For the fifth year running now, Richmond's primary source for creative media, Slapdash RVA, will be throwing their annual "Epic Fest" festival. The festival was organized and executed primarily by Octavion and Cain McCoy, and will feature this year's headlining artists; beat producer Lex Lugar, and upcoming rap artist Shaboozey + Stoogie Club. This festival is a staple in Richmond's underground music scene, and is highly anticipated. The festival will take place from June 23rd- June 28, across several venues including; the Gallery 5, Strange Matter, The Camel, and The Broadberry. Rich City staff has compiled a list of "previews" to a few of the performing artists before they make it on stage for Epic Fest 2015. If you are making it out the festival we hope you enjoy it. Tickets can be bought here.
Marques Berry is a Richmond based rapper, born in Richmond and grew up in Herndon, VA. Marques started rapping in the spring of 2013 in the freshmen dorms of VCU's campus, with his first recorded project named “[m]” released on May 23rd of 2014. He has a minimalistic style to his music and performances that never fails to leave an authentic impression on his listeners. After having completed his first three mixtapes; [m], BackPackTRAP: the mixtape, and the “Rap&Blues” EP he is working on completing his upcoming project, THE GREY ALBUM in the near future.
Marques has more involvement than most in Richmond’s live show scene, on January 21st of this year he headlined and organized a show at the Strange Matter venue [sponsored by Crenius] alongside Ra’twoine Fields of Crenius. On March 31st Marques organized a show at Strange Matter, called "Tuesday Night Live", headlining him, Jake, his group the LocBoyz, Chance Fischer, and many other artists that will be a part of this summer's Epic Fest. Marques loves performing, he describes paying attention to his crowd reactions while on stage and his own experiences. In his experience on stage he has learned better voice control, and how to better connect and interact with his audiences. He calls the Epic Fest a "benchmark" for Richmond rap, in that the festivals sheds light on the many active creatives who are already collaborating. Marques expects to perform "Runnin' Round", a song produced by DJ Gringo with Jake Barkley along with “Easy” off of his “Rap&Blues” EP.
Marques’ Epic Fest performance will be on June 23rd at the Gallery 5 venue, as a part of a visual artist featured set sponsored by Crenius.
Jake Barkley is a Richmond based rapper, and frequent collaborator with Marques Berry. Growing up in Ashburn Farm, Loudon the young creative began rapping around the age of 14. While in his hometown Jake was signed to a small hometown record label, and released one project called the "The New Breed EP". Describing his own sound he expresses it to be "grungy meets smooth meets hardcore". He focuses his sounds by offering substance while evoking a range of emotions in his listeners.
Jake first heard about Epic Fest during his time at VCU, and sees it is "Richmond's SXSW". He has performance experience in Richmond, from doing shows at Strange Matter, to various house shows. Him and a group of performers including Marc Major of The Tribe supposedly caved the floor in while performing his song "Arizona Tea & LSD" during a particular house show set up by MiniLov. Over time Jake has improved the theatricality of his performances, improving his balance in focusing between his lyrical delivery and entertaining his audience. Prior to this year's Epic Fest, Jake has gotten to perform with Minilov, Marques Berry, and Doof. For him Epic Fest is a unifying event and a chance to see everyone in Richmond who is working creatively. He will be performing “Runnin' Round” produced by DJ Gringo with Marques Berry during his set.
Jake Barkley will be performing on June 23rd at the Gallery 5 venue, as a part of a visual artist featured set sponsored by Crenius.
Chance Fischer is a highly introspective musical artist from Richmond's West End. Chance has been a self-proclaimed musician since the young age of 12. He started out performing acapella and spoken word. Growing up and looking for more creative space in his artistry than his spoken word outlet, he progressed into hip-hop. Chance brings to the table experience in battle rap, multiple instruments and a technical, behind-the-scenes knowledge of music production. He describes his music's sound best as "grandiose", which holds true with the immense energy that his songs carry.
For Chance Fischer, Epic Fest is an opportunity for the many Richmond, VA artists who are constantly collaborating to come together for one collective show. He will be performing the song "Grace" for this first time, off of his upcoming project, Wreath. The Richmond native puts a heavy emphasis on the performance experience he gives his audience. Thinking back to a show by "Doe the Paper Boy" he had seen years back, he was motivated by the drive to leave the audience with something to remember in every performance of his. Chance has performed at every Epic Fest since the first, so the audience will excited to seeing new songs by him performed on stage.
Chance will be performing as a part of June 27th’s Smoked Out Saturday stage, at the Broadberry venue.
Hannah Muphey is a Richmond, VA based singer from Severna Park, MD who goes by the name Minilov. She was able to see much of Maryland while growing up and jumping between Severna Park, Baltimore, and Annapolis. While in high school she took a lead role in a local artist showcase, and became known for her singing ability in her hometown. Minilov describes being inspired by Gladys Knight and Brittany Spears' energy and their singing styles. Her sound is influenced by both R&B boom bap. In 2012 Minilov began taking herself seriously as a musician, when she began working with an in-house producer who showed her the mechanics of putting together a song.
Minilov first heard about Epic Fest while participating in this January's "The Outlet" showcase, having won a spot on the showcase through a contest. Performing alongside Isaac Marcel, and ___, she won second place in the showcase, and won herself a free application for this summer’s Epic Fest. While unaware of the hype around the festival until seeing the promotional flier, she is excited to be a part of Slapdash's annual summer tradition. She has performance experience doing house parties, and private bookings, including a show on March 30th with Jake Barkley, doing an improv style performance for the audience. The singer has a soulful sound to her voice and calls performing her "most comfortable state", while singing her own songs. She describes her performing style as "emitting her most crazy self”, making her audience comfortable through her level of comfort while singing. Minilov is expecting to perform "No U", "Beach House pt.1", and one more song from her new project, named "Unnamed Places".
Minilov’s Epic Fest performance will be on June 23rd at the Gallery 5 venue, as a part of a visual artist featured set sponsored by Crenius.
Blunt is a Richmond born and raised artist, by the first name of Taye Robertson. He is the president of his own company, DMR records -- a film, music, and apparel/ merchandise company. The artist first dabbled in rap at the age of 12, while making a joke diss song to other kids in the neighborhood. From then on he worked on the ability he noticed he had until the age of 16, when he recognized rap was something he wanted to do. Blunt has an original sound he describes as; true to himself, uncompromising, and truly "blunt".
Blunt first heard about Epic Fest in March of this year. After hearing about the annual Richmond festival from a DC based rapper, Esko, Blunt was motivated to apply and be a part of this year's Epic Fest. Blunt describes Epic Fest as a blessing and that he would have supported the festival even if he was not performing in it. With a year's worth of performance experience, visiting open mics and club events around Richmond, Epic Fest will be a new experience for the 20 year old rapper. He describes connecting with the audience by interacting with them, cutting to acapella, doing freestyles; overall performing with the audience and not to the audience. Blunt will be performing "This That Funk", from his Just Being Blunt project, which he plans on releasing at the end of this summer.
Blunt’s Epic Fest performance will be on Friday June 26th at The Camel venue as a part of the Post Traumatic Fresh stage.
Peter $un is a Richmond, VA rap artist with a unique sound. Peter grew up in the south side of Richmond and has spent time in New York, but decided to stay in Richmond to keep with the culture unique to the city. He spent high school playing basketball and baseball with dreams of playing in the NBA, began giving real focusing to artistry during his junior year of high school. Peter has a sound that he self-describes as "undefined". Having dabbled in full hip-hop, an R&Bish sound, and a unique style he has dubbed "electro-soul" Peter $un is tied to down to no genre. As an artist with a specific focus on the quality of his music and not much else, Peter $un spends a heavy amount of time on each song he puts out alongside his audio engineer Tae.
Peter had heard about Epic Fest since the festival first began, but did not taken the stage until the 2014 summer. His most recent show in Richmond was the last show of his Sunset Castle mini-tour sponsored by KarmaLoop on April 1st at The Camel venue, alongside Ramsey, Fly Anakin, Versace Chaci, Koncept Jackson, and Lyrix Anthony. Since he has begun performing Peter has seen himself keeping his focus better on stage. While on stage Peter describes having a natural stage presence that carries his performances. Instead of rehearsing his actions on stage he chooses to go up and just feel the music, vibing with the audience on an in-the-moment basis. In every performance he does Peter makes a point of giving his audience a bit of his personality and connecting with his audience through calling people out, through singing to some, and just plain talking to people. Having been in Richmond's rap scene for some time, Peter $un has performed with many of the artists on the bill for his set at The Broadberry previously. Peter sees Epic Fest as having a big impact on Richmond music scene, being exactly what the city’s abundant underground hip-hop scene needs.
Peter $un will be performing on June 27th at The Broadberry venue as a part of the “Smoked Out Saturday” stage.
Ramsey is a talented musical artist from Chester, VA, currently based in Richmond. Knowing himself and what he wanted since a young age, he decided he wanted to make music very early, recording his first song in 8th grade. While growing up he had experimented with different styles of recording music until he reached his 20s and gave the artistry a bigger focus. Ramsey’s turning point was April 15th 2013, the day his daughter, Layla, was born. At that point Ramsey decided he was living for more than himself, so he took the idea of a music career seriously and began to pursue it. He operated as a rap artist with the Goth Money crew until February of this year when he began singing and transitioned into R&B music. As an R&B artist the main takeaway Ramsey wants fans and listeners of his music to take are embracing emotions, appreciating unique relationships, and being headstrong, not worrying about what anybody thinks but yourself. Ramsey differentiates his sound by mixing his own "new R&B" singing with a 90's feel and often with a trap beat influence.
Ramsey is one of the Epic Fest’s veteran performers, having participated since the 2013 festival and continued since then. After initially reaching out to Slapdash RVA's team he first appeared on the bill during the 3rd Epic Fest line up, performing a show at the Infuzions night club on the “Project Wake Up” stage. Though Ramsey has performed in Richmond’s annual festival for 3 years now, he will be sharing the stage with the rest of "Summer Breeze" stage line up for the first time. Since having transitioned from rap to R&B for his creative outlet, he has changed his recording style, performance style, and his peers he will be performing with. Ramsey describes best connecting with his audience in a variety of ways, pulling dance moves, having fun, and even telling embarrassing stories about himself to get the audience to laugh.
Ramsey will be performing Wednesday, June 24th headlining the "Summer Breeze" stage at The Top venue sponsored by WeAreVA Media Group.