Category Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Underhouse Music – Urban Music Group

Underhouse_Logo

A few Feature Fridays ago, I met with Davis Yanda (Yandi) and we talked about his digital art, his music and his rap collective, Underhouse Music. For this Feature Friday, I had the opportunity to meet with again with Yandi, but this time he brought Marcus Montalvo (Briggs), Christian Alexander (Calex) and Octavia Chandler (Oindi) with him (Jason Perrault, aka Jae, couldn’t make it since he lives in San Diego).

Yandi, Briggs, Calex and Oindi talked with me about themselves as individual artists and about the way they work together.

Tell me about yourselves.

O: My artist name is Oindi. I’m originally from Los Angeles. I started music when I was about 14, then I took it professionally the year after that. I’ve just been down with it, like my own style, pretty much just seeing a lot of different people and how they are. I just rock with my own style.

C: I’m Calex and I’m from Inglewood. I started really taking music seriously freshman year of college. I’ve always been around it. Growing up, my uncle had a studio, so I’ve kind of always been in the workflow of how music works, but I never took it seriously until now. I officially started recording just a year and a half ago.

Y: My name is Yandi, I’m from Carlsbad in San Diego. I started doing music when I was 15. I came up here, moved into my new house, and that’s when I started the whole Underhouse Music collective thing, awesomeness. Then they just kind of appeared. I feel like Nick Fury from The Avengers.

B: I’m Briggs, born and raised in South Texas, moved out here to SoCal freshman year, now I’m here in NorCal. I started recording music six months ago, so pretty fresh off the block. I’ve been writing poems and raps since I was a little guy, but now I’m rapping, making music.

Do you all want to talk about your individual styles?

O: Well, personally, I don’t like to give my music a style because I’m really different and versatile. I like to play around with a lot of sounds. What sounds good to me, what sounds good to my ear is my sound, so that’s just what I go off of.

C: I don’t really like to classify myself, like I hate being called a rapper; I’m an artist.

Y: I like to be kind of versatile, be able to get on anything, whether it’s me singing or rapping or dropping a verse, anything like that, just being able to flow through anything.

B: Yeah, I think being versatile is important as fuck in this day and age with music because if you’re just stuck in one way of music, it’s going to be super easy for you to just fade away. But if you’re versatile, you can adapt to what the culture is. But yeah, like these guys, I try to consider myself more of an artist, just expressing myself through music and rap, poetry and rhyming, stuff like that.

Do you have any influences?

O: I have a few. I’m listening to SZA. I’m also kind of in between a lot of hot, young, soulful artists I’ve been looking into. There’s a young lady named Eryn, she’s kind of famous, you’ll have to check her out. Those are my top two.

C: I listen to a lot of people; I listen to Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Drake, Isaiah Rashad, Jayden Smith, you can just go down the spectrum of young artists poppin’ right now, you know? And I just kind of grab bits and pieces of their backgrounds, their lifestyles, their cultures, just where they come from, and put myself in their positions in a way to try to relate. Outside of that, I don’t have a genre; I’m an artist. I make music. If it sounds good, it sounds good.

Y: G-Eazy is probably at the top, but it’s more about where he started and how he got to where he is now more so than the sound. And Kendrick, just his ability and his flow is incredible to me. I really like Dre; I like a lot of the producers more so than rappers. I feel like I get pulled into the arrangement first and then the flow comes in and it kind of all falls together.

B: Kanye West for sure, Kid Cudi, but I like a lot of music. I’m very influenced by Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beatles and Pink Floyd and Frank Ocean. Like, I just really like music, and I try to take in as much as I can, different sounds, and channel it into my own.

Let’s talk about the process as a whole group.

C: Underhouse. It’s a band of dope people. The chemistry behind what we bring to the table as far as what we make together with music, it shows behind our friendship. We’re here to spread positivity, like you can be your own self in your own way. Fuck the stigmas, fuck all that. We’re just here to be different, just be ourselves. Make dope shit.

Y: Dope shit, yeah, that’s the goal.

B: I don’t know if you’ve seen our videos and whatnot, we turn the shit up.

Y: Yeah, that’s all true. We are very unique, we all come from similar backgrounds, but at the same time we don’t; we were all raised differently and the kind of energy and vibes we bring to the table when we bring it through our music, it just kind of connects. It’s like everything that we do together is so intertwined, like the energies are just there together. It never feels like I have to force it, everything just feels so flow.

It’s cool because this is like the vision of what I had when I started it. I wanted to build a group and that just kind of happened naturally, you know, I tripped over Calex at a party, I met Briggs on Facebook, then O from Calex. It’s just so cool how it all came together and how it’s staying together and how it’s kind of developing itself through the music and our friendship. It’s a big family; we watch out for each other in the studio and outside the studio. It’s so awesome and exciting and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen, especially with the shows. Underhouse knows how to do a show.

O: I agree with both of them. We’re family, music brought us together. At the end of the day, it is what it is. We love it and we hate it.

B: Don’t get me wrong, we work well together, but we also fight.

C: Yeah, in order to work really well with people to make the best product possible you have to be able to get those frustrations out.

Y: It’s nice because we’re able to be straight up with each other, there’s no bullshit. Like, I’m not going to tell either of them, and I don’t expect them to tell me, ‘Oh it’s a good song,’ when it’s not a good song. It’s like, ‘that’s shit, you can do better than that.’

And can you tell me about the process of creating music together?

B: Shit, we just hop in the studio and then the magic happens. But really, we just come together and we’ll have a song, we’ll work on verses and we’ll bounce around ideas for the songs together.

C: And we have 4/20-friendly studio sessions.

Y: I know Megalodon and Given Up are some of the big ones, and Given Up was a song that Calex had produced and he brought it and asked if we wanted to drop a verse on it and we did it, we just worked in the studio for hours; that’s how we did it.

And with Megalodon, I sent that beat out to everyone and they were like, ‘Well what do I do with it?’ and I just told them to go, like, I trust them and I know they’re going to bring everything they have to the table. Then we came back up here one weekend and just laid every verse down in one day, and we had a show the next day and then the day after that we were going to record the music video. It was awesome.

It’s so nice to be able to put trust in everyone because you know everyone is going to bring everything they have because you don’t want to be the one that lets everyone down, and I have faith that everyone in this circle wouldn’t let that happen because they want what’s best for the group. Bringing what they have 110% is going to make that happen.

Do you all meet often to work on stuff?

Y: School kind of kicks my ass, kicks our ass.

O: It does, but at the same time, we still make time to communicate with each other as far as music goes, like day to day.

B: Yeah, it’s like, ‘Yo, came across this beat, and I feel like you’d sound dope on it, write to it and let me know what’s up.’

O: And group message is awesome.

Y: We’re also missing one; he’s down in San Diego.

Yeah, how about you talk about him a little bit?

Y: Jae is a cool dude. He’s been my best friend since like sixth grade. Then, we started rapping together and I moved up here and started Underhouse, and of course he had to be a part of it ‘cause he’s part of the family. And he brings it just like everybody else. He knows how to bring the bars.

C: The best part about Jae is that he comes up here to perform. He doesn’t go to Chico, you know? He just comes to Chico, turns it up one weekend and just goes back to SD. Simple as that.

Y: Yeah, he came up for both shows that I think were a week apart. He just came up here. He holds it down in San Diego for the whole Underhouse crew. It gets tough sometimes because we gain so much momentum with us four up here, and it’s tough not having him up here because we want him here for obvious reasons; we want him to be a part of that creative process because having five heads as opposed to four helps a lot more than you’d think.

So do you all delegate work so that the work is evenly spread out?

Y: We all just have to pull our own weight and do our own thing.

C: It’s going to show who’s working and who’s not working.

Y: Exactly. If someone’s not pulling their weight, you don’t want to be that guy. We take a lot of our own resources into our own hands. We record ourselves, we make all our own art, we find the person to do the video for us. We don’t have a lot of people working for us. We do everything.

Any future plans? Upcoming stuff?

Y: We have some opportunities that were presented to us, so we’re really working on a group project to send out to people and build that portfolio, and within the next few months be able to travel to different school and spread our message and our music, hopefully. That’s a short-term goal. Long-term would be that by 2017 I’d like for that whole summer to be a tour of just Underhouse. And hopefully, I don’t know what SW/\Y is going to be a doing, but it’d be cool to tour with SW/\Y.

O: Honestly, I don’t have a clue. I just go with the flow. I don’t plan anything; nothing is set in stone with me, ever.

C: That’s the realest answer you’ve gotten all night.

O: But, right now I see myself with music, that’s where I’m comfortable, that’s where I’m most safe. Music has been everything to me since I was young, so I just want to see where it goes.

B: Just get shit poppin’ with Underhouse. I want to be as much of a creative force and help make Underhouse something great because we’re all creative, we all have talent, so I want to be able to maximize that, short-term wise. Long-term wise, I just want to keep making music, just keep shooting for the stars every time.

Last question: Any music recommendations?

C: Honestly, I’ve been listening to a lot of instrumentals. I’ve been trying out this new theory that my uncle told me. He said not to listen to other peoples’ music while you’re working on your own music. Try to separate yourself from what you hear because you kind of store that in your memory. I’m at the point where I just wake up early in the morning, my brain is fresh from sleep, and I’ll just write to beats and go throughout the day just listening to instrumentals, no words. It works out pretty good, and then it gets boring when the writer’s block hits.

B: Chance The Rapper just dropped a track called Angels and it’s fucking fire. I’ve literally been listening to that track over and over again for quite some time since it dropped. I also listen to a lot of Vic Mensa right now, so Vic and Chance.

Y: I heard this one group, you might’ve heard of them. They’re called Underhouse. They have this one song called Megalodon, and that’s pretty fire. They bring it.

C: Or if you don’t want that one, you can listen to Fire Starta. Or if you want to change up the vibe completely, you can go with Yandi and O with Ice Cold. There are so many different tracks out there.

Keep up with Underhouse Music happenings by following them on Twitter, or liking their Facebook page.

Definitely check out Underhouse Music’s YouTube and listen to Underhouse Music’s latest tracks on SoundCloud:

Written by Christine Zuniga, “Feature Friday” writer and web editor/publisher for Chico State’s KCSC Radio.

Christine can be reached via email at czuniga10@mail.csuchico.edu or on Twitter @kissssteen.

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Feature Friday: Alec Beretz – Producer, Vocalist and Guitarist

Note: This interview is unlike any I had ever done before, and it’s all due to the fact that Alec Beretz is a philosophical and passionate musician, clearly seasoned in his art, though maybe not so much with conventional interviews. As a result, I had an hour-long conversation with a man running purely on iced coffee and enthusiasm, eager to use me as a sort of diary for his ideas about music, vibes, the human experience and Nikki Sixx quotes. I have no complaints.

Alec

So what do you do exactly?

I am a music producer and I’m currently the vocalist and one of the guitarists for SW/\Y. It’s not my band, per say, it’s our band, but I was one of the founders with my friend Matt Leyrat, and we were just finishing up our project Burning Loud, which was kind of a funk reggae band which we played for a while. I had all this material that I had worked on over the course of the year and we used that to sort of kick start a new project, which became SW/\Y, and we knew we wanted to play rock music, but we wanted there to be a more electronic component.

So I write a lot of songs, I produce a lot of music, I produce beats sometimes and I also work with hip-hop artists when I’m not working with SW/\Y, so it’s kind of comprehensive.

And then at school I’m a recording arts and music industry major and I’m in SOTA Productions, which throws multiple concerts and events over the course of the year, and I’m the director of A&R and artist development with them, so I’m basically in contact with all of the artists for our events. My job is to kind of nurture the scene and keep an eye on what’s cool and happening around town to make sure that we’re inviting the right artists to our events, playing at the right places, just sort of being in tune with the local scene, which makes sense because I’m always playing concerts.

So how did you get to this point?

My grandma had a piano, and at first I was able to just tap out melodies that I heard just from TV shows or classical music or songs that I’d hear at church or something. So I was only like four or five years old and I was able to play basic things by ear, so my parents got me piano lessons and I started learning how to sing.

I bought my first electric guitar when I was a freshman in high school, and I worked all summer for it, and it was a cheap $200 guitar. At the time a lot of my friends just listened to Top 40, shit like that, I didn’t like a lot of it, but then when bands like Green Day came on the radio, that inspired me a lot because it was so much better than all the other crap that was coming on the radio, so that took me down the road of pop-punk, which then introduced me to punk music, and I started listening to Minor Threat and The Bad Brains and Black Flag and Operation Ivy and just a myriad of crazy mosh-pit-esque music.

So through high school I played with two bands and they went well and I got to the point where I was able to play a couple gigs in Hollywood, just smaller gigs, but at venues that used to be prestigious, like the Whisky a Go Go or The Roxy. Now they’re a little more low-key, but it was still really fun and a good experience.

Then when I came to college, I started opening my eyes more to hip-hop and electronic music, so now it’s sort of like I’ve fallen in love with all these different parts of the industry and I want to fuse them in a way. I’m just looking for flavors in different genres of music that I can mix together into something new but something that’s still kind of familiar.

When I decided to come to Chico I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go to college because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I was only interested in music, and it wasn’t until I realized that Chico had a music industry and recording arts program that I realized this is a way for me to do the music I love but become more of an entrepreneur and not play first chair violin for a symphony or orchestra because I had no interest in doing that, and it ended up being a really cool experience because that’s exactly what I got.

I got marketing experience, A&R experience, recording experience, and just the town of Chico itself is such a good training ground for musicians because it’s small and you can’t really leave to go have fun in another city because the closest cities are Sac and The Bay and I’ve never heard of anything interesting happening in Oroville or Redding, so we’re all kind of here, so if there’s a concert happening, people are going to know about it. It’s a great way to test marketing and see what kind of songs resonate with people, and if doesn’t work, you switch it up, and if something else is working, you do more of that. I feel like that has been instrumental for me, and if I had never come to Chico I don’t think I’d be able to make it as a famous musician; I’d be stuck in a box in high school with my mindset. Not that my goal is to be a famous musician, my goal is to inspire a lot of people and play festivals and be able to have big audiences. That’s more my focus. That’s my dream come true right there. If it never happens, that’s fine, I just love making music, but dream come true is headlining a festival.

So over the course of my life I just kind of fell in love with it and now I can’t really imagine myself doing anything else. I think it’s the only thing I’m good at, like it’s the only thing I can do, so I’m just committed at this point.

Let’s talk about SW/\Y. What do you do for them?

I sing and I play one of the guitar parts, and I guess I’d say I’m a producer. For electronic music, producing means you’re making beats and you’re making arrangements and you’re designing synthesizers or whatever, but for a long time, producing was just something about working with people and designing the band’s aesthetic to be more pure or more marketable or more focused, so I guess I have a lot of vision in the band as to where we should be going.

That being said, the idea behind a band is collaboration, so I don’t take the role of a megalomaniac and tell everybody what they should be doing. I give a lot of suggestions and I bring a lot of songs to the table; I’ve done probably 60-70% of songwriting for the band, but I don’t ever finish the songs. I’ll write like half the song and then I’ll bring it to them and have them complete it with their own vision, so I sort of set the direction and they complete it. We’re also writing songs together as a band now, it’s just that thus far the band is still pretty new, so I’ve been bringing a lot of material to the table. So songwriting, singing, guitar, producing.

SWAY1

Do you want to talk about the other people in your band?

Yes, absolutely. So, Matt Leyrat plays guitar, and I guess I’d call him the lead guitar player, we don’t really think about it as rhythm and lead, but my job is singing primarily, so he is putting all his focus into making the guitar parts, and his parts are just really cool and atmospheric and just raw, grungy, gritty guitar lines, which is awesome.

Trevor McCrary is the bass player and he likes anything from rock and metal to hip-hop and funk music. He’s really inspired by Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Bootsy Collins or Victor Wooten, so he is just a monster; he just has a thunderous bass tone and it’s awesome.

Enej Huseinbegovic is the keyboard player and he is actually designing synthesizers in Ableton Live, which is recording software. His background is making beats. He actually works with Esquire Ali, and they’re coming out with an album called SCHWOGTOBER 3, which, in my interpretation is a crazy mash up of like psychedelic based trap-ish music and like conscious rap, things to me that ordinarily would not be mixed, but it’s just really cool the way they juxtaposed these different things. So Enej’s from a hip-hop production background, so when he comes into SW/\Y, he brings this whole other mentality and aesthetic to it, which is really, really cool.

And then Aaron Harmon is the drummer, and he strictly played metal before he came and played for us, but now he’s not super into playing metal, so he has this killer precision and he’s super powerful on the drums, but he’s open to anything, so now I have this clock of a drummer; he’s like a machine. I joke to the band that you don’t need to align him to the grid in the music software; he comes like perfect, lined up already, it’s awesome.

So between the five of us, we have found a really powerful sound in the last couple of months. Trevor didn’t even join until this semester, and in the beginning, SW/\Y’s first show was Enej DJing, not even playing keys, and Matt and I just playing guitar, it was like DJ instrumentals and two guitars, and it’s now grown into this bigger band where it’s more improv and more live.

Yeah, I feel like when I see you guys, you seem very in sync with each other, which is really cool. I think that’s what made me like it so much.

The thing about the five of us is that we’re really good friends. Nobody who has a big ego or anything and we’ve all had a lot of experience now in the last couple of years and we’ve all had successes and failures, so we all kind of know now what we like and what we don’t like and what’s good and what’s bad, so we don’t ever have any personal conflicts. We’re able to just get right to the music, and I think the way we trust each other really plays into that synchronicity that we get as a band, and I would agree that that’s definitely one of our appeals. I think you don’t feel like you’re watching five different musicians play together, you feel like you’re watching one unit, and it feels like that too. I feel like this is my squad, this is my clan, and we’re here to kick ass and take names.

SWAY2

Earlier you were talking about how you have a vision for the band. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Yeah, vision is interesting. It kind of sounds like a pretentious word. So with vision, the disclaimer is I think it’s important not to get too attached to a vision because ultimately, what’s natural and what feels good between people is what’s going to be successful. You don’t want to force anything. That being said, you can absolutely go in a certain direction. I like to think of it more as I’m recognizing what I’m doing naturally and then trying to do it consciously instead of subconsciously.

So my vision right now is to find a way to access all the kind of sounds that we like, but still have an aesthetic that appeals to a festival, so we were talking about how we need heavier bass. We need bigger drums. We could use electronic loops. We could use samples, but still keep an alive, improvisational, rock feel. The vision for SW/\Y is festival rock, and we’ve also been listening to a lot of Downtempo music, like Shlohmo or Nosaj Thing, where it’s electronic but a little slower, more chill, and it’s bass heavy, but it’s not just party music, it’s something that a little more thought is put into. Sometimes the word IDM gets thrown around, like intelligent, intellectual dance music or something, which also sounds pretentious, but that’s what it’s called.

And Enej has introduced us to a lot of trap music, which is hilarious because I never considered myself making trap music, but I really love the percussion and the drums and just the whole energy to it, so there’s that. Like, I’ve written SW/\Y songs that are inspired from trap music, and it doesn’t necessarily sound like trap anymore when it’s done, but that was absolutely a factor. I can’t tell you how much the song “Bitch You Guessed It” has influenced my music taste. Even though it’s so silly and so goofy, I’ve never seen songs that have gotten people that pumped. So there are things that you may never hear in SW/\Y’s sound that are influencing it.

SWAY3

 Upcoming SW/\Y Shows

On Friday, October 23, SW/\Y is opening for The Stone Foxes at 9:30 at Lost On Main. They will play an hour-long set and will debut some new material.

On Saturday, October 24, they will play at the 1078 Gallery for Mocktoberfest where they will be dressed like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and cover their songs.

On Tuesday, October 27, SW/\Y will play at SOTA Production’s Monster Mash event at the DownLo with other local bands, and on Friday they will be playing with some hip-hop groups and bands for an event hosted by Esquire Ali.

In the words of Alec, it’s going to be rad.

Keep up with upcoming SW/\Y shows by following the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or listen to them on SoundCloud:

Written by Christine Zuniga, “Feature Friday” writer and web editor/publisher for Chico State’s KCSC Radio.

Christine can be reached via email at czuniga10@mail.csuchico.edu or on Twitter @kissssteen.

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Feature Friday: Kayce Tynan – Illustrator and Graphic Designer

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Kayce Tynan is a senior communication design major with an emphasis in graphic design at Chico State. Kayce has long blonde hair and can be seen walking around campus wearing tie-dye and cat shirts.

How did you decide on your major?

Lots of trial and error. I switched my major three times until I got to this one. It was sociology, art, applied computer graphics and now it’s this graphic design major. I’ve always had a passion for art; it’s just always been something that I’ve been kind of inclined to do.

Sociology seemed cool because I just wanted to help people, save the world, whatever. Then I changed to art because I thought that would be cool, but I guess being an art major in school kind of ruined it for me because you’re forced to do it all the time, which is kind of crippling when it’s stuff you don’t really like doing and you’re creatively stunted. Then I did applied computer graphics, which was interesting, but I didn’t want to commit my life to it. I decided that graphic design could help me incorporate a real life opportunity/job together with my art.

Let’s talk about your art specifically. Do you have a general theme? And could you describe your work?

Illustrative for sure. I guess I would describe it as really beautiful but also really not beautiful, like kind of creepy and dark and twisted and scary, but I’ve definitely been leaning more toward ethereal beings I guess, for lack of a better word, and really spacey, beautiful color, intricate type of things. I really like drawing beautiful women with long, big hair with long, slender fingers and big lips, that’s something that I draw a lot, which is kind of creepy. Like all encompassing, probably just an ethereal mess.

Kayce Art

Could you talk about the materials you use to create your work?

I really like pen and ink, that’s one of my favorite types of materials. I also really like watercolor and “Prismacolor” pencils, which I normally incorporate all together to make something a little edgy. I’m not very good at painting; I wish I were. And I sometimes use Photoshop for some images to get a spacey background or something that would normally take too long with regular color pencils, which is kind of cheating, but it looks cool, so whatever.

How long have you been working this particular theme you’ve been describing?

Probably like two years ago is when I really started getting good at what I was doing. Before, it was just doodles and stuff I thought was good but really wasn’t at all, and now I know that, especially seeing what I’m producing now. It’s kind of scary because I know in like two years I’ll be like ‘Oh my god, I thought that was good’ and it’s just completely shitty even though I’m really proud of it right now. But I guess it was two years ago that I really started getting serious about it and gaining more confidence in my abilities and also getting commissions from friends and bands, which is really encouraging, so that’s definitely something I want to go toward.

Kayce Shirt

Is there any particular piece that you’re exceptionally proud of?

My most recent piece that I created, which is a t-shirt design for a band called “Sea In The Sky.” It’s a square and it’s one of those ladies I was talking about earlier with the big hair, and there’s a bunch of fish in it, and her head is tilted and she’s crying these black tears and it kind of spills into the text, which is “Sea In The Sky.” It’s the most intricate thing I’ve ever done and it’s the most time and passion I’ve ever put into a piece before, so each piece I make just gets better and better, which is really encouraging.

Where do you get these ideas?

Normally I get so stressed out because I haven’t been doing art, so then I just force myself to come up with stuff, but I don’t even know! That’s something people always ask me and I don’t really know, it just kind of happens. I really like browsing Pinterest I guess and I looking at really beautiful fantasy landscapes, and that really inspires me as of late. I follow a lot of artists on Instagram who are constantly inspiring me. But when it comes to my ideas, I just normally grow off of what I’ve already had success with. For example, certain types of line work, and I incorporate different types of objects that I think would work well with that line work, which is kind of dumb because I should probably be expanding my horizons instead of doing the same thing over and over again, but yeah.

Could you go into more detail about your process for creating stuff?

Sure. It depends, normally my best ideas have come to me right before I’m about to go to sleep, and all of a sudden my brain just comes up with a crazy image and I’m just like, ‘Oh, that’d be cool,’ or just a crazy combination of objects, and then I write it down so I remember it. Then I normally start off with a very basic little sketch, a very quick gesture sketch of what I want to do, and then I put it on a larger piece of paper with a more detailed sketch, then I just go from there. I always start with a basic idea and add more detail as I go along to make it more intricate.

Is there anyone in particular whose work you really enjoy and can bring out that inspiration in you?

I’m a really, really big fan of Alex Pardee, he’s amazing; he creates these insane monsters and it’s really cool because even though they’re the most grotesque things ever, he still makes them beautiful by the colors he uses, which is really cool. James Jean is another one; he just throws together figures with the most insane objects and just comes up with a really cohesive piece. There’s also this guy on Instagram, @lr_illustration, and he creates really cool skeleton illustrations, like nighttime, spooky stuff. I’m all about the spooky stuff.

Earlier you were talking about some of the things you’re working on. Could you talk more about the projects you’ve got going on or stuff you’re looking forward to?

Right now I’m just focusing on my portfolio review so that my life doesn’t end, but my friend Sam who’s in that band I mentioned, “Sea In The Sky,” he’s commissioning me for cover art for his new EP that’s coming out. It’s called “Somber,” and it’s his solo project, and I’m really excited for that because I’m going to throw out some crazy Prismacolor pencil action and hopefully make some really cool lighting, which I’ve never really experimented with before, so hopefully make some glowey blue shit go on, like just some real, artsy, crazy, cool, fantasy stuff, like not cheesy fantasy, but like the kind of fantasy you want to dream about and be happy in and feel warm about when you think of it. Sorry if that sounds really vague.

No, I actually feel like that description totally encompasses your work when I think about it. I definitely get those vibes. I get excited when you put up a picture of your new work!

Oh my gosh, you’re going to make me cry.

So what’re you trying to do after you graduate?

Good question. I don’t know. Ideally, this is probably kind of far-fetched, but before I get a real job, I’d really like to hook on with a band, be their merch-bitch for a while and just create art for them while they’re on tour, like do all their merch for them. That’d be really cool. Maybe work for a snowboard or skate company and do graphics for them. I’m not really sure. I think it’s one of those things that I’m going to figure out once I actually get out there and start looking at options and seeing what I can do. Even working for a non-profit could be cool and just doing graphics, illustrations or website design for them.

Okay, last question: what, overall, is one thing you’ve learned from art?

To be very patient with yourself. I’ve always kind of struggled with the dark, twisted artist thing because I’m not my most inspired when I’m feeling sad, surprisingly enough. I feel most inspired when I feel happy and excited about the future, so I guess it’s just patience with myself and knowing that I can get better. It’s a meditative thing for me to just focus on a drawing for hours and not have to think; it’s really soothing.
Kayce Art2
To support your local artist/poor college student, go purchase some of Kayce’s stickers on her Etsy page.

To see some of Kayce’s cool Photoshopped photos or more of her recent illustrations, follow her on Instagram @kaycedilla_ and creep away.

Written by Christine Zuniga, “Feature Friday” writer and web editor/publisher for Chico State’s KCSC Radio.

Christine can be reached via email at czuniga10@mail.csuchico.edu or on Twitter @kissssteen.

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