AMPLIFYING THE VOICE AND VISION OF YOUNG PHILLY
CRED PHILLY IS CRED Philly is a tri-annual arts and culture publication dedicated to promoting and publishing the work of Philadelphia’s young artists, writers, performers, and activists. The contents of CRED are created, submitted, and curated by individuals ages 25 and under who live in the Philadelphia region.
THE OLD(ER) STAFF SPECIAL THANKS TO Aviva Kapust Executive Director The Village of Arts and Humanities Chief Editor and Creative Director CRED Philly
THE YOUNG(ER) STAFF Heather Jones Managing Editor Gina Swindler Art Director Rebecca Blessing Art Director Mason Tuite Designer Interns Brendan P. Coleman Victoria Marchiony Rosie Wiegand S.Frosty
CRED Advertisers Mural Arts Philadelphia Sculpture Gym The Art Blog JJ Tiziou Photography Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints J2 Design Partnership Tattooed Mom Headlong Performance University of the Arts Philadephia’s Magic Gardens Philly Cam Interface Studios CRED Funders The Village of Arts and Humanities The Knight Foundation Donor-Advised Fund Philadelphia Cultural Fund Impact100 Philadelphia
PARTNERING CONTACT ORGANIZATIONS CRED is based at The Village “The Mixtape” contains written and photographic contributions from Junior Music Executives
COVER ART James Kaminski, 23 Pie in the Sky ink, digital
of Arts and Humanities:
2506 N. Alder Street Philadelphia, PA 19133 215.225.7830 firstname.lastname@example.org
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PROJECT POSITIVE ARBORGLASS ATTIC GRAFFIX PHILLYEARTH STAND UP COMEDIANS HIVE 76 PHILLY ILLUSTRATORS
LIVE LEGENDARY DAN CENTRONE MIC STEWART DREAM SAFARI O.H.M. PHILLY OPEN MIC
my tremolo peddle has a projector,
crazy motors, and light sensors!
Photo Credit: Andree Rucker, 24
YOU DON’T KNOW Q+A WITH PHILLY HACKER DAN PROVENZANO
By Kristen Gillette, 22 Hacking has seen its share of negative press recently but lucky for Dan Provenzano, 24, his type of hacking is totally legal and totally fun. As a member of Hive76, a shared workspace located in a converted warehouse, Dan “hacks” everyday items and then transforms them into something completely new.
How do you define “hacking”? To me, hacking is repurposing things that have already been made to create something completely new— typically consumer products. Many people think hacking involves computers and codes but that’s not really what I do. Where you always interested in building things? It’s always been something I’ve enjoyed and had an impulse to do. Everybody wants to leave their mark on the world; building machines is my way of doing that. I started building robots when I was 11. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop. The objects and machines I make are an extension of myself. I feel more connected to them than anything that I buy at a store. When I give something I’ve crafted away as a gift, I feel like I’m giving away a part of myself.
Do YOU THINK A FORMAL EDUCATION IS BETTER THAN A do-it-yourself approach? I’m still trying to figure that out myself. When I got to college, I thought everybody would be as enthusiastic and curious about making things as I was. A lot of people were just going through the motions to end up with a high paying job but they didn’t seem to have passion for their work. I started learning and making things by diving right in and using trial-and-error before going on to study mechanical engineering. I’m lucky have had the best of both worlds. But without real-world applications, the numbers have no meaning. If you want to create, the best education you can get is to just go out and make stuff. Make lots of mistakes.
How did you come across Hive76? I found a DIY music night and that’s my jam, so I thought I’d bring some of my projects in hoping that
no one would laugh at me. It was really cool because everyone here had their own projects there with them. I knew I was home.
Why did you decide to stick around? It’s a great community of people; the depth of knowledge and intelligence here is ridiculous. Whenever I ask, “Can you make sure this isn’t going to blow up or kill me?” there is always someone here who can make sure I’m safe. How do you come up with ideas? I read a lot about projects other people are working on which inspires me to try to do things my own way. I could just go out and buy something—but I like making it myself and seeing where it takes me. Recently, I thought about going out and buying a tremolo peddle, which is for guitar effects, but I wanted the experience of making my own. So many smaller projects branched off of that and now my tremolo peddle has a projector, crazy motors, and light sensors! How can someone get involved? Come visit me here! Sometimes we just hang out and work on projects with each other, other times community members come in and need help with their own. We help them solder, write some lines of code, or bounce ideas around. It helps to just be around people who are likeminded. If you don’t have anything to work on, it’s totally okay. You can help us make something we’re working on better by demoing it and giving your feedback. It’s pretty freeform–I promise it’ll be a good time. Don’t be afraid to talk to other maker folk - everybody started somewhere and every maker knows that. None of us actually know what we’re doing anyway. What will you make next? I’m teaching a class on how to make contact microphones that pick up sound through solid objects. For ten bucks you can join in and learn to make and record sound with everyday objects. For more info, visit their website, Hive76.org
LIVING LEGENDS Q+A WITH HIP-HOP COLLECTIVE, LIVE LEGENDARY
By S.Frosty, 25 Seeking to unite young Philadelphia through music, the hip-hop collective Live Legendary pairs uniquely seasoned beats with socially conscious lyrics. Live Legendary members, De’Ko, SpaceGhost Pride, and producer Geez Seven are individual artists with the collective vision of a young, local music scene that acts as a support system for all musicians and performers—one big family that draws inspiration and strength from one another. CRED sat down with the artists to talk making music, making waves and making plans for the future.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR musicAL style? De’ko: My sound is heavily influenced by Jazz, Blues, R&B, and traditional African music. I listen to a lot of hip-hop, of course, but I think that diversifying the music you listen to helps grow your own unique sound. Pride: I’m really focused on creating lyrics that are relatable. I’m not gonna give you receiptfrom-the-store, over produced and focus group type music. I like to talk about stuff that comes up in everyday life, but express it in a new way. Like instead of saying, “we had bad blood,” I’ll say “rotten plasma.”
Geez: Nowadays, mainstream music isn’t really empathetic or realistic. Rappers mostly talk about how great they are and how much you wish you were them. I like producing music that captures what we go through as young men—the everyday struggles. WHY IS YOUR SOUND UNIQUE? De’ko: I was born in West Africa, which definitely influences my work. Besides music, I am also a fashion designer—that was my focus in college. I like getting my hands into different artistic mediums to keep my music fresh. Geez: We make what we feel and don’t try to achieve a certain sound. The sound follows the meaning, the concept behind each track. Every part of every track expresses what we’re going through in life.
WHAT’S THE LIVE LEGENDARY ORIGIN STORY? HOW DID YOU COME TO BE AFFILIATED? De’ko: As individual artists we’re strong, but together we felt like we could really rise above the norm and create something that people want to be part of, not just listen to. Pride: I linked up with Live Legendary at The Art Institute of Philadelphia through a videographer that knew De‘Ko. Our group wasn’t created out of force—it wasn’t fabricated. We all share the same values and intentions, so it just came together naturally. Geez: Being an artist can sometimes be isolating. Being part of a collective is like having a whole other family that relates to your struggle and supports you. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SOCIAL ISSUES YOU WANT TO ADDRESS WITH YOUR MUSIC? Pride: The tube is pushing sex, fashion, and capitalism to young people everywhere, and Philly youth are not immune. Young people’s natural insecurities are magnified when they compare themselves to the airbrushed images of musical artists and celebrities. It makes it hard to convince young people that their uniqueness is what makes them beautiful.
BEING A PART OF A MUSIC COLLECTIVE IS LIKE
HAVING A WHOLE OTHER FAMILY.
CREDMIXTAPE WHAT DO YOU HOPE LIVE LEGENDARY WILL DO FOR THE YOUNG PHILLY COMMUNITY? De’ko: We hope it will inspire people to work hard for their dreams—success doesn’t come easy. Our EP, “Dream Sequences,” is all about following your dreams even in the face of challenges. We take you to another realm when you feel down. Some of our songs will just make you feel good, simply in seeing that there are others going through the same situations. Pride: We want people to realize that, although our stories are different, the resulting emotions are the same. We have more in common than we think… WHAT’S NEXT FOR LIVE LEGENDARY? Geez: We want our message to reach as many people as possible by performing, distributing over social media, and teaching. I grew up in major studios, watching well-known artists work really hard to create albums that were musically interesting, well produced and, at the same time, represented what was going on in their lives and in the world. We want to encourage young people to use music as a vehicle for self expression and social change.
Photo Credit: Ryan Powell, 25
TAKE ONE SETTING THE STAGE FOR PHILLY’S NEXT RISING DIRECTOR By Lissa Alicia, 22 Lights up. Camera ready. Dan Centrone, 22, is on the scene making a name for himself as one of Philly’s most talented young music video directors. CRED sat down with the director to learn about his journey from horror films and skate videos to hip-hop music videos and MTV.
On Getting Started When I was 13, I started making skate films. From there I went on to make short films. I did a ton of short horror flicks in high school. I enrolled at Community College to study Art History and Photography but it was taking up too much time. I just wanted to be behind the camera and found myself sitting in class coming up with ideas for videos. My first music video was for my friend’s rock band. Looking back, I know it was terrible, but just the thrill of doing it made me feel like it was kinda awesome. I kept studying and practicing and made contact with some local rappers that I wanted to shoot for. They liked what I did for them and, step-by-step, it took off from there. On YouTube fame One of my very first videos got 10,000 views in one week and I was like, ‘Yo! This is crazy!’ Now a popular video gets a couple of hundred thousand hits and makes it to MTV… it changes all the time. How many hits you get isn’t as important as who is watching. I try to focus more on the artform and on how my clients react to what I make for them.
On Signature Styles I don’t go out of my way to do anything signature, but I think if you watch all of my videos, you can kind of tell by certain little things that I do—the way I edit or the way I film things—that it is mine. I can’t tell you what these things are. It’s not a certain look. On Being Flexible Shooting a video can get hectic. Variables are constantly changing and you have to be quick on your feet and ready to collaborate with everyone involved. In the past, I’ve had a video completely planned out with a set already built and woke up to the artist wanting to shoot a different song entirely. I just went with it. Photo Credit: Brendan P. Coleman, 23
What’s it like working with artists? Sometimes artists will give me creative direction and other times I will present them with something just based on hearing the song. At the end of the day, it’s collaboration. I’ve been lucky to work with some really talented artists who are, more than anything, good people. They’re creative, so we work well together. What’s next? I feel like every video gives me more and more practice at storytelling. Eventually, I am going to get to a point where I have a script in my hands that I really love and I’ll feel entirely prepared to bring it to life. I know it will get there. It’s just a matter of time and focus. WordS of Wisdom If you feel like you have to force yourself to work on your art, maybe it’s not for you. Find something you love to do. It doesn’t matter how bad you think you are or even how good you are. The hard work will get you where you’re meant to go.
FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO.
THE HARD WORK WILL GET YOU
WHERE YOU’RE MEANT TO GO.
Photo Credit: Gabriel Wiener, 23
ROCK THE MIC RAPPER MIC STEWART CLIMBS THE RUNGS OF PHILLY’S HIP HOP SCENE By Rebecca Gorena, 23 & Steve Burns, 24 With a Red Bull Emcee National Freestyle Championship under his belt, it seems that Philly’s hip-hop community has a new power player on its hands: Mic Stewart and his first full-length album Peace World. Mike “Mic” Stewart has been rapping for over a decade, getting his start around his “old stomping ground,” the Temple University area of the city. Now 24, Stewart has his foot in the door and a serious local fanbase to boot.
be rhythmic and musical—try not to just say your raps over the track, make them flow, make music.” Stewart also warns against emulation and offers a bit of advice for innovation: “You need to move with culture and with society. Narrate what you see, remain honest, and follow your inspirations.” This formula for success is a key component to both Stewart’s style and character—the driving force between the music he makes today.
Peace World has a raw effect, garnered from production that took place entirely in home studios. Producers such as SamLive, Rob Fruchtman, B Free, and DJ Sophic brought in various guitar and piano players while Stewart rapped on mics set up in bedrooms. Stewart’s verses cut sharp, but they also bounce and roll with the melody, which is something he strives for. Stewart appreciates the musicality that can exist within hip-hop music; “you should
Stewart’s music is relished right here in Philly and ‘round the world. Troops overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan have reached out to Stewart saying that their regiment wakes up and does their workout to his mix tape. Recently, a 12-year-old girl told him, “‘I know all the words to Lonely Hearts!’” (Off Peace World). “Those things,” Stewart says, “have begun to manifest. I think I’m becoming a more well-rounded, deliberate artist than I have ever been before.”
Like members of his fanbase and enthusiasts overseas, Stewart was also inspired by hip-hop. “Hip-hop can be a catalyst for positive change. It’s like any other genre, any other form of art. It’s inspiring; it gives you a different perspective on life.” Realizing the immense capacity for the positive change hip-hop can hold, Stewart seeks to push the sound forward by recognizing the genre’s roots and infusing it with fresh Philadelphian fire. Stewart is an artist who truly believes in the power of his craft. “I have the ability to raise awareness for different causes; I’m able to champion different ideas and thoughts; and I can look at various cultural aspects through a unique lens, bringing as much of it into my music as I possibly can.” Stewart’s newfound self-awareness is rooted in his willingness to not only acknowledge, but embrace his role as an artist who is committed to changing the way hip-hop music is composed and how rappers reflect the culture they’re a part of. “Now that I’m being listened to, I realize that there is some responsibility that comes with being an entertainer: a new self-awareness through my impact on culture, my impact on people’s lives.” Ultimately, what drives Stewart’s creation and shapes his artistry is passion for the significance his music can have on his listeners. Before Stewart climbed the rungs of Philly’s growing hip-hop scene, he was once an aspiring rapper. His advice to anyone with a desire to make music is simple. “Just do it as hard as you can and watch the world take shape around you— build from there. If you want to be a rapper, rap.”
Young artists and writers spanning the Philadelphia region submitted more than 1,000 works to this issue of CRED. In an online poll, they voted for their favorite pieces. Here are their top picks.
NEGLIGENCE derrik toler, 23 I read something that immediately had me like, I need to vent, so I grab my pen, Jump to my desk and begin, To get this shit off my chest. Because I don’t care if no one else did it, This needed to be addressed. Mr. Carlos Rivera, How could you starve your three year old child to death? It’s apparent, that you should’ve never been a parent. I can imagine that defenseless baby, With tears like leaves from trees in Autumn, Constantly fallin’, down her face, Dealing with hunger pains, while you sat and ate. Skin and bones and about to collapse, How could a father do a thing like that? But say if it wasn’t what it seems, Maybe both of you was starving together. Your job was to make sure she had by any means somethin’ better. If it meant working at some dumb ass job only making minimum wage, Or giving her to the system or doing something that would possibly land you in a cage. It was your job to make sure she had, so as you sit on State Road waiting to plead your case, I hope you die of starvation, so you can understand what that innocent child went through and the look on her face, you’re a disgrace! You’re the worst type of predator, You only go after the weakest competitor. You’re a loser, Ain’t nothin’ worst than a child abuser.
THEPORTFOLIO Sam Cardelfe, 20 / Alone / pen, ink
THEPORTFOLIO Kyle Kogut, 23 / Six Days / graphite and gouache on paper / April Melchior, 23 / Mountain Climbers / mixed media
THEPORTFOLIO Paul Overstrom, 24 / Untitled / digital photography / Jess Williams, 23 / My Morningside / digital
THE VILLAGE OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES
ARTS AFTER SCHOOL GET CREATIVE AT THE VILLAGE MUSIC PRODUCTION / HIP-HOP DANCE / PHOTOGRAPHY / ANIMATION MIXED MEDIA ARTS / CLAY ARTS / SPOKEN WORD / PRINTMAKING PHILLYEARTH / FASHION DESIGN / MARTIAL ARTS
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