executive producer, producer, and production designer. Her projects were released in theaters and aired on BET, BET HER, TVOne, Urban Movie Channel (UMC), Bounce TV and Netflix. She is honored to serve on the prestigious Black Perspectives Committee at the Chicago International Film Festival.

 


STEVE TOLES
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
After graduating from The Ohio State University, Steve moved to Houston and resumed a lifelong passion for film production, acting, directing and producing various projects from short films, to experimental music videos to documentaries and features. Eventually he returned to Cleveland where he has produced video content for his school and his first independent film was accepted to several film festivals. Steve is an executive producer and producer on The Woodstock of House.

 


WAYNE WILLIAMS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
As founder of the Chosen Few DJs and longtime music industry professional, Wayne has helped shape popular music and dance culture. His music career includes work as a DJ, producer, and A&R executive with Trax Records, Jive Records, and RCA Records. Wayne is a recipient of an NAACP Image Award for his work with Aretha Franklin and was nominated for a GRAMMY award in 2014 for his work with Jennifer Hudson. He continues to produce music and perform at event and clubs across the globe.

 


JESSE SAUNDERS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jesse is a founding member of the Chosen Few DJs who is recognized as the producer and performer of the first Chicago House Music record, “On & On”, in 1984. His production credits include “Love Can’t Turn Around”, one of the biggest-selling House Music records of all time, and “Higher”, which reached the top of the Billboard dance chart in 2019. In 2020, his book, “In Their Own Words”, which features interviews with House Music DJs, producers, dancers, club owners, and promoters, debuted at #1 on Amazon’s dance music book chart.



Knowing many of those involved in the film was the icing on the cake. I am so proud of them. Many of them are also my high school brothers and sisters, who attended “Thee” Kenwood Academy high school, located on Chicago’s south side, in the eclectic neighborhood of Hyde Park.


GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK) For our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you please explain how you are connected to House music culture and what inspired you to Write, Direct, Produce and Executive Produce The Woodstock of House?

Rodrick:  I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago (SOUTHSIDE!!!)  When I was around 12 years old, I first remembered hearing “Mickey Oliver” Hot Mixes on 102.7 WBMX (the radio station that every young person in Chicago listened to at the time-reportedly 2 million Chicago land residents used to listen to the Friday and Saturday mix shows).  The frenetic energy, pulsing rhythms  and driving bass captured me and I said that I had to become a DJ!  I bought my first turntables (Technics SLB-100 belt driven) from Loop Electronics from downtown and became the best unknown DJ in my area. LOL!  After I went to college at Boston University, I took my equipment up there and DJ’d there for two years introducing them to Chicago-style house music and deep disco (which they were not used to).  In addition to DJing, I LOVE to dance.  In fact, some people used to call me the “dancing DJ” because no one dance more to my music than I would! 

My inspiration for “The Woodstock of House” was the manifestation of the themes that House Music promoted: love, unity and sharing being manifested every year at The Chosen Few Music Festival (“The Picnic”).  To see mostly black and brown people in a crowd of 40,000 house music lovers come together in a communal celebration of everything that is good about humanity without ANY violence in 30 years was worthy of a film.  I gathered my production team, created a treatment for the documentary, met with the Chosen Few and they were in!  We wanted to share this human story of young black teens from the Southside of Chicago creating a musical genre that is the 3rd largest musical genre in the world! 

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (SENUWELL)   Being one of the directors of the film, alongside Rodrick Wimberly, can you please explain what is the purpose or mission of The Woodstock of House?

Senuwell:  My purpose is to create a new movement in music that will unite everyone of all races, ages and genders, like the influence of Rap and Hip Hop.  Eventually going global and creating a voice to bring peace and love back into a world of violence and hate.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA, TRESSA, STEVE,)    As executive producers and producers of The Woodstock of House, what was it about the film that inspired or motivated you to become involved?

Vonda: As a filmmaker, not only can you entertain, but you have an opportunity to inform or educate, depending on the subject. I didn’t grow up knowing anything about House music – I can tell you about Go-Go, living outside of Washington, DC – but not House!

When we were thinking about debut projects for our company, and Rodrick and Senuwell shared
stories about and their love for House music, I was genuinely curious about what draws tens of
thousands of people to a music festival featuring something I had never heard of. Early on, while  doing some research for the project, I thought wow… we have a chance to tell an untold story and that was truly exciting!

One thing about making a documentary is that you may start with an idea of what you think the story is about, but if you are true and authentic to the craft – you let the story give you the direction.  While the story may have initially centered around the annual House music festival, I am so proud that we were able to tell an inspiring history story about young Black teenagers from Chicago who created a special sound and form of music that sustains some 30 years later. Black creators across all spectrums don’t always get their credit in the history books. Remember the late Little Richard, who famously said “They didn’t give me nothing!” Well, we produced a film that documents these genius black creators and the love that has come their way from a grateful fan base in Chicago and worldwide. This film is one for the history books.

Tressa: Woodstock of House” was the well-written treatment written by Rodrick Wimberly and Ayanna Wimberly. The treatment provided the blueprint of promoting a conversation about celebrating young Black teens who created a music genre and created “The Annual Chosen Few House Picnic” every 4th of July. I was particularly fascinated with the historical similarities House music had with disco music. In addition, House music is empowering and created a dance movement. The Chosen Few created an event about love, peace, and unity without any violence. 

Steve:  Well, as far as what inspired me, I remember Rod asking me to come to the picnic for a few years.  He had introduced me to the music and how to DJ, so he knew I would love the picnic.  Finally, he convinced me and I came out…not to mention that it was the 25th Anniversary picnic.  WOW!!!! I had recently directed/produced my first short film, so I looked at Rod and said “Rod we have to make this documentary.  It would be amazing”.  From there, we started on the long journey that eventually became The Woodstock of House.   

So, the idea that inspired me to bring this film to life was the music and the life it has given me.  Now, this is my opportunity to give something back to House.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: (WAYNE)  What influence or effect do you think the film will have on society as a whole?

Wayne:  I hope the impact of the film is how the type of music we chose to impact our life, that grew to reach people all over the world, roots came from love, unity and freedom of art. Our music put smiles on people’s face and takes your stress away for that time when you are in House music. The world has been traumatized in the last  three years and has become meaner. Our music, House music, is the kryptonite of stress and depression and we have to get back to love, which is what House music is about.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: (JESSE) Being the first person to have a House music song pressed on vinyl (“On and On”), as well as being a member of The Chosen Few DJs, which are featured in The Woodstock of House, how does it feel to be a member of a DJ crew that is considered to be part of the
foundation and continuation of the House music genre?

Jesse:  I’ve grown up originating and pioneering a culture that was new and different than anything prior to it. That means that my perspective is different than most peoples.  It all happened around me. I didn’t get the privilege of being able to look at something grow, because I was too busy trying to move and build the movement.. It turned out to be bigger than I could have ever
imagined.

My legacy with the Chosen Few is as dear to me as apple pie is to America. The walls that we
have been able to break down as a crew, that have bridged the gap between racism, sexism and
sexual orientation, have been immense. We’ve been able to bring everyone together to show that
we can love, dance and assemble as one – anywhere, anytime.

Personally, I’m proud to have started a revolution that allowed young, urban Black kids to DJ,
produce and release their musical expressions to the world…thus creating a world-wide culture
we now know as House music!

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK). As a Chicago native, who was there when House music was born and participated in its growth and evolution, I am proud that this film has been written and produced to show the international community how House all started.  Then, to have The Woodstock of House to be selected for Chicago’s prestigious Black Harvest Film Festival, as well as recently winning Best Documentary in Gary Indiana’s Black Film Festival must have made you feel some type of way.  Please explain to our readers how gaining all of this attention, support and accolades make you feel.

Rodrick:   It has truly been a blessing!  It is exhilarating to play the film for house music and documentary lovers after taking six (6) years to complete.  We were rejected by so many film festivals early on so we just were overwhelmed by the love that we received from the audience and programmers at the Gary Black International Film Festival and the exposure that we are now receiving from film festivals all over the country (we have even had programmers from Europe approach us and request to exhibit the film).  It has almost been unbelievable but we had faith in each other, our project and God and He always has the last say.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA, TRESSA) I am so proud to see two Black women being a part of The Woodstock of House production, especially serving as members of the executive producer AND producer team.  You both have an impressive, professional background and years of experience.  Can you explain why it is important to you to have minority, female representation in the film industry?

Vonda: It’s an incredibly exciting time for Black women filmmakers. There have always been Black women creating amazing film projects, in front of and behind the camera.  I think in the last decade – more media attention has elevated their work. I’m thinking of my personal shero, Ava Duvernay, who after becoming the first Black woman to the win the directing award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film “Middle of Nowhere”, has blazed a trail with development deals that allow her to hire other women producers, writers and directors in film and television. That is how you ensure representation. American cinema can reflect everyday life, culture, politics, music, education, etc. – and Black women contribute to all of those things. We have a unique prospective and imprint and our voices, experiences and stories should be told by us.

Tressa:  Thank you for your acknowledgment. Black filmmakers are underrepresented in executive decision-making roles throughout the industry. The film industry in particular remains disproportionately white. This underrepresentation extends to the buying side, where Black distributors make up a small fraction of the total. Most of the productions I’m part of are lead by directors and producers who intentionally choose female department heads. Having females in these positions are important so our voices are represented. 

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK, WAYNE, JESSE)   House is more than a genre of music.  It is a mentality of peacefulness, freedom of expression, love and acceptance.  If the founding generation of House music, which are us, does not pass the music and the DJ skills to the next generation, House could be lost.  How do you feel about the future of House music and what is its’ legacy?

Rodrick:  That was a major theme that was part of the initial treatment from the film and is a serious issue within the House Music community.  We, as House Music cultivators and curators, must introduce more young people to the Chicago and soulful style of house music that advances these altruistic societal values.  While some subgenres of House have captured the imagination of younger fans by advancing the driving energy of mostly instrumental music, like EDM, we must make it a point to elevate our sound as a cultural musical expression that has sociological implications to break down barriers between peoples and even nations.  That is truly worth educating young people about.  

Wayne:  House music started in 1984 and has been going ever since.  It has never been in jeopardy of not continuing  because there are too many people of talent  who are constantly discovering House music who are producers, DJs, songwriters and artists.

Jesse:  The future for the culture of House is as broad and diverse as has been for the last 45+ years. The culture of love, understanding and freedom has been a part of our American heritage since the American Revolution 350 years ago. We ALL want freedom to be who we want to be, love who and how we want to and dance the night away. House music breeds that and is the flag that we carry throughout our time on this earth. So the future of House is bright and shiny and will forever live in the hearts of generations to come.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA)   Please introduce our readers to 2CHI Entertainment and explain what’s its mission.

Vonda:  2CHi Entertainment was founded in 2013 with the mission to produce movie and television projects that tell stories of the Black experience. Black production companies are vastly underrepresented within the film industry. We want to close that gap with stories that reflect the contributions of African-Americans to society on film in all genres: drama, science fiction, suspense, comedy, biography.

Our first project was a suspense thriller short film, called Uh-Oh, that was screened at the Pan-African Film Festival and the Roxbury Film Festival in 2018. We have projects in development including one about the historical contribution of Blacks in the military, a faith-based inspirational drama, and a family film that gives a slice-of-life view of a Chicago family.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (STEVE, TRESSA)   In your opinion, what do you hope the “take away” is for the audience, after viewing The Woodstock of House?

Steve:  What I would hope the audience, especially the Chicago audience, “take away” is, is what this music is.  What we as a people can do over and over and over.   (We can) take bits and pieces of this and that and create something that will move the entire globe.  We do it under the most trying of circumstances, almost as a survival mechanism.  That ……and the music……is about LOVE.

Tressa: I hope the take away for the viewer is a reflection of the importance of unity, peace, and love.
Music is an universal language! Smiling and laughter creates great vibes! We can always add to our own personal happy! “House Music All Night Long!” 

GO BANG! Magazine would like to congratulate and thank you and the entire production team of The Woodstock of House, for writing and producing this informative, entertaining, powerful and much-needed documentary about another style of music that was born in Chicago, IL, USA….. HOUSE MUSIC!  What would you like to say “Mr. Writer” to leave with our international audience about the film, House culture, the future of House or anything else?

Rodrick:  Thanks so much for your kind words and for allowing us to share our story in such a great publication.  I just want to thank my amazing production team for their skill, excellence, character and patience in bringing this love project to life.  We became a family during this project and I love every one of them!

GO BANG! Magazine:  You are more than welcome Rod…thank you for bringing the truth about House, from the home of House, to the world!  

HOUSE MUSIC IS MY LIFE….ALL NIGHT LONG!

GO BANG!!!

Here is the trailer.

 

Black Harvest Film Festival will virtually stream The Woodstock of House November 13- December 2, 2021.

Streaming Ticket Info:

https://watch.eventive.org/gsfc/play/6168922c7c7500030b0cfe7a

 

THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE

Thursday, November 11th @8pm & Friday, November 12th @8pm

On debut night, Thursday, November 11th, the audience will be blessed with a live appearances by Writer/Director/Executive Producer/Producer Rodrick F. Wimberly, who will be joined by Tressa Epps, Executive Producer/Producer, Vonda Paige, Executive Producer/Producer, Steve Toles, Executive Producer/Producer and Senuwell Smith, Director

TICKETS:  

https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

You can find out more information about THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE on all social media platforms:

 

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/woodstockofhouse

@woodstockofhouse

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/thewoodstockofhouse

@thewoodstockofhouse

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WoodstockHouse2

@woodstockHouse2

 

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo Credit: Dean Bernard



Kerry James Rogers Jr. aka Kerry James or “KJ” is a 28 year old R&B/Soul artist, singer-songwriter and musician born in Chicago and raised in Gary, IN. KJ began singing at the age of 19 when his mother (and #1 fan!)) gave him his first acoustic guitar for Christmas, in 2012.

When born, KJ was a premature infant and has suffered from seizures, COPD and even strokes throughout his life. He has also a speech impairment. But, this has never stopped him from reaching for the highest heights in music and in life!

In the Spring of 2013, KJ began to attract fans while singing on the steps at City Hall in Gary, IN. He also started performing at many local open mic venues and other events, where he broke bread with fans and fellow musicians alike. Very soon, KJ started to earn much media attention for his life story, talent and charm.

KJ was recently featured on the cover of Chicago Bridge Magazine with Brigette Wiley and other popular artists. He continuously appears regularly in newspapers and magazine articles. He’s a popular guest performer on radio and television programs throughout Northwest Indiana and the
Chicagoland area.

KJ is an inspirational figure, as well as a natural music talent. He welcomes the opportunity to lift the spirits of all those around him through his story and song!

“I wanna inspires others through my gift and talent efforts to overcome, and to make a difference in
others lives.” – KJ

 

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: When you were born, you entered this world with many complications and hurdles that could have stopped you from reaching your goals.  What is it in you that allowed you to strive and reach your goals?

KJ:  My mother always motivates me to follow my heart and dreams and to never let my complications, nor disability define who I am as a person.   Also, in order to reach my goals, there will be challenges, but those challenges allow me to be strong and tough. 

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: You were raised in Gary, IN, the hometown of Michael Jackson.  What was your child life like growing up in Gary?

KJ:  My childhood was a little rocky, but I had fun along the way growing up with my other siblings.  I’ve grown up most of my childhood and adult life in Gary, Michael Jackson home town.  I even learned music and dancing from watching him as well.  In addition to gaining an authentic, original autograph from Prince Jackson early in my career in 2014.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: In 2012, when you were 19, your mom gave you a guitar for Christmas. Did you ask for the guitar or was it a surprise and how did you learn to play it?

KJ:   I had asked my mother for a guitar for Christmas and surprisingly it was granted.  I learned how to play off of YouTube on my own time, playing cover songs for Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Who or what is your inspiration and tell our readers why they inspire you?

KJ: Well my mother inspires me.   She knows my potential to do great things and has always been by my side, through the good and the bad.   She’s the reason why I love doing my thing and striving to continue my career.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: For GO BANG! Magazine readers that may not be familiar with you, how would you describe the KJ sound?

KJ: My sound is different.  It’s very humbling, relaxing and so heart throbbing.   The sound gets you very emotional.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: In addition to playing the guitar, you also sing and write all of your songs. When did you realize that you had musical talent?

KJ: Well after high school, I noticed that I had a gift and discovered my vocal talent and songwriting ability.  I got my writing ability from my mom., who wrote poems.   I’ve learned how to perfect my vocal skills through daily, self- training.   My song “Mother & I” was inspired from the way I feel towards what my mother experienced  raising me, my other brother and sisters.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Over the years you’ve been interviewed on various radio stations and featured in several newspapers and magazines. Now that you’re been featured in GO BANG! Magazine, you’re being exposed to an international audience that’s worldwide. What would you like to say to our readers in Africa, London, China, Australia and elsewhere, that aren’t familiar with you?

KJ: I would like to say that the sky is the limit!  Just go with the flow. Follow your heart to where it takes you and never doubt yourself.  Believe in yourself, as others believe in you to conquer all of the odds ahead.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: I’m sure you have a large following of fans, which you lovingly refer to as #kjayerfans #kjarmy. They been supporting you since the beginning of your career. How would you describe your fans when they meet you and hear you perform?

KJ: My fans support me and motivate me to keep on going.  They give me that extra push to high five the sky.  I truly love them #kjayersfans #kjarmy .

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Are there any artists that you would love to perform with, or any artist that you would love to write for?

KJ:  My idol and the artist that I would love to sing with is Justin Timberlake.  He’s an awesome icon, businessman, actor, dancer and humanitarian.  Also Chris Brown, who is the same way. I would love to write songs for others someday.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: What projects are you currently promoting or working on? 

KJ:  Yes my single “Mother & I” is streaming on all music platforms.  I’m currently working on a small EP titled “My Journey.”  It’s gonna be dedicated to my musical family Underground Hittas out of Chicago, IL.  I love them.  My fans will hear my true voice.

 

Watch: The Boom Bap Hour chops it up with Gary Indiana’s own KJ James, who is premiering his new single, “Single Mother and I.” He talks about how his mother was a great inspiration to him and his musical journey.

You can follow KJ on Facebook  and Instagram  (click)

Listen toMother & I (click)

 

LEAVE COMMENTS BELOW!!!

 

 


Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current
Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com,
EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model,
poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the
Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter
@Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Bari Gee aka BIMPGOD, a Hyde Park, Chicago native, has always been into music since his third-grade teacher put him in the school talent show to RAP and he won. Since then, Bari has been developing his rap and fashion style and has stayed active and relevant in the Chicago music scene.

BIMPGOD is the stage name that you can find all of his latest music on. He chose that name because it stands out and people wouldn’t confuse him with anyone else. BIMP which rhymes with PIMP, is an acronym that means “Beautiful Individual Making Progress” added with GOD. BIMPGOD was created in 2012 when he linked up with Smokebooth, Los and Fist. Since then, Bari has dropped videos on YouTube under the name.

Bari developed his musical sound over the years. He’s known for rapping over soul samples with heavy bass matching, with a smooth voice and witty lyrics. He collabed with another high school friend / producer Jremy, now known as DJ Audio 808s. DJ Audio 808s has hooked up with Bari and created a signature sound for BIMPGOD music. They collabed on “Champagne Campaign” which appears on their early 2000s album and contains a sample from SWVs song “Rain.” The two created a real vibe and have more songs planned for BIMPGODs new music.

Bari continues to spread his music throughout the United States and abroad. While networking and connecting, Bari has done collabs in and out of town. He has collabed with Dallas rapper “Rickey P Flair” on more than five tracks and dropped a video for “Light Up Life” which appears on Bari’s “early 2000s” album. BIMPGOD and FLAIR have a track called “City Lights” which appears on the original motion picture soundtrack titled “Rental.” Its predicted that they’ll drop a joint mixtape in the very near future.

Bari has always networked and connected with all parts of the music scene. Bari is known for connecting with artist, producers, engineers and even DJs. In 2013 Bari linked with “DJ Milehigh” a well know Chicago based club and radio DJ. They became friends and Milehigh helped push BIMPGOD’s music on the radio and in the hottest clubs. Bari was now in the Chicago nightlife scene alongside MileHigh, showing up at all of the hottest parties and music events. Bari’s songs even played on Chicago’s 107.5 WGCI radio station during the “Milehigh Midday mix” show from 2016 until present.

Bari, has been dropping albums since before 2015. Bari has dropped seven downloadable albums/mixtapes. His latest being the “ONE WORD” album that dropped January 2021. Bari has been working with his main producer “Dini” since his days at Kenwood Academy high school and he appears on “ONEWORD” and the first album “KEY TO THE CITY”.

Bari Gee has always been grinding, but hasn’t always been solo. The group The Chosen Ones (TCO) was created along with other members Malik Carter, Bob Marlo, ID and Gino East. During the time of TCO’S run, Bari performed and hosted over 50 shows. Bari and TCO produced their own shows in Chicago at venues such as Subterranean and Bassline, as well as other places. Bari and TCO also hosted shows on the road nationally, like in Austin Texas at SXSW (South by Southwest) Music Festival. They didn’t stop there with the traveling show. St. Louis and Atlanta also were also blessed with the groups shows. Bari linked with Racheal at Luckie One Entertainment and continued hosting and performing. Bari hosted and performed at over 10 shows with Racheal and Luckie One Entertainment at various Chicago venues, even hosting a show in Las Vegas in 2019.

Other notables collabs are with BOO (from BOO and Gotti), Jinonthem Boards (engineer), Kevin Hues (engineer, artist), Get ‘em Louie (engineer / producer), Rossey Lamont (artist/producer), Lovely Hustle (artist), Fendi Frost (artist), Twenty (artist), Dilla (artist), SC (producer), Matt Monsta (producer), and many more.

Bari Gee aka BIMPGOD plans to drop new music and his album “A LOT TO OFFER” late 2021 or early 2022.


GO BANG! Magazine: What is it about performing that attracts you to do it?

BimpGod:  Wow, I love performing! It gives people a chance to see my style.  I bring a lot of energy to the stage.  You can hear my voice, my words, and watch me in action. I love to perform. Even more, it’s what get me paid and I give my all to the fans watching. 

GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe the BIMPGOD sound?

BimpGod:  BIMPGOD sound is professional.  I like to rap over soul beats and heavy bass.  I like to use my natural voice.  I don’t use a lot of autotune.  I like for my records to have dope choruses and I always lace them with a verse or two.  A lot of my bars have double meanings too, so you have to listen closely. 

GO BANG! Magazine: You are a multi-talented individual. Besides rapping, do you have any other talents in the music industry.

BimpGod:  Nowadays, you have to be multi-talented. Executive producing is something I’ve been doing, helping other artist and producers pick the right sound. I also am a host of major events.  I get on stage and give people their props too.  I can’t forget about the fashion.  I’ve been designing for 10yrs.  I also worked with The Print Lounge Chicago over the years. 

GO BANG! Magazine: The rap game has changed drastically over the years, and so has the sound. The old school rap told stories. Then rap got gansta, then party rap, on up to mumble rap. How do you feel about the state of the rap game currently?

BimpGod:  I think the game used to be closed off in the early 2000s and before.  You would only see New York or LA rappers.  With the advance of technology, everybody with a computer has a chance to network.  With YouTube and other streaming channels being available, it gives local artist in cities and suburbs a chance to put their music and videos out to the public.  I’ve taking advantage of YouTube as well.  I got videos too. I put my music out on mixtape sites\earlier in my career.  Now it can be streamed easily on the phone with iTunes and Spotify.  The rap game is wide open.  Anybody can eat.  Just have catchy song and a video and boom! 

GO BANG! Magazine: If you had the opportunity to work with or perform with any artist or group from the past or present, who would be that be and why?

BimpGod:  It’s a lot of artists I’d work with, so many.  I would link with ladies in the industry.  They be looking good and they’re talented.  If I had to choose, probably Rihanna and Beyonce.  They’re at the top. Ye, he from Chicago, and groups… probably Dipset or The Lox.  But all artist would get a chance to create with me

GO BANG! Magazine: Being from Chicago, you must have grown up supporting artist like Twista, Common, Kanye West and Chance. They’ve all gone on and became successful in the entertainment industry. What do you think is the key to success, and what are you doing to achieve that goal?

BimpGod:  In Chicago, you gotta stand out a lot of competition out here.  For upcoming artist, you gotta travel and do collabs.  I’ve seen all these guys in action and they always take the rap game to the next level.  I’m a networking king.  I bring people together, but the ultimate goal for any artist is to create.  I want to stay in the studio.  Any studio time available, I’m there!  They got labels, but I’m independent.  I pay for everything out my pocket. 


GO BANG! Magazine: Chicago has its own style of Rap. How would you describe the sound of Chicago Hip Hop / Rap?

BimpGod:  Chicago Rap is filled with a lot of stories about growing up in the city dealing with struggles, gangs and cops.  A lot Chicagoans went into the industry, but now we have some big names.  People here put their all in their flow.  We represent a lot of people here.  Me growing up on the eastside (Stony Island, South Shore and Hyde Park), I put all my stories in my rhymes.  These some tough neighborhoods to grow up in. 


GO BANG! Magazine: Many people think that the Hip Hop music industry is promoting the wrong things to our youth. For example, many think that the industry is feminizing the black male, by some artists wearing dresses and sagging their pants, exposing their butts. Also, by promoting drug use, showing women as only sexual objects and as always, promoting violence. What do you think about these images and how are you dealing with them?

BimpGod:  You have big music labels that push a negative narrative and you have some artist that have no limits to what they say or do. I can’t speak for why, but I understand being creative for money. They gotta feed their family, even if they might be sending mixed messages. 

For me, I don’t be too negative in my raps.  But I am aggressive at times on the track, and the streets like to hear that.  My image is clean, business man style.  But I am from the streets of Chicago… drugs, guns and gangbanging are what we grew up with.  I dress nice and rap smooth.  I want the ladies to like it, not scare ‘em. 

GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe your stage performance to someone that may not have witnessed you live, but would like to. What would you tell them to expect?

BimpGod:  Great stage presence is what’s needed for a great show.  You can book me by just hitting my email.  I bring the MC back to the stage… breath control, crowd control and stage control.  I keep the hottest Chicago DJs with me.  We also bring a dope show.  I want to rock stadiums in the near future.  I’m taking bookings all year round. 


GO BANG! Magazine: Lastly, October 19th is your birthday BIMPGOD! This is your birthday weekend! GO BANG! Magazine would like to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, as well as ALL of our international readers across the world. GO BANG! Magazine is presenting this interview to you, as a birthday gift. Please tell our worldwide audience how you feel on this special day, what you plan to do, and how it feels to have your interview published across the world on your birthday weekend?

BimpGod: 

This is a big surprise and a long time coming!  Shout out Pierre and GO BANG! for the BDAY wishes.  Man 0ctober 19th… Libra season!  I turn up.  I have parties and like to celebrate.   

Follow me on social media and come out to my parties and events.  Everybody tuned in from out the country, I can book something there too.  I have a passport, and thank you for tuning in.  

I’m dropping “A LOT TO OFFER” soon!!!   

 

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND WISH BIMPGOD A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

 

You can follow BIMPGOD on all social media platforms including: 

(click links) Facebook, Instagram  and Twitter 

TAKE A LISTEN:   You can find his music on (click) YouTube and listen, purchase and download all BIMPGOD music at (click) iTunes, (click) Spotify , (click) SoundCloud and (click) Tidal. 




Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo credit:  Clayton DeLa Chappelle

 

Nigel Ridgeway aka TREW has a love for DJing that began in grade school when using two tape decks to spin basement parties. TREW’s main aim is to weave a common thread through seemingly disparate genres. Drawing inspiration from the early 1980s NYC art/music world, he believes no genre is off limits and no collaboration too outlandish. Honing his chops with the east-coast Rave & Hip-Hop scenes (Baltimore/DC), it was Chicago’s wealth of musical and architectural history that pulled him westward. “Like most kids back then, I thought ‘Percolator’ was a Baltimore club track. Once I found out the truth, I knew this is where I was meant to be!” he exclaims. Soon after, he quit his corporate job, cashed in the 401k, and invested his life into music.

Since landing in the “Windy City”, TREW has performed or held residencies all across Chicagoland. He’s played stages at West Fest, Spring Awakening, Do Division, Taste of Randolph, and North Coast Music Festival. He has been lucky enough to perform with artists like Snoop Dogg, Mayer Hawthorne, People Under The Stairs, Keys N Krates, Nightmares On Wax, Mint Condition, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Jeremiah Jae, Bobbito, House of Pain, Van Hunt, Jneiro Jarel, Devin the Dude, Bonobo, Cut Chemist, Quantic, Currensy, Afrika Bambaataa, MF Doom, Mos Def and dozens more.

When not DJing, he co-owns Ground Lift Media – a digital marketing company, he’s 1/2 of the DJ/Production duo Altered Tapes, owns and operates Heat Rock Records, and is deep into vinyl excavation, having amassed thousands of rare Soul, Funk, Disco, and Jazz records. This is a hobby/obsession he shares with the world via his Miyagi Records Shop.

GO BANG! Magazine: Where did you grow up and where do you call home?

Trew: I grew up on the east coast, in and around the Baltimore/DC area. But, I’ve lived in Chicago for 23 years (Jordan!) and for a while now, Chicago has felt very much like home.

GO BANG! Magazine: When did you first become interested in the music industry?

Trew: Well, I don’t know that I’ve ever been interested in the ‘industry’ per se, navigating the business and politics side of things, but I’m a 100% fan of making a living from my craft(s)! How I first became interested in music itself is an entirely different story though. The way my Mom tells it, I was heavily into anything musical from a very young age, toddler style. What I remember however, is my first electronic instruments and getting into cassette tapes.

Once I learned you could record onto cassettes, it was over! My debut ‘mix’ was made using songs from the radio. I was a huge fan of ElectroPop 80s and Freestyle – Nu Shooz, Taylor Dayne, The Miami Vice theme (lol), Expose, Giorgio Moroder, Newcleus, Shannon – so that was the vibe for those early mixes. At some point, it wasn’t enough to just listen to the music, or make a mix… I had to do the thing I loved so much.

On that first keyboard, I was a beast playing “Greensleeves” and making weird tracks with the ‘Rhumba’ drum accompaniment. Or replaying the simplest melodies I could figure out from songs like “I Need Love” by LL, and “Lean On Me” by Club Noveau. What really changed the game though was getting my first drum machine…a little Yamaha four-pad electronic thing. I was and am still, a percussion guy and have owned mannnyy different drum machines. That, along with a set of 1200s has been the most consistently present pieces of gear in my studio over the years.

GO BANG! Magazine: Growing up, you liked the sounds of House music and realized that it originated in Chicago. Soon after learning this, you relocated to Chicago. What is it about the sound of House music that attracted you?

Trew: It was good dance music, plain and simple. “Perculator” was my gateway drug because it was constantly played by Baltimore club and Rave DJs. At that point in my music discovering journey, everything was informed by what I was hearing from Rave DJs and on the late shows/college radio. Honestly, I hadn’t even really discovered the depth of Disco yet, so once I got here House started to make much more sense. What I definitely understood is Chicago is a music town. Not as in, everyone enjoys music (although that’s probably true!), but genres are created here. Movements are created here. So, between the allure of House music / DJ culture, and visiting a few times a year for Jazz & Blues Fests, I knew I wanted to be here more than I wanted to be there.

GO BANG! Magazine: As a DJ/Producer, what type of events have you worked and what type of production do you do?

Trew: My production style is as varied as my musical tastes. I’m currently making a lot of Dancehall / Reggaeton influenced remixes of classic Hip-Hop and 90s RnB, and some Steppers too. If there’s a common thread through it all, it’s that I love to use samples.

As far as performing, I’ve worked with artists in most all genres I enjoy. Definitely grateful to be able to perform / produce multi-genre and not be pigeon-holed! To even have the opportunities to be on stage with these folks, I’ve worked my way onto lineups. Let’s see… Bone Thugs. I earned my stripes that night I think. It was at House of Blues, and I was supposed to only be the opening DJ, but the lead-in band decided they wanted to go on early. This boggles my mind to this day. What an opportunity lost! Anyhow, I ended up being direct support for BTNH. Everyone at HoB was already salty about the high drink prices, and was getting impatient… So when the curtains came up and they realize it’s me and not Bone, I knew from that moment I had my work cut out.

Quick side note, if anyone reading this was at the Doom / Mos Def concert at Congress many years ago, you know what the vibe was like before Doom appeared. I remember we were awaiting his truck at the stage door inside the green-rooms. We were hoping he’d show, but also wondering if maybe he’d be the supervillain that night. A local MC had to take the stage next. I’ll always respect Qwel for how he handled himself, getting 4,000 angry Doom fans to come to an almost complete silence and put their focus back on the music. So that night at HoB, I like to think I was able to channel a bit of that Qwel energy.

Everytime the crowd erupted, chanting ‘Bone, Bone Bone!’ I hit them with a track as a reminder of who was on stage. I’ll never forget that night and lesson. My nerves are wrecked, no matter who I’m performing with. The exception was probably People Under the Stairs (RIP Double K). These guys were so utterly genuine about feel-good music and wanting to rock an old-school-vibe Hip-Hop show. It was tough to feel anything but excited about wanting to do the same. Plus, their crowd is easy. They come ready to GO.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a DJ/Producer, you are also a businessman and an entrepreneur. Can you please tell our readers a little more about your businesses Ground Lift Media, Altered Tapes, Heat Rock Records and Miyagi Record Shop?

Trew: Short version, they’re all related to music. When I moved here, I was the weekend resident at SubT for a good six years. But, as soon as I lost that gig due to the changing neighborhood, I realized I hadn’t put in the proper work building myself, the TREW brand. I should have been putting a value on the party I’d created and the dollars I was bringing in. Most importantly, I hadn’t built strong enough connections with the patrons I’d met during that time. I forgot to make an email list, which is now why that’s the first thing I do whenever beginning a new endeavor. Definitely won’t make that mistake twice.

But anyhow, lesson learned. I dove into marketing and design, because as most DJs know, DJs aren’t just DJs. They’re a 10-person team all-in-one. By working in any one of these roles – promoter, designer, website builder, street team manager, etc – I was able to bring together a decent resume and rep that allowed me to branch off as Ground Lift Media. This is currently my event marketing and brand strategy company. We focus on contracted Street Level marketing these days, but there was a time when we mainly did concert production. Along with my production partner and friend Patrick Grumley (Cold Grums), we produced dozens of large-scale concerts and events over the years. I’m proud to say we did Mayer Hawthorne’s first-ever show in Chicago, which was a sold-out heater of a night at Darkroom.

All my other projects focus around the tangible aspect of music. I release remixes as Altered Tapes with my buddy Marco Jacobo (Maker). Just two years ago, we began an all-remix 45rpm vinyl label which is distributed globally as Heat Rock Records. Most recently, I launched a record shop, Miyagi Records, in the summer of 2020. That’s my baby at the moment and I spend much of my time now digging for vinyl, making road trips, and slapping ads wherever it makes sense. (haha)

GO BANG! Magazine: Recently, you had an event at The Silver Room in the eclectic and trendy Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. Please recap that event for our readers and explain why it is important to you to support local small businesses.

Trew: This event series was attached to Miyagi Records and came about via a conversation I had with Eric (Williams) at The Silver Room. I recently set roots on the south side with my beautiful and brilliant partner. Part of the reason for moving here was to bring everything that I do culturally, to the south side. Miyagi is still in startup mode and we setup shop at our pop-up and wherever else that will host us.

I’d always admired Eric’s work as a community business. He was the first person I’d hoped to work with in Hyde Park. The Record Store Day series ended up being a happy coincidence since we both wanted to produce something cool for the celebration. So over the course of two events, we hosted 10 DJs, two live performances, and eight local, indie record dealers. The overall goal was to bring some light to these sellers and give people live music again! I’d say it worked.

Well enough that we’ve expanded the event into the Chicago Vinyl Connection. This is technically a record show, but it’s more about bringing together the vinyl-loving community in Chicago. My production partner on this one is Grant Crusor of South Rhodes Records. This was another happy coincidence. We both wanted to fill a void in the world of record shows. To give businesses help they need, while also bringing a community together.

To finally answer your question, I support local and small because that’s who need it and that’s also who I am. What Miyagi is. Chicago is a big city, and the south side is whole world. We need all the help we can get!

GO BANG! Magazine: GO BANG! Magazine see’s that you like a wide variety of music genres including Rave, Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Disco, Jazz and House. On an average night, when you’re trying to chill, what songs would most likely be found on your playlist?

Trew: When I’m at home just listening to records, it’s all about Jazz. I’m a big fan of 60s Soul Jazz stuff and 70s Fusion. I was introduced to Jazz via reading cassette tape liner notes, looking at which songs were sampled. Then a good friend gave me Herbie Hancock’s ‘Headhunters’ album. Things just got out of hand from that point. 70s Spiritual Jazz is my all-time chill soundtrack though. Stuff like Alice Coltrane, Nathan Davis, Phil Cohran, or The Awakening. But most importantly, New Jack Swing & 80s/90s Slow Jams will always make an appearance at some point!

GO BANG! Magazine: Being a DJ/Producer, you have a musical style / sound that identifies you. How would you describe your sound, as far as a DJ and producer?

Trew: As I mentioned before, I’m big into sampling. So that definitely influences my sound. But if I had to describe it as a whole, I’m just trying to make soulful music with dope drum programming, except when I make Drum and Bass. That’s 100% me trying to work out some feelings. Most everything I made last year was Drum and Bass or related.

Nowadays, I’m channeling Island vibes because my band Guayabera Unlimited has been on hiatus since Covid, and the Islands are where I’d rather be this winter.

GO BANG! Magazine: If you were not involved in music, what would you be doing?

Trew: I’ve thought about this in depth many times over the years. I even thought about it this weekend. The answer is always: I have no idea. This is it. I’ve tried working in my other passions (Engineering, Architecture, and Interior Design) but they all felt like jobs. And without fail, while working these jobs, I constantly had music on my mind. It’s the one thing I’m able to do, day in day out. No question, and so far, it’s been great. I’ve seen the world, met and worked with some amazing talents, and have found a way to make feeding my record collecting addiction a full time thing 🙂

GO BANG! Magazine: COVID 19 has hit the world hard. How has it affected you and how are you dealing with it.

Trew: Well, outside of the bigger lessons about humanity I’ve learned, it basically killed my performance schedule and tour plans for 2020. But on the flip, it finally gave me the time and space to focus on launching Miyagi Records and doing more A&R work for Heat Rock Records. That’s where I’m seeing my future. I still love to perform, but I’m more particular now and only do it when the gig is right. I don’t see that changing once things actually return to a state of normalcy.

I feel that Arts & Culture has helped and is still helping save the world during the pandemic, when they are one of the most affected industries. Also, I think this is only one of many trials to come for the world. I want to be prepared to do all I can to help where I can. So overall, I’d say Covid has made me more focused and ready for action.

You can follow Trew on ALL social media platforms @trew3000



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Phote credit: Power Quevedo 

 

Julius the Mad Thinker (JtMT) is a dynamic producer and must-see international DJ talent. Since the age of 17, Julius has worn many hats while distinguishing himself in the dance music industry. He is a true visionary with infectious energy and amazing music.

In 2009, Julius and business partner Jenn Hurst bridged DJ entertainment with unique travel concepts to co-found MCH (Mi Casa Holiday – www.micasaholiday.com).

In 2012, MCH achieved sold-out status, and since has evolved into the most exciting travel and music community in the US.

In 2017, Julius produced his debut album “Perspective.” It has been described as “an album of epic tunes for the dance floor, ranging from soulful vocals, deep to the classic Chicago sound. A wide array of variety and substance”- Osunlade”

Julius’ reputation for uniting music communities and launching premiere DJ music events has attracted worldwide acceptance and respect as well. His most recent event production to gain international awareness is Mi Casa Holiday (MCH).

He is also affiliated with YourPassion1st. It is an international coaching & mentorship platform focused on helping under-resourced young adults overcome adversity and earn money in the area of their passion.

Through art, music, entertainment, sports, and culinary, YourPassion1st envisions a world where all young adults are inspired to find, define, and follow their passion into the workforce. Young adults in under-resourced communities are challenged in achieving their dreams due to a lack of resources, support, and inspiration. We help young adults succeed through project-based learning, as they learn their value, build their confidence and recognize their innovative instincts and hidden talents.

Our Workforce Readiness Workshops, Festivals, & Events are transformative, collaborative, and entertaining, while our podcast series captivates listeners. You’ll hear a cross-pollination of fresh perspectives, layered with empowering stories from industry leaders and everyday people who have overcome adversity to follow their passion. Ultimately, we believe that inspiring young adults will cause a ripple effect, transforming families and improving communities, while influencing the next generation of youth. Your support helps create life-changing experiences.

Stay tuned and be ready to experience the next wave of JtMT!

GO BANG! Magazine: Where were you born and raised and call home?

JtMT: Elgin, IL, but I consider Chicago my home, as I’ve lived in the city since 1993.

GO BANG! Magazine: How did you first get involved in music and when did you know that you wanted to be a DJ / Producer?

JtMT: My music Journey started as a kid helping my mom clean the house every Saturday listening to soul music on a big stereo/record system with disco lights in the speakers (lol).

However, the broader story is that I was bored in the suburbs, so I bet my cousin that I could get 500 people to go to a party at my house. I figured that there were at least 500 people in a town of 80,000 that were bored like me.  So after pleading with my mom, she finally let me throw a party under two conditions.  One, I had to write a business plan and two, if I were to make any money, I promised to give spending money to my sister for her (high school) senior trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  So, I wrote the business plan, was able to get 605 people to the party, and was able to give my sister $500 for her trip to Mexico.

My sister went to Mexico, had the time of her life, then came back and eventually convinced the company who set up her trip (IS Tours formerly USA Student Travel) to hire her on as the youngest student organizer in that company’s history at the time. I went on throwing parties, and along the way started to disagree with the order of songs that our DJ (DJ Beauty) was playing. I became persistent and kept asking him to try, (DJing) until August of ‘94 when I was finally able to sync the beats successfully. The record was Joey Bertram’s “Energy Flash” and I’ll never forget that feeling, and how it inspired me to want more.

So, my sister had 20 + years of travel and hospitality and I had 20 + years of DJing and event production, when in October of 2009, we merged both concepts to create Mi Casa Holiday Travel and Music’s Community & Boutique Events Service.  Along the way I always tried to stay ahead of the curve which led me to start producing music and music videos and then eventually an album in 2017. (Perspective)

GO BANG! Magazine: Why did you name yourself “The Mad Thinker” and how would you describe your sound?

JtMT: Actually, I didn’t name myself. I was a creative director and executive producer of a local hip-hop group named the Rec Center, and we were deciding on producing our first music video for our album “Lonely People”. There were 10 MC’s, our main producer, my brother from another mother, DJ Emmaculate, and I. Everyone described their ideas about what the video should be, and I was the last person to speak. After I laid out my vision, it was total silence when “Luck” (MC Bad Luck) in a soft spoken voice said, “the Mad Thinker” (www.themadthinker.com). It felt right, so I embraced it!

I refer to my sound as Global Soul House music. Afro Cuban rhythms meet Electronic sounds through a rollercoaster of emotions.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being an international producer/DJ, you are also a businessman. Please tell our readers about your music & travel event known as Mi Casa Holiday (MCH).

JtMT: Family, Music, Paradise…We curate, and you celebrate! Ultimately, MCH (https://www.instagram.com/micasaholiday) is your personal holiday with the best music, entertainment and the coolest, most inspiring people from around the world. The name Mi Casa Es Su Casa (My house is your house) was a reflection of my sister and I’s diverse upbringing, and holiday is a reminder that taking time for yourself is mandatory, hence…Mi Casa Holiday. The MCH concept was an extension of 3Degrees Global, a previous groundbreaking event and promotional network founded in Chicago (1999). If the world was supposedly separated by 6 people, then we believed that like-minded individuals had to be separated by only 3 people. 3Degrees was Friendster, Myspace, Facebook before their time and we used the concept to bridge the Chicago House music scene each Wednesday from October of 1999 -2007, and we still produce special events to this day.

That event grew so fast that in addition to our weekly Wednesdays, we started producing monthly events in San Francisco, New York & DC, and also big holiday tour events. However, there was one 3Degrees event concept l that we never executed, and it was called the Global House Project. The idea was to take our community to an exotic location. After years of frustration with the unwillingness of nightclubs to invest in new talent, decorations, to sound, to renovations, the fragmentation of the winter music conference, friends and I traveling around the world to hang out, meeting other artists and promoters who were looking to do something new and fresh, and my sister’s annual plead to do a travel event, it all led to producing a weekend in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in October 2009. Since then, we’ve produced MCH events in Costa Rica, Cuba, US & Mexico. Everyone should experience MCH and Rediscover Amazing!

GO BANG! Magazine: You are also part of an international coaching & mentoring platform known as YourPassion1st. Explain what it is and why you are a part of it.

JtMT: YourPassion1st is an international coaching and mentoring program that inspires young adults to overcome adversity and through art, music, entertainment, sports, and culinary, empowers them to follow their passion as an entrepreneur or leverage their skills to excel in the marketplace.

During the pandemic we decided to produce a live virtual event like many others. However, I will never just do something for the sake of doing it. Therefore, we took our event production hats off and put our tv network hats on and envisioned a week long, 24hr/day cable channel where Mi Casa Holidayers from across the world could display their passions, talents, and most importantly connect at such an important time. I was incredibly excited about this idea because we were essentially building a new product, but something was holding us back. We realized that we had yet to identify a cause that resonated with our idea, when one day, a post came across my Instagram feed that read YourPassion1st. Instantly I was like wow, there is a nonprofit based on passion. This can’t be real. It touched me for a few reasons.

First, the one rule in our household growing up was that we had to have passion for whatever we decided to do. Second, their approach made so much sense. As opposed to force feeding young adults a specific path, instead meet them where they are most interested and equip them with the tools to develop their skill set and inspire them to follow their passion. Third, through MCH, we created an event called Exprésate (express yourself), which targeted young adults to showcase their talents, from Dance, Art, music, skateboarding, murals, fire dancers whatever…. Lastly, through entertainment, young adults have shown us how they’ve influenced the older generations, and through my involvement I’ve learned quite a bit about near peer influence which is about young adults impacting the next generation.

So, after meeting the founder Chris Thomas, we seamlessly integrated his workforce readiness music festival vision into our MCH virtual event, and the MCH community helped to raise over 10k for the YourPassion1st organization. I was incredibly inspired after the live event, where there were 150 content contributors from 19 countries where we generated over 25,000 streams. After the event, I got involved and helped redesign the program, along with the addition of integrating young adults from Brazil and South Africa. This year, our program participants are producing 5 events that will air during the 2nd annual MCH Virtual Weekend + Workforce Readiness Music Festival November 10-17. (https://www.yourpassion1st.com/)

GO BANG! Magazine: Over the years, you have had the opportunity to perform with numerous well-known DJs and talent. Is there anyone or any event in particular that stands out as one of your most memorable?

JtMT: There are so many, however, I’ll never forget Keven Saunderson booking me to play the main stage at Detroit Electronic Music Festival thanks to my friend Monica Lockett.  Or when my friends Priti, Monna, the 3Degrees crew & the late great Frankie Knuckles surprised me and he played with me on my birthday.  Or when Lil Louis personally called me to book me for his CPR event in Chicago, the first time that I ever played in New York through Body & Soul’s John Davis, and Blaze’s (Josh Milan & Kevin Hedge) came to hear me and were dancing all night.  Playing all night with one of my favorite DJ’s of all time, Louie Vega at Cielo, all of the late night Mi Casa Holiday Mexico sets (starting at 4:20am).  Sharing the bill with legends like the last Paul Johnson, Terry Hunter, Tony Touch, Joe Claussell, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Dixon, and Heather.  The time I played the same club in the Philippines as Tiesto, but more interesting than that, playing on this insane sound system for my good friend Christopher Andrew’s destination wedding, and the first person on the dance floor was Tiesto.  Or the event that really catapulted my name around the world, when Large Music’s Jeff Craven asked me to open the main room for Large Music’s first ever Winter Music Conference event in Miami with Dennis Ferrer, Kerri Chandler, Jask & Roy Davis Jr, and asked me to also wanted me to close the back room which ended up getting me to New York and then later around the world.

I’ve been blessed and I feel like my schedule is about to get hectic as I still get the same responses that I was getting 20 years ago, which is people asking me “how do I not know about you, and where can I get more?!”

GO BANG! Magazine: Just recently in August, 2021, we have lost a few prominent DJs due to Covid and other health issues. Many of us haven’t had the time to even grieve. Did you know any of these DJs and how has their deaths affected you.

JtMT: I’m still processing all of them, especially my friend’s DJ Paul Johnson (Chicago), and my friend Reese (Miami). They both had so much spirit, it’s hard to believe. Unfortunately, there have been many amazing friends who were taken too soon like my friends Voodoo Ray (NYC) & Kweston (Chicago) pre-pandemic.  I’m less affected about how they all passed, rather the fact that they’re no longer physically here. I think when someone has impacted you, it’s your responsibility to help live out their legacy in the way that they inspired you, so that is what I am doing. I believe that It’s important to understand that no day is promised. Therefore, live your life to the fullest, open your heart and open your mind in a world that thrives off of friction.

GO BANG! Magazine: How are you dealing with the Covid pandemic, pre-vaccine time and post-vaccine times, and how has it affected you or your business?

JtMT: I’ve vowed to not lose any friends regardless of where they stand. It’s disheartening to see so many people pointing their fingers at others when they don’t know nearly as much as they think they do. Especially when they are pointing fingers at people who have previously and consistently brought joy into their lives. It’s sad. The world is made up of complicated issues, and I hope the dance, music, and arts community will be strong enough to respect one another’s journeys and conclusions versus pointing fingers or worse, supporting segregation. Yes segregation, because that is exactly what’s coming if people don’t get their acts together. Art, Dance, music, comedy, it’s up to us to be strong and open. If we can’t come together, then it’s a wrap.

GO BANG! Magazine: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

JtMT: Traveling around the world inspiring people.

GO BANG! Magazine: If you weren’t a DJ/Producer/Businessman, what would you be doing?

JtMT: Probably a consultant and/or motivational speaker.

You an follow Julius The Mad Thinker on ALL social media;

@juliustmt

@micasaholiday

@yourpassion1st

 

 


Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.