In this episode, Quinn and I hit up Subterranean for the Midnight Sun Listening Party for local rapper Foss and his project Midnight Sun. In addition to the man of the night, we spoke with DJ Que Eleven, Power 92’s Ricky Rampage, and Justin Romano, CEO & Founder of Backspace. Scroll down to learn more about our time recording at Foss’ Midnight Sun Listening Party.
MICFEST PRESENTs FOSS MIDNIGHT SUN LISTENING PARTY
Presented by Les Music & Micfest, this listening party was not only promotion for Foss’ upcoming project--it was also an avenue for local brands and artists to connect and glo with each other on all levels. Local designers Raub Greedy and Forever Fly were in attendance selling merchandise and the event featured performances by Chicago artists including Taylor Mallory, Chai Tulani, and SiSi Dior. CEO Justin Romano, was also among the gods, presenting his new app Backspace, a social media that creates a more incentivized sharing experience--an experience Romano thinks will have an interesting appeal to upcoming, independent artists. It’s easy to understand why he decided to sponsor one of the fastest growing indie music showcases in the Chicago area.
As expected, DJ Que Eleven maintained the good vibes on his turntables while Foss & Ricky Rampage made sure everyone stayed cool. During our interview, Rampage opened up about how Chicago violence has affected him and how he intentionally creates positive energy as a host to ensure a great night without disruptions. “I went to South Shore High School. A lot of my friends got murdered. Just knowing how rough the city is and where we come from, I’m all about unity, love and peace,” said Rampage. “When I host, I try to bring that to every environment...it’s like a unity thing I want to do with the city.” Rampage was introduced to Foss at the ‘Return of the Real’ event at the Tonic Room.
“Normally the [showcases] sometimes stay the same, but the fabric of the people make Micfest what it is. It changes as far as dynamics every show. It never has the same energy every show,”
Throughout our interviews, we discussed the role Micfest plays on the Chicago artist community, how it helps artists transcend their celebrity, and the key factors that make the movement more influential than any other open mic/showcase for Chicago music. Que Eleven, who’s been involved with the Micfest series since its beginnings four years ago, touched on how it has grown from a small monthly showcase and how each show is better than the last. “To watch [Micfest] from then until now, it’s amazing because it gets better and better,” he said. “Normally the [showcases] sometimes stay the same, but the fabric of the people make Micfest what it is. It changes as far as dynamics every show. It never has the same energy every show.” The DJ went on to predict Micfest to be producing events for signed artists by the end of the year.
Before gracing the Subt stage, Foss took the time to discuss the influences behind Midnight Sun mixtape and filled us in on his upcoming music in the works. We learned that, in addition to a new project called “Fuck Foss,” this listening party was just part one of the Midnight Sun Chicago ‘tour’, which Foss says will be a series of random art inspired installations and listening sessions, in hopes of creating a strong promotional campaign to support the tape.
”We’re taking [Midnight Sun] to a bunch a different places once this listening party is done,” said Foss. Originally from Syracuse, NY, the Chicago-based artist is no stranger to curveballs--he recently dropped a remix to Golden Pharaoh that feature Chicagoan King Louie, and Lou don’t just give bars away. “It’s gonna be different every time. The show is [to attract] a lot of poeple in several different places,” said Foss. “This spot happens to be a venue. The next one will be a recording studio…three and four, you might hear in your local library,” he continued, jokingly, implying how exclusive these upcoming sessions will be.
You can hear the full interviews with Justin Romano, Ricky Rampage, DJ Que Eleven, and Foss in Episode 4 of Butch & Quinn by clicking the button and let us know what you think in the comments! If you want to learn how you can be featured in the next episode, send The Lyke Aesthetic an email.