I’m assuming that it’s mostly common knowledge that I’m from the great city of Richmond, Virginia (ayeee, RVA!!). With that being said I want to take some time out regularly to acknowledge Creatives who are making strides to help make our city what it is; beautiful. Musical artists, poets, painters, and more.
January 14th, 2020
In 2020, Fredericksburg native, Richmond-based rapper Mattison is determined to make this year his year. Even a brief listen through his catalogue lets you know how determined he is. Every song is laced with his passion for whatever topic is at hand.
The intro, “Hidden Agendas Freestyle”, sets the tone for the rest of the album. The song’s seemingly simple looped beat makes way for his rhymes and wordplay to shine through. The two love songs, “Love 4 You” and “Whipped,” are honest about his struggles with fidelity in relationships. Through that, his passion still shines for the women in question by way of his lyricism and the earnestness in his voice. “Let It Go” follows along a similar vein as the intro, where the focus is less on the beat and on his delivery. However, the beat is equally as unrelenting and exhilarated as he is and pairs well with his words. Phrases like “I got self esteem, I got no control,” stick with you, are honest but let you know he knows who he is.
The name of the closer, “Mattison,” is fitting. The rapper finishes the 15 minute project with a track that reaffirms his style and who Mattison is. It’s a strong track for the artist and is definitely a strong outro for the album. The outro and the second love song Whipped are the tracks that will linger in your head long after the album ends, but overall, the album flows well and the 15 minute listen is a excellent sampler for the artist.
In normal Feel Good fashion, we reached out to Chris to ask how he maintains his mental peace with so much on his plate, he had this to say:
My mental peace is maintained by controlling and understanding my emotions. Understanding that nothing is permanent and feelings are temporary. Self care is through my writing and creating music and also exercise. I workout constantly to clear my mind.
Tap into Chris Mattison’s music on all platforms and find him on social media http://linktr.ee/MattisonMusic_
October 3rd, 2019
After almost TWO months with no spotlight, I’m back! This week we’re diving into the mind of a man that wears many hats: skater, photographer, producer, and more – Thrasher Teezy. Kat and I sat down with Teezy near a dumpster (like the classy ladies we are) behind Monkey Brainz Skate Shop on Jeff Davis Highway, to talk about his extensive resume. Oh and on no better night, than their weekly skate night! I had to start this conversation off by asking how he came to love skating in the first place, he recalled that after learning how to ride a bike, his father was the one who then put a skateboard in his hands. He found himself speeding down a hill on a board for the first time as a kid,
“I was just flying and I didn’t fall. I just felt like straight adrenaline. And ever since then, I just been in love with skateboarding. I can’t get rid of it, I’m not normal without skating…”
Another Tucker High School alumni like myself, Teezy reminisced with us about the 2000’s era of skating, when Nike Dunks first got popular, Tony Hawk Pro Skater was new, and social media wasn’t truly poppin yet. “That was like the first time people started seeing black skaters, like Kareem Campbell, he came up with the trick The Ghetto Bird (that’s a hard flip sex change 🛹)… its crazy you know what I mean? What came from skate shop videos and word of mouth”. It’s definitely inspiring to see someone take a life long passion and turn it into not only their stress relief but a way of life and a career.
However, as I mentioned before, skating is not all there is to Thrasher Teezy. He’s also heavily involved in other creative outlets. One being music, having multiple projects of his own on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. Being inspired by musical greats like Wu-Tang, Linkin Park, and A Tribe Called Quest to name a few. His catalog is diverse, ranging from House Music production to rapping on his own album Return of The Thrasher. You can also find Teezy’s work in the form of photos. Ever seen Blue Flame Media posting majestic photos from local car events on Instagram? That would be Thrasher Teezy snapping off, we asked what brought along his interest in photography and the answer was of course… SKATING. After getting camera savvy at his teenage job, working at Circuit City, “I was always around, I was always with the cameras, me and [my homies] were just filming each other skating… and we would edit our own shit. We didn’t even know what we were doing but we were doing it.”
Teezy and I agreed that keeping yourself busy with numerous outlets and being productive is a golden way to keep yourself free of falling into slumps of depression which are common this time of year. We want to encourage you to find positive means of stress relief, whether that means coming to skate night at Monkey Brainz, to work on nailing a new trick or writing your thoughts down on paper. Most of all we hope you’ll reach out for help when you need it.
Self taught in all he does, Thrasher Teezy is a perfect example of putting your mind to something you love and just going for it. Stay tuned for more from our #FeelSounds interview. You can follow Teezy on Instagram @ThrasherTeezy, as well as @blueflamemedia.llc
Find his music on music platforms by searching, Thrasher Teezy!
August 11th, 2019
Per usual to my life (on many levels) I’m running behind. But better late than never, here I am with my first artist spotlight – not only of August but under my LLC and new site name: Feel Good RVA! Its been suggested on multiple occasions in the past that I spotlight this artist, and I figured why not a better time than amidst his new visual release? Everyone say hello to my friend OG ILLa. Born and raised in RVA, ILLA has been doing music for over a decade, always staying true to the city that made him “I feel like I’m the king of my city” he will tell you in a heartbeat.
I’ve been in the studio this year to witness the process that is HLGNLIFE. Creative duo and best friends, OG ILLa and The Uth come together to make magic when they get in their zone. “We are total opposites” says The Uth about OG “thats why we’re perfect for each other, and we are so good at two separate halves of the same piece… musically, I can do everything in this room, as far as making that music do something? There’s no one that I’ve ever met in my whole career better at that than this guy.” If your friends don’t support you like this, get new friends! I love to see a partnership where the respect is mutual and the work comes fluid.
Its cool to say, I also had the pleasure of being on the earlier part of set for OG’s newest music visual “Water Bill”. It was high energy and not even a little rain was going to stop the parade that is OG ILLa and HLGNLIFE. A Day With Dyff wrapped her camera in the T-shirt straight off her back and got this video in motion. Beautiful women, tropical drinks, and good vibes, needless to say his Pool party video shoot was definitely a success.
July 14th, 2019
I know I’ve been prolonged on my next write up, I’m sorry for the delay. After a few weeks with no new spotlight, I’d like to announce my next: Souly B, a painter (to say the least) who’s talents are currently RVA based after having moved frequently around Virginia. I first came across her eye grabbing pieces on instagram some time ago, and was immediately taken back by her beautiful acrylic paintings. The boldness of every piece is astounding through media but even more so in person. I had the pleasure of viewing her art at Culture Crash last month when I was invited by my good friend and fellow painter Jay Bordeaux, I had no idea Souly B would be in attendance or displaying her art there but I noticed her work right away. Vibrant and memorable, bright red lips surrounded by contrasting yellow, then growing out of the lips and placed on the tongue, olive green and black mushrooms. And possibly my favorite, an ode to Kanye West, surrounded by various symbols depicting some of his most loved albums, both coated with resin for a beautiful glossy finish.
I took a moment this past weekend to slide into my namesake Brittany’s DMs to ask her personally, what drives and inspires her to pick up her paint brush, she responded:
Lol it’s long but I’ve literally never explained it in this way before and it’s nice to have the words to finally do so. A large portion of my art is inspired by the chaos in my mind. A lot goes on in there that I sometimes struggle to sort through and calm it down, so I paint it out instead. Whether I’m painting the actual vices that help, or just using the paint strokes to soothe the chaos. Something in each of my paintings is related to what’s going on in my head. If you notice, a lot of my work shows the art flowing into and around each other symbolizing the chaos I feel, or the dripping as a metaphor for the feeling I get once I’ve finally sorted through. THAT- is what my brain is like inside. That is what inspires me.
It’s always an aspiration to see someone turn an uneasy mind into art. I hope we can all take something away from Souly B, find something in life that makes the mess that is in your head make sense and run with it. You never know where something that started off as just a hobby or an outlet could take you.
I encourage you to keep up with Souly B on instagram at @soulyb_art where you can inquire to buy her pieces and look out for appearances in upcoming events. Her pieces are also able to be purchased through her Etsy – SoulyB.
June 23rd, 2019
I couldn’t have possibly thought of a better artist to spotlight this week, after having Peter $un’s music on repeat so much recently. I’m sure RVA all the way to LA is thankful for the blessings that come on $UNDAZE. If you’re not hip to $un’s work there’s no better time than the present to dive into his extensive, life inspired catalog, with a new release weekly, he’s been pumping out nothing but bangers with unparalleled beats and lyrics you can’t help but bop to. An RVA native, that’s brought the spirit of our city with him across the country to Cali to pursue his passion, Peter $un is an inspiration to anyone starting off in this industry that might be unsure of themselves, as he said best “I’m just trying to make a way for all the niggas who never had it and think that they won’t”. I hit up Peter to ask what advice he might have to someone new in music, he told me:
“It’s gonna be a lot of no’s and a lot of fake shit… stay true to yourself & love what you’re doing.”
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting $unny this Summer while he’s been home visiting the R, the vibe of him and his team are uncanny to the energy in his music, good times bridged from RVA all the way across the country, without a care in the world. A mood that can be easily depicted from his eclectic music visuals. Let his track lists move you this Summer by adding him to your playlists on all music platforms. You can also follow him on social media @holapedroxx and remember to keep your $UNDAZE inspired with Peter $un, by tapping in at petersunmusic.com.
June 10th, 2019
OVER THE RAINBOW APPAREL
In the heart of Pride month, I’d like to spotlight the launch of a new local brand we should all be taking notice of, say hello to Over The Rainbow Apparel! This new RVA based clothing line is being brought to you by “two trans guys searching for a greater voice and an even bigger reason to celebrate Pride“ aka Abel Killian & Alex Asero. Both are known to openly advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in RVA and when you ask these guys what we can look forward to out of OTRA, here’s what they have to say
What if we weren’t just limited to rocking just a rainbow on our t-shirts? What if the LGBTQ+ community could go beyond that? We found that the fight is usually forgotten and buried by almost everyone living in it and then we asked ourselves, well, what’s over the rainbow? We found blood. We found sweat and tears that each one of us has shed as individuals to become part of this loud and fearless army. We found soldiers and even allies. What if pride was not only about being proud, but what if it was about the rumble, too? The courage. The upside downs and ins and outs. We burned the uniform and made our own and now you’ll be able to wear it with us. We have big things planned for not only our company, but how our company can inject some good into our community. While we’re brand new, we want to focus on bringing the shirts to life and having everyone feel and be a part of this movement and spread the message.
After knowing the message and the journeys behind the art, its hard not to be moved and to want to get involved. Fashion with a cause is the best kind and to know you have someone out there rooting for you because they are you makes everything about this even more beautiful. Happy Pride Everyone!
In honor of pride, you can now purchase their first tattoo styled T-shirt at Lucky 13 Tattoo or at their website http://www.overtherainbowapparel.com, keep up to date with Abel and Alex on instagram at @overtherainbowapparel 🏳️🌈
June 2nd, 2019
I know sometimes it’s hard for people to get into local music, when somethings not being blasted on the radio or in clubs, it can be difficult for some to dive into a track list that’s different or not mainstream. But let me introduce you to someone, SKINNYY HENDRIXX (don’t forget the extra Y or X…). His music is something to catch your attention immediately, in a world filled with angry musicians and mumble rap, he makes you stop to listen to what he peacefully has to say. A spiritually enlightened individual encouraging you to open your mind and embrace life, the energy that comes along with him as a person is enough to intrigue you to listen to the music and take notice of his daily affirmation posts on his Instagram story.
For those of you that are already aware of S.H., you know all about his brand Smooth League Villain. When asked what SLV means to him, he had an amazing and detailed response: “SLV is like that acronym everyone is gonna be hype about! It also describes me in a sense: Smooth – I’m tall/handsome-ish and I carry myself hella smooth. League – I know myself, so I am in a league of my own. Villain – When you carry yourself with confidence while remaining humble, people don’t like that and can perceive you as a villain” . If that’s not a vibe we can all get behind, I don’t know what is.
I had the pleasure of having Hendrixx perform a few tracks including one of my favorites “Piece of This Galaxy” at my Live & Let Live event last month and as expected, the whole room caught a vibe in that moment and had no choice but to groove along with him. You can experience his music for yourself, now on Apple Music and Spotify, you can also buy his SLV merch at https://imskinnyyhendrixx.com.
Follow Skinnyy Hendrixx on social media platforms @skinnyyhendrixx & stay tuned for his new project REM (Renaissance Era Music) which will be dropping next month for his mom’s birthday!