HOUSTON, TX - My hometown has an interesting phenomenon that occurs. From the broken bits and pieces of the fourth largest city in the states, artists arise from different areas of town and gain notoriety through completely different avenues. More often than not, creative hubs in cities are centered around one area of town, or one main drag. Houston, decided to be different and build the city with what some would term a "decentralized mentality". This has lead to different areas of the city becoming somewhat detached from any kind of center. In the day and age of the internet we see that acts like Flcon Fcker, Dpat, and Travis Scott all achieving success through unrelated avenues. The common thread? They're all insanely good at what they do. The key these days is to create from the heart - the rest will follow.
Three different areas of town; three burgeoning artists.
Several years ago I ran into Flcon Fcker through mutual friends here in the downtown scene. As we would see each other around town, we would talk about what he was doing in terms of programming, hacking, and building custom controllers for Ableton and other programs. Seeing his raw talent from its inception, I told him, "People are sleeping on you man, just watch - they'll start to pay attention here before too long". And that they did - to the tune of attracting Red Bull's attention and being invited to participate in the Red Bull Music Academy's Bass Camp at Bonnaroo in 2014. Flcon, has morphed his creativity into an ever changing landscape of sound and color, by incorporating visuals manipulated through hacking and programming lighting up rooms to feel like you're stuck in a giant early 90's computer screen glitch.
Dpat, who has gained success with a Grammy nominated track in 2014, and a signing with Los Angeles based label Soulection, hails from the west side of town better known as Katy. His presence in the local scene was mostly absent until last year when he started playing around town more with a live band. His success is a true example of how these days artists can gain attention mostly outside of their own cities before people in their hometowns hear much about them. If you haven't seen him live - do yourself a favor and spend a night enveloped in his syrupy downtempo blended with tinges of hip hop and ambient.
Travis Scott... what can I say. AMAZING LIVE ACT! The G.O.O.D. Music artist and Grand Hustle producer leaked out from the side of town where I spent my childhood, the international melting pot of Sharpstown/Alief. Travis, like Dpat, was not big on playing shows in Houston to acquire his success. Again, an other example of how an artist here locally can pop-off without having to be attached to the center of town. His live performance at the House of Blues a few nights ago was incredible. Never seen energy like that at a hip hop concert; sans the Mike Will/Mike Dean after-hours SXSW madness a few nights prior in Austin. Hip hop is enveloping more of the spirit of the hardcore and metal that I grew up hearing all my friends play, as well as a new consciousness being bred into it from acts like Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, and J.Cole.
The bar has been raised - intellect and true artistry seem to be taking art back from the overly commercial, dumbed-down crap that's been dominating the charts for years. The internet is changing history.