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Kweku Collins

Kweku Collins is a 20-year older rapper/producer/songwriter from Evanston, IL that has been making music for most of his life.  Born into a musical family, Kweku joined his dad on-stage playing African drums as early as the age of 4.

As a teenager, Kweku transitioned to making his own music, crafting bedroom classics throughout high school. In 2015, just shy of his high school graduation, Kweku joined the Chicago's indie rap outfit, Closed Sessions and shortly after released his debut EP, Say It Here While It's Safe.  The EP received critical praise and landed Kweku on Pigeons and Planes 20 rappers under 20 List.  In 2016, Kweku followed up with Nat Love - a proper LP that garnered an 8.0 Pitchfork Review, produced a Pitchfork Best New Track, and landed Kweku in publications such as The FADER, Billboard, Chicago Reader, and more. Kweku's latest release, Grey, is available now via iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, and other digital retailers.

 

Jamila Woods

Poet and vocalist Jamila Woods was raised in Chicago, IL and graduated from Brown University, where she earned a BA in Africana Studies and Theatre & Performance Studies.

Influenced by Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks, much of her writing explores blackness, womanhood & the city of Chicago. Her first chapbook, The Truth About Dolls (2012), was inspired by a Toni Morisson quote & features a Pushcart-nominated poem about Frida Kahlo. Her poetry is included in the anthologies The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015), Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (2014), and The UnCommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning & Living (2013).Jamila is also a vocalist & songwriter, focusing primarily on soul/hip-hop centered music. Her musical lineage includes Erykah Badu, Imogen Heap, Kirk Franklin, and Kendrick Lamar. Raised in her church choir, Jamila’s musical aesthetic involves choral layering in addition to the hip-hop tradition of sampling & allusions. Her work with her band, M&O (fka Milo & Otis) has been featured by Okayplayer, Spin, JET and Ebony Magazine.Jamila is currently the Associate Artistic Director of non-profit youth organization Young Chicago Authors, where she helps organize Louder Than A Bomb (the largest poetry festival in the world), designs curriculum for Chicago Public Schools, and teaches poetry to young people throughout the city.

 

oddCouple

Standing at 6'6 feet tall, this forward-thinking electronic artist/producer/DJ is equally skilled at helping an artist realize his or her visions, as well as taking the wheel and driving his own solo productions.

Since 2013, oddCouple has been building a name for himself in Chicago’s music community and beyond. His 2015 LP, Chatterbox, was hailed by press and fans alike featuring emerging artists such as Saba, Taylor Bennett, Michael Christmas, Allan Kingdom, and more. 

In 2016, oddCouple played a big role in defining the sound of Chicago with collaborations with the city’s brightest talent including, Chance The Rapper, Jamila Woods, Mick Jenkins, Noname, Joey Purp, Donnie Trumpet (Social Experiment), and Kweku Collins. He also served as executive producer for Jamila Woods' heavily hailed debut album, HEAVN. In November, he released his recent project, LIBERATION, that Pitchfork gave an outstanding 7.2/10 review. On this project he also demonstrated his wide range of production styles and inspirations that Stereogum described as, “If you’ve listened to any of the abundance of good music coming out of Chicago’s renaissance right now, then you’ve probably heard some beats from oddCouple. It’s a wonderfully varied affair with jazz, gospel, neo-soul, trap, boom-bap, traditional R&B, and blues oscillating in energy."

 

BoatHouse

Chicago born, Minnesota bred 20 something year old producer/DJ Boathouse, uses influences from sound all over the world to create motion through sonic paintings.

His influence transcends Closed Sessions through collaborations with Lucki Eck$ and Allan Kingdom  among others under the emerging producer's belt.  Welcome to a boat house. Welcome to a floating home where no particular location is permanent. A drifting vessel, floating from season to season between night and day, the calm and the storm. Nothing is still. Everything is moving. Choose to either embrace the wave or fight the current.  

 
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WebSterX

Sam Ahmed, who he will introduce himself as, also known as WebsterX, is a recording artist from Milwaukee, WI.

Entrenched in his music WebsterX delivers a message of hope with stories from his path to finding his own identity. With vibrant lyrics addressing his dark past WebsterX holds the torch for his city and lights the way to a bright future. Spreading positivity through his community WebsterX is a co-founder of a youth organization called FreeSpace. With impressive national press coverage and award winning music videos WebsterX has put a spotlight on Milwaukee's budding music community and continues to see his vision become a reality.