Two Minutes with Terry Tertiary of E.A.T. Fest

Eat Fest Artist Line-up

Terry Tertiary is no stranger to the Chicago independent music scene. As one of the hosts of Wardens MidWest, a radio show on UIC Radio, he regularly discovers and highlights budding Chicago musicians in addition to creating his own music with 0cto5quid under the same name.

Using his immense knowledge of the Chicago music scene, he worked with other community organizations to create E.A.T. Fest, which stands for Evolve And Thrive Music Festival. I spoke with Terry to learn more about his inspiration and plans for this weekend’s festival.

What inspired you to create E.A.T. Fest and what was that process like? 
We felt as if there are a lot of music festivals in the Chicago area and none attempt to showcase the unique diversity of the independent music scenes in such a way. E.A.T. Fest has revolutionized the fest scene in the sense that we’re trying to benefit artists and all other entities involved as much as possible to create a local platform controlled by artists, for artists that can have great potential for sustainability.

What organizations are also involved? What was that collaboration like? 
All of the core organizations involved are Wardens MidWest, Activate-Chi, Latent Design, Eat Well, Ever Evolved, and Obsidian. The entire creation process of the event with them has been that of an epic journey. We treated each other like family before this, utilizing each other’s resources in the sense of a potluck. Which is where the idea of E.A.T. originates. What lies before us now serves as a great foundation for us to build on. Now it feels like legitimate business with a family. Other organizations that have sponsored E.A.T. Fest are Creative Cypher, amfm.life, Contexture.Tv, Walking Art Brand, EVOL Chicago, and many more in different behind the scenes capacities.

(Headliner Adam Ness)

How did you find the artists who are performing? 
It was as a result of the resources of the core organizations involved, combined with local artists’ desires to see the capability of their unified power.

Can you speak about some of the artists performing? Who are the headliners, what genres is the festival focusing on, etc.
The genres featured in the festival truly range beyond explanation due to such immense influences from the melting pot of Chicago, but for the sake of this interview I will try. Music ranges from R&B and Soul to EDM, Singer-songwriter, House, Hip Hop, Alternative Rock, Spoken Word Poetry, and many things I can’t predict because of the experimental period that much Pop music is in right now. Headliners are Adam Ness, Add-2, Phenom, Dometi, Pugs AtomzElevatedAce Da Vinci, Chai Tulani, Joslyn-Marie, John The Author, theWHOevers, Huey Gang, Andesso, and many more.

How essential are communities such as this when performing/producing your own music? 
The creative community I currently belong to is not only essential to my own creative process but to the independent musician community at large. It’s a network constantly, critiquing, building, expanding and sharing unselfishly for a simply defined reason. And that reason is better shown than told.

(Headliner Chai Tulani)

What other communities in Chicago helped develop E.A.T.?
All sides of Chicago have come together for this event. Many of the organizations involved are located or do a lot of community work on the South and West sides–much of Wicker Park has supported our festival. A lot of store owners in the Wicker Park area attended our event and hung our flyer in their windows. We have large support from the administration at Young Chicago Authors and a few other creative arts youth based organizations in Chicago.

What are your goals/dreams about the future of the festival?
Due to the immense success of the first E.A.T. Fest we are already planning another installment for the summer and we are going to make it bigger and better than the first.  Still keeping local talent and organizations to build something even stronger and more sustainable!

By: Ashley Wolfgang

Edited and Updated By: Terry Tertiary

Keeping Up With Kez

kez-the-dude

Kez The Dude is a 20 something, multi-genre influenced musical artist who is also a student at UIC.  His background is in music business but he is also a traveler, an active performer in the city of Chicago and definitely an artist in the way he presents his compositions.

During my most recent interview with Kez, in February, I was able to discuss his most recent travel to the United Kingdom during the winter semester of 2016.  He described it as being very hard put into words. “you know its like a whole other world over there.  Its difficult for me to say how my experience was because I’m still working through some of the relationships.  However,  I am certain that this experience was life changing.  Its greatly impacted my music.”

Being an active performer in Chicago’s music scene, Kez is rather familiar with my co-host, W.ILL.  W.ILL described Kez’s involvement at a popular open mic scenes:  “man, when I saw you perform at the Music Garage, I was like, man he has soul and he is so smooth though.”  I decided to speak to live performances I had caught from the talented performer as well, “Kez, your music is much different from most contemporary Pop music because it has multiple movements.”

Kez, ever the modest musician revealed a light smile but passes the glory to his collective, “I’m just blessed to work with Jules (his videographer) and to be able to record with such talented individuals.”  And I co-signed his statement because his music video for his song Lone is nothing short of a perfect union.

The reason I describe Kez as an artist after my own heart is because culturally we have alot of similarities.  We’re both African-American men who find our strength in bringing understand through Experimental Contemporary HipHop.  We both feel a bit alienated by most of the cultures we find ourselves immersed in professionally, academically and passionately.

However, those obstacles and differences never dilute the message we believe supersedes the struggle.  The ultimate truth!  If you believe in ultimate truth and freedom then I would strongly recommend you give Kez The Dude a listen.  You’ll get something new, something smooth and something worth highlighting the loop option on your iTunes.

Kez – Lone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i830CnKQJAI

BLACK QUEENS OF CHICAGO

John The Author – Black Queen (Directed by Briana Clearly)

briana-clearly

This past month on Wardens MidWest Radio we had the pleasure of interviewing Briana Clearly, a multi-disciplinary creative and Vunzai Yeazel, the founder of Gorgeous within.  They are both African-Americans, one raised in Zimbabwe but both amazing, activists community organizers.

When I first met Briana Clearly, I was at a local show put on by her and John The Author, a HipHop Raptivist and mentor.  Briana came to the stage at the climax of the night and announced that she would be premiering the music video for John’s song entitled “Black Queen.”  As the music began to play and the beautiful images of black women of all facets of life filled the screen, I took a second to look around at the crowd.  All of the spectators were watching the video in “aww,” were dancing in complete jubilation, and rightfully they should’ve been, the video was one of the best independent music videos, I’ve ever seen.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and Briana had come into Wardens MidWest radio for an interview.  Upon interviewing her I discovered her creative talents did not stop at videography.  Ms. Clearly is also a photographer, an event planner and activist.  She began telling me about Red Cup Karaoke, which is an event hosted on UIC campus at bar 10 Door and has had immense success, with guests numbering into the 300s during a blizzard.  She let me know that it was set to be a reoccurring event just to get people to mingle, network, have a good time and lose themselves.

Last week, Vunzai Yeazel, the founder of Gorgeous Within was our radio guest and she informed us as well as the listeners about community involvement, empowerment of women/millennials and the importance to act NOW!  Vunzai discussed her experience with traveling, working in advertisement and being the founder of a non-profit.

Ms. Gorgeous Within herself discussed the powerful seminars her organization uses to help women realize their full potential, through action plans, mentorship and community involvement. Vunzai, also informed the radio staff that Gorgeous Within played a big role in getting Issa Rae to come to UIC for the Black History Month Kick-Off today!

Vunzai also expressed her concern for millennials under-minding their potential.  She believes there is so much good that can be done from our generation, for our generation.  “There are so many under utilized skills going to waste.  How many of our heroes died this year, it’s this generations time to step-up!”

This month has taught me and my co-hosts alot about the importance of utilizing resources immediately at your disposal, being inclusive with community and making sure you provide not only yourself with ample opportunity but your neighbors and fellow creatives.  Some would be surprised by these amazing feats from women, however, I was raised by one of the most amazing persons I know, my mother.  As a child, I would watch my mother accomplish amazing feats of heroism.  Me, with the same expression as Briana Clearly’s crowd.  Yet now, I can no longer just watch.  Nor should you.  Rather cultural, social, political or professional, let us join in the revolution respectively!