KnowMads, Kung Foo Grip, All Star Opera, DJ Swervewon

When:
February 16, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
2017-02-16T20:00:00-08:00
2017-02-16T20:15:00-08:00
Where:
The Crocodile
2200 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
USA
Cost:
$10 Adv.
Contact:
(206) 441-4618

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KnowMads
Born one day apart, KnowMads began their movement almost a decade ago and have been cultivating one of the most diehard independent followings in the region ever since. They began making music purely out of love. As their passion grew, so did their fan base.

Tom Pepe and Tom Wilson went to rival high schools in Seattle where their infamous rap battles during football games were often more of a spectacle than the game itself. Wilson had a makeshift studio in his attic where they recorded their first songs at age 15. “We used to take the metro bus around the city, traveling from place to place,” recalls Wilson. “We were nomadic in the sense that we were always on the go, yet felt at home wherever we were…as long as we were performing and creating music.”

They released their first album, self-titled KnowMads, as juniors in high school and followed up with their 2009 LP, SEATTLE, selling over 2000 copies and creating a global awareness that follows them to this day. Their third LP, 2012’s The Knewbook, landed at #7 on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts, solidifying their grassroots movement. Their significant online presence brought forth opportunities to open for Macklemore, Chance The Rapper and landed them slots at major music festivals such as Bumbershoot and Sasquatch! Their live performances have brought them up and down the West Coast, from Vancouver to Los Angeles, where they now reside.

Their current release, Knew School, represents their migration, not only to Los Angeles, but also into the mainstream music industry. Producer Peter Lee Johnson (Atlantic Records) was brought on board to lend his classically trained ear and experience to the project. The process began with Johnson sending the duo loops, which they would play endlessly, working together to determine themes based on the feeling of the tracks. Knew School was conceptualized around their formative high school days, but laced with broader themes and life lessons, which emerged in the succeeding years.

KnowMads have a synergy that can only come with a decade’s worth of writing and performing together. Their sound encompasses two unique personalities and tones, but the message of their music has one voice. “Our fans often tell us they feel like we put their thoughts into words,” Pepe says. “It makes us realize how universal our message is. We’ve created a cultural outlet for those who don’t feel they have a culture to connect to.”

Tom Pepe and Tom Wilson went to rival high schools in Seattle where their infamous rap battles during football games were often more of a spectacle than the game itself. Wilson had a makeshift studio in his attic where they recorded their first songs at age 15. “We used to take the metro bus around the city, traveling from place to place,” recalls Wilson. “We were nomadic in the sense that we were always on the go, yet felt at home wherever we were…as long as we were performing and creating music.”

They released their first album, self-titled KnowMads, as juniors in high school and followed up with their 2009 LP, SEATTLE, selling over 2000 copies and creating a global awareness that follows them to this day. Their third LP, 2012’s The Knewbook, landed at #7 on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts, solidifying their grassroots movement. Their significant online presence brought forth opportunities to open for Macklemore, Chance The Rapper and landed them slots at major music festivals such as Bumbershoot and Sasquatch! Their live performances have brought them up and down the West Coast, from Vancouver to Los Angeles, where they now reside.

Their current release, Knew School, represents their migration, not only to Los Angeles, but also into the mainstream music industry. Producer Peter Lee Johnson (Atlantic Records) was brought on board to lend his classically trained ear and experience to the project. The process began with Johnson sending the duo loops, which they would play endlessly, working together to determine themes based on the feeling of the tracks. Knew School was conceptualized around their formative high school days, but laced with broader themes and life lessons, which emerged in the succeeding years.

KnowMads have a synergy that can only come with a decade’s worth of writing and performing together. Their sound encompasses two unique personalities and tones, but the message of their music has one voice. “Our fans often tell us they feel like we put their thoughts into words,” Pepe says. “It makes us realize how universal our message is. We’ve created a cultural outlet for those who don’t feel they have a culture to connect to.”

In 2012 KnowMads released their most highly acclaimed album, The KnewBook, which rose to #7 on the iTunes charts. KnowMads have worked since to explore their creativity individually, recently releasing respective solo albums; Pepe’s Live Good (2013) and Wilson’s Jet City (2014). Live Good is laced with modern west coast production and personal narratives reminiscent of Dom Kennedy and Kendrick Lamar. Jet City rides over a golden era east coast sound, with sharp hard-hitting lyrics, along the lines of Action Bronson. Seattle beat maker, Jesse Judd, produced both of these albums along with the majority of KnowMads early catalogue.

Pepe and Wilson have had the opportunity to perform throughout the Northwest, wherein lies their greatest fan-base, as well as garnering new crowds by the thousands. They performed at Bumbershoot Music Festival (2012) and Sasquatch Music Festival (2013), deepening support for the KnowMadFam Movement. Pepe and Wilson have been performing at Seattle venues since they were 16-years-old, coming up in the local rap scene alongside Blue Scholars and Macklemore. They have performed at colleges, bars and venues throughout the country; sharing the stage with artists such as Nipsey Hussle and Chance the Rapper in addition to touring and remaining in constant discourse with their international fanbase. KnowMads hope to expand their reach in the years to come. Keep an eye out for this young vital duo on the rise.

Kung Foo Grip
Eff Is H & Greg Cypher are Kung Foo Grip. Two MC’s making that fresh coast hip hop that never gets old. Relevant, independent, & definitely dope! Lyrical, classic, hungry, and versatile. Known to shred swords at shows with sharp precision and high energy. The train is not to be missed…

All Star Opera
Based out of SEATTLE, All Star Opera is a collective of artists balancing a diversity of talents and influences. Two emcees and a four-piece band play back and forth navigating an alternate reality inhabited by unfamiliar feels, dynamic composition and warm flowing soundscapes.
Friendly-funky-dreamy-grungy-creamy-yummy-steamy-crunchy music for your hungry soul.

DJ Swervewon
Growing up between Alaska, Montana and Colorado taught Louis Berntsen how to keep Hip Hop in his life, from digging in crates to making long drives to bigger cities so he could catch a touring act. He developed a passion for the sounds of gritty east coast boom bap and invested in a set of turntables, initially spending hours on end in his basement practicing the arts of beat matching and scratching.

After years of hit and miss sets around his home communities, and a push from a friend he decided to take the chance and test his skills in the city. Relocating to Seattle in the winter of 2005, he took hold of his DJ persona Swervewon and started going out solo just to hear what was happening and who was making it happen.

He knew no one, but made an ally in DJ B Mello whose mixtapes he had worn out in the past. Through this connection Swerve began finding his way to the right clubs and soon enough a network began to show itself. By 2006 he had joined Obese Productions and became a staple at anything hiphop related in the town.

His alliances were growing and he found himself living in a community with artists who were all as focused as he on moving their careers and Seattle hiphop forward. As he kept building his reputation as a knowledgeable music head with skills for the mix more shows came his way. With the brand gaining traction he started DJin club nights. At first it was fill in spots but before too long he had snagged a Wednesdays at the Dubliner in Fremont.

The carefree environment provided the perfect space for him to develop his sound that had transitioned from being focused on music of the past to new and current sounds from both Seattle and around the country. He also started inviting his friends to come and rock some tunes, getting an early set from Mad Rad amongst others.

Swerve’s constant hustle and out and about nature kept his name and face in everyone’s mind and it was only a matter of time before he had stepped up as an artists DJ. Working with Grieves in 2007 saw him rock many stages and tour the country. He returned to Seattle hungry and more excited than ever to party rock.

He remained one of a handful of local go to DJs who could handle any show and crowd. He continued to pop up on numerous bills and kicked off a new weekly in Fremont, this time on Thursdays at the Ballroom. At this time he also met DJ 100proof and they formed an alliance that would see them rocking the Bit Saloon in Ballard. That ended, but not before a plan had been developed for a new night on Capitol Hill called Jet Set.

Kicking off Jet Set with the theme being focused on Swerve’s constant search for the newest jams and Proof’s throwback steez they became Monday night residents at the Capitol Club and kept a rotating stream of DJs rolling through to add an x-factor to the evening that you could never predict.

As Jet Set took off it gave birth to a new organization Swerve took partnership in in Members Only 206. Members Only began as a promotion company for late night parties and Jet Set, but before long it was stepping into the music business proper releasing music from local artists. Swervewon’s network and ear has been and will remain an intricate part of the MO sound.

With Jet Set raising profiles of all involved Swerve was able to get his name on some of the biggest shows coming through Seattle all the while staying connected to the artists in the town who he had come up with. In 2011 his hard work and ear for new sounds got him recognized by the Seattle Weekly as the Hiphop DJ of the year.

Of course never one to stay stagnant, Swerve’s sound has been ever shifting and in the summer of 2011 he partnered with Out For Stardom representer DJ Darwin for a more up beat party night called Hump at Moe Bar which has given birth to his first weekly mixtape series.

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