Matt Monday

Charleston, South Carolina offers more than horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone streets and Spanish moss trees. There’s a burgeoning art scene within the city limits — one that has had rapper Matt Monday in a stronghold since his days as a choir boy. Outside of soul and funk at the homes of select relatives, the Charleston native wasn’t exposed to much secular music at all. “I didn’t even start listening to rap until I was about 12,” he reveals. “The first album I ever had was one of Juvenile’s… Soulja Rags. And Soulja Slim’s Soulja 4 Life.” He saw the parallels between life in Nawlins as told by the two N.O. pioneers and his own day-to-day observations in Charleston and that was it — Matt Monday was almost instantly committed to finding his space in the music. On Sundays, he found his light outside of his grandmother’s neighborhood church. “There was time between Sunday school and the actual service so I would leave and run down to the basketball court while people would congregate and have cyphers there,” Matt recalls with a chuckle. “So I would run down, get my raps off and run back to church. I would run down in a suit. That’s how I got my first rap name Righchus.”

Sometimes, when passion is involved, life introduces you to the most ideal opportunities and people — even if things don’t necessarily happen as planned. About two years after Matt discovered rap for himself, he applied to a performing arts school. He auditioned for the
institution’s music program but wound up being accepted as a drama major instead. Still, the young artist was in the ideal place to add learned skill to his raw talent for music. The school offered a Music Technology course and Matt studied how to engineer, mix and
master projects. He learned how to produce tracks and started to create mixtapes. “90% of my homeboys were dope boys and street dudes,” Matt shares. “I was never really into that because I was at school most of the time working on production until 7, 8 o’clock at
night.”

Word spread amongst the eight high schools in the Charleston area. “People from other schools were starting to recognize me as being an actual artist.” This momentum continued on to USC Upstate where Matt was enrolled. Music was still at the forefront and after recording one song with a friend and randomly performing at parties around the campus, his buzz grew even more and Matt garnered the support of another person who would offer yet another huge look– Benton Montgomery. Montgomery was well-respected in the Charleston area for his connection within the music industry and this relationship led to a stint on Wiz Khalifa’s 2010 Deal or No Deal Tour. It also connected Matt to Blue Roc’s Mackenzie Eddy, who would have some influence on the next stage of his life. “I’ve always wanted to be more of the executive than the artist,” he offers, naming Sylvia Rhone and Lenny Santiago as a couple of key influencers. “So I can help other artists not go through the same things I did.” Matt was brought onto the Blue Roc roster with the intentions of dropping his debut studio LP through the imprint but Eddy ended up leaving the label and Matt had to figure it out on his own. He stayed in New York City for a few years, learning everything he could from one of rap’s most shrewd business minds, Dame Dash. “Even though things didn’t go as planned with Blue Roc, I was there for three years and did nothing but learn the business. I asked questions and kept several notepads full of notes.”
This “bump in the road” to rap and riches — if you can even call it that — would prove fruitful, giving Matt the necessary tools for the launch of his label, Southern Wealth In Music in 2014, allowing him to fully take the reins of his own career. His next project Candy
Paint Playgrounds [inspired by the work of visual artist Fletcher Williams] is
slated for release in Spring/Summer 2019.

Shaniqua McCants

Shaniqua is known as a soul singer, whose music tends to take on a life of its own. Her music can be described using elements of soul, hip hop, minimalist R&B, cloud rap and chillwave. She’s backed by some of her favorite musicians who bring deeply moving —and often deeply funky, harmonically complex compositions.

Nory

Nory is an artist who maintains an almost eery stillness in a landscape where his peers find their place by constantly rotating roles and changing their masks. A near veteran, having been rapping since the late 2000s, he delivers his verses with a conviction comparable to a seasoned author or burgeoning film screenwriter. His projects take a similar shape, building themselves around the film structures and other vivid memories that have colored his life. Whether considering the introspective or wearing the reckless energy of his youth, his songs ring from the emotional foundation they’re written from.

Contour

Khari Lucas is a South Carolina based artist/producer who writes, performs and DJs under the moniker Contour. Moving between solo and four-piece formats (the band he’ll be playing with for this event) for the project, he works across various mediums to present his creative vision. Current musical output exists somewhere between jazz, soul, and psych rock, but he considers himself a student of all areas of music, and intends to cover as much sonic and thematic ground as possible over his career.

Niecy Blues

Landing in Charleston first by way of Oklahoma and more recently Columbia, Niecy Blues is a vocalists vocalist. Her work maintains a unique balance of influence from the R&B canon and an individual voice that falls just left of center. Her dedication to the instrument that is her voice is the the ground on which her resonant songs and performances lift off from, and her poignant lyrics only serve to further elevate that experience. She will play accompanied by Columbia outfit E.T Anderson to put a vivid wall of sound behind her.

DJ SCrib

DJ SCrib is a true Geechie boy from Charleston, SC. SCrib has been known as a story-teller through his musical DJ sets by creating nostalgic moments of rap and R&B sing along sessions to crazy moshpits! With 8 years of experience as a DJ, SCrib’s signature style of comedy on the mic, smooth transitions, and a little show of turntablism is what the crowd craves whenever his hands touch a pair of turntables.

JAH Jr.

Jah Jr. is a down to earth artist from a trailer park in Dublin, GA. His songs include relatable stories over soul-stirring beats. From the pleasures of friends and parties to struggles with mental health and money problems, he makes music that allows his listeners to unapologetically love and respect themselves.

Benny Starr

Through his masterful flow and lyricism, magnetic stage presence, and profound grasp of history and social issues, Pineville, South Carolina’s Benjamin Starr is an artist both timeless, and perfectly poised for his time and place.

The buzz around Starr’s talent has been growing for years through his singles, EPs, mixtapes, and freestyle performances, leading to the release of his first LP in 2015 entitled Free Lunch. Charleston City Paper’s Kyle Peterson described the record as “a soul and R&B sample-infused effort that showcased the emcee’s formidable technical skills and keen political and social consciousness, music that harkens back to hip-hop titans Nas and Talib Kweli.”

Starr is a relentless and adventurous creator. In 2016, he released a live band EP with Very Hypnotic Soul Band, a group of socially conscious artists who collaborate on high concept genre-bending projects. Most recently, Starr headlined the first ever Hip-Hop performance at Charleston Music Hall. He is currently working on his next solo album (entitled “Wäder”), a new project with VHSB, the mentor ship of young minds, and continues to further his reputation as a deft collaborator and community leader.

With the depth, complexity, and raw talent demanded in an evolving cultural landscape, Benjamin Starr stands out as an undeniably powerful artistic force.

Anfernee

Anfernee Robinson “Anfernee.” is an artist whose genre-bending variations of hip-hop make his music very vibrant and unpredictable. His passion for music is shown in every endeavor.
Born in Atlanta, GA he moved around often in his youth. He began singing at a very young age but developed an intense passion for literature, poetry, and theater. He found himself under the spotlight in many theatre productions and often found a way to continue satisfying his musical infatuation. His love for music drove him to discover various different types stretching beyond cultures and time. He sang in various types of choirs and trained his voice to flow freely throughout those genres. After conflicts between his love for acting and music forced him to focus on the mastery of one, he found himself in West Florence High School with the opportunity to master both theatrics and music. The solution: the Knight Edition Show Choir. Here he learned critical performance techniques and was taught to hone his vocal abilities.
Anfernee. dropped his first feat in high school, dubbing it the Wild EP after an ex-girlfriend. His witty vivacious compositions and impressive quality and delivery gained him some notoriety in his local community. He began working and developing his sound oftentimes with his best-friend, Tyrie, another prominent artist and producer in his community. He took these as samples, and after gaining entry to the College of Charleston began to pursue his dreams while attempting to juggle coursework.
He released his first self-titled, self-produced album of 13 tracks at the end of his sophomore year before he began a semester abroad studying in France. He has continued to develop both his sound and connections, releasing another EP, The Conspiracy, with producer Anthony Grossmann (Gross), and with future projects in the works alongside his comrades overseas, Adamandy. His works have gained him features many newspaper outlets including the Charleston City Paper and The Charleston Chronicle.
His various experiences introduced him to many walks of life and gave him a deep perspective of his own and the world around him. His first-hand experiences with homelessness, depression, and generational poverty create a brimming ball of energy that began to manifest into a creative outlet.
While dealing with many internal struggles in life Anfernee. still managed to stay very optimistic in his outlook and interactions. He maintains a deep dedication to family and friends, as they are the foundation of his love. He also tries to return some of the value instilled in him by his community through The Small House Project, a movement named after his first single on the album, aimed at fighting the many societal constructs in place against the homeless community and fighting hunger. His music is a reflection of his endeavor through emotional and societal tribulations and an unconventional look at the tumultuous cycles of internal conflict, while also encapsulating his immense love for humanity.
It is uplifting and upsetting. Hopefully pessimistic. A positively cynical commentary on his own experiences.
It is Anfernee..
“I am not an artist. I am my art.”

Abstract That Rapper

Existing in thought or as in an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence. I like to think of my music as a reflection of myself, my opinions, and my environment. But as I grow I’m still learning about myself and others, thus my state of mind changes constantly. I call myself Abstract not just to elude that I’m different in a sense but also to describe my world and how I perceive it which is always down to change. Overall I’m just a free mind in search of knowledge throughout all mediums of life.

My goal is to make M.U.S.I.C. An acronym I created that stands for music that maintains, unites, supports, inspires, and cultivates.