Tag Archives: closed sessions

Artistic Empathy: Kweku Collins Moves To The Front Of The Class

(Originally Appeared for TheseDays News)

At a time when most of his peers are hunting down summer jobs, jonesing for internships or cramming for finals, 19-year-old Evanston native Kweku Collins is lounging idly on a couch. An electronic vaporizer in one hand, the other rubbing his loose collection of curious locks, each with it’s own plan and direction that dictate his wily look, Collins looks very much the part of a college student nearing the end of his freshman year and in a way, he is.

Instead of picking a school and signing up for classes though, the ever-sleepy-eyed Collins sent a mixtape to Alex Fruchter and Mike Kolar, owners of the local imprint Closed Sessions. He hit send on the email at the beginning of February 2015, by the time the Chicago River was dyed green, he was a signed artist with a team to boot.

Continue reading Artistic Empathy: Kweku Collins Moves To The Front Of The Class

The Evolution Of Jamila Woods

It’s not all that difficult to read what Jamila Woods is thinking or feeling.

To do that, you just have to look to her expressions, which tell a story that has been evolving for some time.

The 25-year-old native Chicagoan has been plying her trade around her hometown for some time now. Having entered the creative world as a poet, she has since made welcome forays into music, teaching and writing. Pulling from a multitude of experiences, Jamila speaks with a sort of frank realness that allows any listener an immediate understanding of her comfortability within her own thoughts and feelings.
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XXL’s Guide To Chicago Hip-Hop: 5 Influential Hot Spots

193360_10151225329911667_1875020983_oClassick Studios

Chris Classick started his studio out of his parents basement over fours years ago. Today, he oversees one of the busiest sound booths in Chicago with a team of engineers and a client list that would make even the most on-point blogger blush. I remember stopping by last summer before North Coast festival as Chance The Rapper and his production team were cutting the early versions of “You Song” with Lil Wayne with tireless engineer Elton Chueng.

To be honest, stopping by the studio located on the near west side of the city at any time of the day or night could mean bumping into a who’s who of the local scene that makes the installation of a revolving door a solid investment. If you’re listening to anything coming out of the indie side of Chicago, there’s a good chance it was recorded at Classick Studios. Continue reading XXL’s Guide To Chicago Hip-Hop: 5 Influential Hot Spots

|The Chicago Narrative| Alex Wiley Rises to the Occasion

Alex Wiley was one of the first artists in Chicago I felt some sort of friendship with. Having been to Soundscape a few times to interview him/spend time with him in late 2012 while I was working on a story about the young artist signed to local independent label Closed Sessions, I knew to take things Wiley said with a grain of salt, and that if it was cold out he was probably posted on the black leather couch with his red winter jacket on. A self-purported rapper since he dropped out of high school to pursue his craft, Wiley has been at the center of much of the hip-hop music that has emanated from the post-drill scene that has taken over the city since Acid Rap dropped almost a year ago. Continue reading |The Chicago Narrative| Alex Wiley Rises to the Occasion

|Review| ShowYouSuck: “Dude, Bro”

ShowYouSuck has been one of the more interesting artists in the Chicago landscape for a minute now. Since establishing himself as a witty lyricist and connoisseur of all things “rad” on his One Man Pizza Party trilogy, released throughout 2011-13, Show has carved out a niche unto himself with a character and personality to match. Continue reading |Review| ShowYouSuck: “Dude, Bro”

Digital Freshness concert series kicks off

BY Jake KRZECZOWSKI February 21, 2013 4:21PM
Chicago Sun Times

For Alex Fruchter, no day is like the one before.

The 30-year-old Indiana University graduate and founder of the Chicago blog RubyHornet decided to forgo a more “traditional” path after college, investing his future in an art form that had followed him his whole life: Hip-hop.

“Hip-hop was going on all around us,” said the Hyde Park native. “You’d hear it outside or walking down the street. Eventually I just fell in love with it.” Continue reading Digital Freshness concert series kicks off