What follows the colon coming up doesn’t contain an ounce of hyperbole: The De La Soul/Native Tongues-ish Germantown rap group Writtenhouse are the most dynamic, fresh, ethereal and unique hip-hop artists in the city. TRUTH. People in the industry are starting to notice, too, which is why the group—made up of verbal mechanic Charlie K, live beat producers Chris Conway and Kush Shalimar and hype man Somerville Sleeves—is being asked to open more and more high-profile shows as time goes on. They’ve been getting cushy with Black Sheep, Wu Tang Clan, the Roots, and this week, Kidz in the Hall at the TLA. Be sure to get there early to catch the live mixing they do and what is absolutely, to our minds, the best show hip-hop has to offer. We asked Writtenhouse to play a little “Fill in the Blanks” with us in advance of the big night. And if you don’t know, now you know! (Brian McManus)
A typical day writing for us includes ... ”a chill environment with a nice vibe like the studio. Beats constantly on repeat for hours at a time, enough to make someone who doesn’t write songs extremely uncomfortable! But seriously just good vibes, good music and a pen and pad. That’s the formula for live dynamics of live mechanics!” (Charlie K)
What makes us most excited for the future is ... “the possibility to travel the country—and hopefully the world—and share our music with different cultures. As a relatively new group we are traveling to a lot of places for the first time and its very cool to soak up the local flavors and meet artists and fans. We have some peers who travel overseas and tell us they have fans who only know English through the music they listen to.” (Chris Conway)
The day we started the band we knew we wanted to ... ”be a testament in its truest form. This is why we bring all the equipment on stage and rock out raw and uncut. To get the audience as close as possible to the vibe of making music and how that makes you feel. At the same time we’re here to entertain them and give them a tremendous show, which is bigger than just a record (although we think we make dope records too.)” (Charlie K)
What makes us unique is ... “the way we internalize the craft of making not just music, but art for the people. When we are on the road in the van, we play everything from Thom Yorke to Ryan Leslie to 4Hero to Stereolab to Jay Electronic to Electric Wire Hustle. We are constantly connecting with creativity ranging from comedy (we’re pretty hilarious, by the way) to obscure visual artistry such as architecture and sculpture to compliment our music.” (Kush Shalimar)
Seventy five percent of what is being played on the radio ... ”seems to be watered down, in my opinion. The ‘conscious’ hip-hop music does not seem to have a solid platform to stand on and the general public needs more Jay Electronica, more Reflection Eternal, more Phahroe Monche ... more Writtenhouse. The crazy part is that 75% of the readers will agree.” (Charlie K)
Of all the acts we’ve played with recently, one that blew us away was ... “De La Soul. We have been blessed with the opportunity to share the stage with the best and brightest talent. De La—in addition to being true pioneers—their energy and command of the stage and showmanship reinforced the notion of a live show being something that is bigger than a record or song; 100 percent pure energy, which is what we try to capture too. Watching them has been very influential in how we approach our shows and connect with people on an individual level.” (Somerville Sleeves)
One thing you wouldn’t know by looking at us is that ... “we are all college graduates and individually are three time all-world national Ultimate Frisbee players.” (Kush Shalimar)
It’s funny ... "when someone in the audience approaches after a show and tells us they didn’t realize we were playing everything live until midway through our set. We wonder what they thought we were doing for the first 20 minutes.” (Chris Conway)
Thurs., July 15
With Kidz in the Hall, Akillies + Dephonic & Stalley
Theatre of the Living Arts
334 South St.
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