“He’s wearing that jacket again,” was all I could think as I approached Kene Ekwunife at the marble-lined bar top. Coolly sipping a cocktail, a messenger bag slung across his shoulders, Kene, better known as SaveMoney artist KAMI, was impossible to miss in the half-full club. What the casual observer didn’t know is that he’d been rocking the thick-lined bomber since mid-summer. Far from the casual observer, I immediately recalled seeing him at East Room in July, myself sweating through a t-shirt as he stood draped in the neon-orange outerwear, seemingly unfazed as he explained the perseverance of style to me. While it may seem innocuous, that jacket operates as a perfect metaphor for KAMI as a person and an artist: unmistakable yet tempered, patient and consistent. In many ways, he’s evolved in the public eye without having to catch it’s full glare, not yet at least. Continue reading From Understudy To Leading Man After A Journey Of Self-Discovery, KAMI Steps Into The Spotlight
Chicago continued its dominance over new music last week as Preston Oshita, better known to the world as Towkio of the SaveMoney hip-hop collective, unveiled his highly anticipated “.Wav Theory” project to the world. Part of the group that brought us Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper, Towkio here steps out with a talented, genre-bending release that comes packed with local intonations while looking optimistically outward, as the world opens up for the young artist. Formerly know locally as Tokyo Shawn, Towkio has always been the outlying presence in a collective that boasts some diagonal personalities. A former quarterback at Lane Tech High School, he’s been a leader for a new school of fashion-forward rhymesayers who have paced the Chicago scene. “.Wav Theory” is his magnum opus—at least to this point in his career. Packed full from start to finish, the project benefits from the work of executive producer Peter CottonTale of The Social Experiment, who worked closely with him for more than two years, tinkering with the project and all its abstracted hip-hop and dance aesthetics. The pair come together most notably on “Heaven Only Knows” featuring Chance, fellow local Eryn Allen Kane and Lido. Using nuanced, bracketed organ chords and Kane’s Sunday church-invoking vocals, Towkio shows off his witty wordplay and penchant for careful sentence structure on a track that racked up over five million plays on Soundcloud upon release. Top to bottom, this project is a success. Similar to Chance’s “Acid Rap” and Vic Mensa’s “Innanetape,” this release is poised to vault Towkio from hangouts and parties around the city to major events and festivals across the country. As we all wait on pins and needles for The Social Experiment’s “Surf” project, Towkio serves up a wave for us to ride. It’s both a continuance of what the SaveMoney collective has proven to locals over the last few years, and a welcome, uplifting collection for a city that can always use it. (Jake Krzeczowski) – See more at: http://music.newcity.com/2015/05/08/record-review-wav-theory-by-towkio/#sthash.aYx3lbya.dpuf
By Jake KrzeczowskiIn another collaboration with IXI Chicago (SideBySide Collective), we bring you a look into the mind of Chicago-based producer, Thelonious Martin. Peep the video and profile below – video by Bryan Lamb – words by Jake Krzeczowski.
Names can get tricky for Chicago producer Thelonious Martin. Often confused with Theophilous London and Thelonious Monk, the 19-year-old Columbia student has gone about establishing his own name in music over the past few years. Continue reading THELONIOUS MARTIN: INTERVIEW