Tokyo is one the hardest hitting rappers I’ve heard in a while. He attacks this beat with constant, machine gun fire bars.
Oh, the memories. At the first ever Ugly Orange house show in July 2016, Kaley Honeycutt’s bright beachy vibes rocked the small room as BABY. Some of my other favorite babies, Always Nothing, captured the infectious “Weather Girl” in a live video that makes shoots the nostalgia right into my heart. Catch their pics from that night here, and see pics from that same night of DONKNG here.
Cover photo by Liv Jonse.
Cool new sounds from a talented DJ/producer/TMD memeber, Blair Sound Design.
In 2016, TEDD.GIF released bags of music and established himself as one of Orlando’s top rappers. His most notable project of the year was Lil Mixtape, his take on the turn-up, commercial sound that’s flooded the airwaves as of late –exclusively produced by Lanlord Collectin.
Finder, a three-song EP strung together in a single track, is TEDD’s most experimental, cohesive release to date. (It’s also probably my favorite.) The sonics blend melty and harsh production seemlessly. And our man is doing what he does best, showing his confidence and desire to go against the grain. Because Lil Mixtape proved he can execute the current sound, now TEDD.GIF is showing more of his own colors. I can’t wait to hear what he and Lanlord cook up for Lil Mixtape 2, out later this season.
Ever since he started making noise in the Orlando music community, B8TA has stayed busy. If you’re at all familiar with local DJ nights, chances are you’ve already seen him. He DJs every Thursday at Patio’s Talk Yo Shit, books his own nights under the Labwrk brand, and pops up on bills by TMD and Body Talk. Additionally, B8TA’s Soundcloud is filled with his own smooth tunes that are heavily influenced by the sound of eclectic hip hop label, Stones Throw Records. I had yet to kick it with the guy, so we sat down, dug through all of his projects, and listened to some music, all while ORL glitch artist MalRea provided a backdrop of twisted anime. Enjoy.
matthew warhol: Let me just say, thank you so much for doing this, because I have been a fan of your shit for a while. I really like the stuff you’re doing with Labwrk, the Talk Yo Shit stuff you’ve been doing. [In addition to DJing] you’ve been doing the design too, right?
B8TA: Yeah, I’m not … I’m just stealing shit from The Internet and just putting words on it. [laughs] Thank you, though.
matthew warhol: No, you’re just repurposing. [laughs] But yeah, we’ve never gotten to talk, but that’s why I like doing these interviews. I get to learn more about the artists I cover. So … Starting off, are you from here?
B8TA: I’m originally from the Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas. But um, I’m by way of here. I’ve been here all my life. I just turned 30 in October, and I’ve been here since like ’95. Actually no, ’96.
matthew warhol: How old were you?
B8TA: Nine or ten?
matthew warhol: And you came to Orlando?
B8TA: Straight to Orlando.
matthew warhol: Why did you move?
B8TA: In ’94 we had this crazy hurricane, Hurricane Marilyn, and it was a Category 4 or 5. I remember being in the closet with my mom, my two aunts, my grandma, and my sister, who was a newborn. [We] were all huddled in this little closet. And throughout the whole storm, we could see our ceiling peeling off; we could hear glass breaking, windows breaking.
matthew warhol: And after that they were like, we need to leave?
B8TA: Yeah, our home was completely messed up. And we were eating army rations at school for like a year. We didn’t have actual power for like a year. We were running off generators.
matthew warhol: So you moved here when you were nine. Did your parents bring that music and culture with them?
B8TA: When I was younger I remember her listening to things that were popular back home but when I got here, that’s when I got into hip hop. Like, the first song that I heard that was hip hop where I actually understood what that was, was Fugees “Killing Me Softly.”
matthew warhol: Oh cool. Where did you hear that?
B8TA: Funny story about that, I was on the way to the dollar theater with a guy my mom was dating at the time. He was taking us to see Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, and it was on the radio.
matthew warhol: Was it an instant love? Did you try to find other things like it?
B8TA: Naw, it was just one of those things where it was like damn, this a new sound. Because when you’re young you just listen to what your parents listen to.
matthew warhol: So when did you start finding your own music that you liked to listen to?
B8TA: Probably like the start of middle school. I think the first album I bought with my own money was the Busta Rhymes When Disaster Strikes…, that had “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See.” And that summer was when that the Missy Elliott album came out, and the Will Smith Big Willy Style.
matthew warhol: Man, I had [the Big Willy Style] CD in my car fairly recently. [laughs] When did you realize you wanted to start making music?
B8TA: You know what? When I was in high school, I was like trying to be a rapper. Or I would just write stuff and me and my friends would freestyle. But nothing really serious. But actually making beats and producing music … my boy Jeff, who was in algebra class with me, he brought in this CD that had instrumentals on it. So we’re listening to it in class, on his walkman, and we’re like, “Yo, this is hot. Who made this?” And he’s like, “I did.” And you know, we’re like, “You’re full of shit. You can’t make this.” He’s like, “No I did. I made it with this program called Fruity Loops. And you just download it. It’s like $99 or some shit, but you can get it for free.” From then, I went home and got the program. I think my first beat was like all bells. But I thought it was the hottest shit ever. I think I was like 15, 16.
matthew warhol: When did you start wanting to put it out there?
matthew warhol: Immediately? What, for your friends? Did you have CDs you would pass out?
B8TA: I used to burn a new little mixtape or album every other week, or every month. I was just super excited about it at that time.
matthew warhol: When did you start getting your name out in Orlando, or even start going out?
B8TA: I think it was like, a couple years ago. I was going out to the Beat Battles at Spacebar. And all the producer-heads used to come out and show face. It was one of those things where there was nothing like that in Orlando. I was probably 25 or 26 … I started getting out there late. Up until I was like 25, I was concentrating on work, and I was going to college too. I kinda got lost in the everyday type thing.
matthew warhol: Were you not making music at the time?
B8TA: I was, but not as consistent. I was in Altamonte for a while, but when I moved back to Orlando I didn’t see the scene the same. Everything had changed. People were actually doing cool shit. And I started doing the Beat Battles. I think I won one or two. That’s how I met Allan Duncan [native feel] and Side C.
matthew warhol: How soon did you start booking your own stuff? Because that’s what Labwrk is, right?
B8TA: Labwrk was basically me and my buddy sitting and watching Boiler Room videos and we were like, it’d be so cool if we did something like this. Not quite Boiler Room per say, but just add different elements like visuals to tweak it just a little bit. And that’s when we started doing the parties.
matthew warhol: And with Labwrk, were you going to play a certain kind of dance music?
B8TA: Naw, we were like, fuck a whole format. You gotta touch everybody, right? Everyone wants to have a good time. No one wants to be alienated. So play what you whatever the fuck you want. Somebody is not going to feel it, but it’s not that serious.
matthew warhol: What about The Left Field Theory? You’re affiliated with them too, right? Explain that.
B8TA: Yeah, I’m the DJ. It’s mostly rappers and producers. There’s 15 of us? It’s me, Blue Novemeber, METVLMOUTH, Alfonso X, LFT Solis, Lauren’s Truees, Nelson, ZAE THE PHILOSOPHER, illfigure, j. robb … there’s so many of us.
matthew warhol: How did that get started?
B8TA: We actually all met at this open mic thing called The Sesh, like 2014. Some of them performed. And we were all like, what do you have going on?
matthew warhol: So you formed a collective. What do you do in that?
B8TA: We all do our own individual thing. But right now we’re doing a Left Field LP or tape or whatever you want to call it. I think the single, “Ay Mane,” was played on the radio last Sunday, on 104.5 The Beat. But some of the guys I mentioned don’t even live here. They’re in Baltimore, Boston, Miami.
matthew warhol: What’s your role on that tape?
matthew warhol: The whole thing?
B8TA: No, I’m mainly doing interludes and intros/outros with Metalmouth. And I think the main sound will be coming from Jay Rob, to form the vibe.
matthew warhol: Is there a vibe yet?
B8TA: Yeah, that song they played on the radio is probably what they’re shooting for, upbeat and feel-good. Because a lot of the stuff I make isn’t very upbeat. It’s more chill, smoke a blunt.
matthew warhol: Who all have you produced for?
B8TA: Blue November, Donny Blanks, this guy over here, [Zuhaven], Duckworth, a whole buncha cats.
matthew warhol: What’s the difference when you’re making music for someone to rap over, versus something purely instrumental? Is it a different process?
B8TA: I like to sit down with people and listen to different music before. A lot of times I’m two tracking it with people, sending stuff through email. But if I have you in my space, we’ll listen to music for a while then go into it.
matthew warhol: Do you play off them and adapt to what they do?
B8TA: Yeah, definitely. Then I come in and add my little thing.
matthew warhol: You have to similarly adapt when you’re DJing, depending on what type of event it is. What’s the difference?
B8TA: At Talk Yo Shit, I definitely can’t slip in a Mac DeMarco track all willy nilly. That would not fly at like 12 o’clock. But maybe [it would] at Cultural Canopy. I can do that with ease and mix it into like Lou Reed or something and people would be like, woah.
matthew warhol: What are your personal goals for music?
B8TA: For this year, I really want Labwrk to develop into a brand that’s more than just throwing parties. Becuase that’s not really my scene … I can’t even say that. I like being out. And I like having fun. But it’s not about partying. And I eventurally want it to be a thing where I can take other artists and help them get out and do their thing, essentially the Stones Throw Records of Orlando.
matthew warhol: Were they an early influence for you?
B8TA: They were a huge influence. MF Doom. Jay Dilla. Madlib. Madlib is my all-time, next to The Neptunes. I’m sorry Jay Dilla.
matthew warhol: What attracts you to that kind of music?
B8TA: I think it’s the “I don’t give a fuck,” vibe. Because it sounds gritty and dirty. There’s so much more tape hiss and hella dust on the record when they’re mixing it. But it still sounds like … I can’t even explain it.
matthew warhol: Raw?
B8TA: Yeah, raw.
matthew warhol: How do you add that same feel into your music?
B8TA: Man, I just try to emulate what these cats are doing, and just add my own thing to it. And I think at the end of the day, me transitioning from a producer to also being a DJ has made me realize where I see myself. It has helped me discover my sound.
matthew warhol: And that’s because you’re taking so much in?
B8TA: Yeah, constantly having to find what’s new. Because a lot producers do this where they’re like, I’m not going to listen to no new music; I can’t be disturbed. But you start to put yourself in a box. And before you know it, you put your shit out and you’re 10 years behind what the new sound is, instead of progressing with the sound.
Happy 2017 everybody! Hope everyone had a good holiday season *yadda yadda yadda*. So, The Vinyl Warhol is going to change a bit this year. We’ll be focusing more on big features and interviews. I’m going to try my darndest to have a new one up every Wednesday. I’ll be continuously booking interviews for every Monday, so hit me up if you want to talk.
For ORL “cool” rock kids RV, 2017 has started off right. The band just played their second show at Will’s Pub, are working on their debut album (set to come out in Spring), and are set on their first tour up the east coast. I remember being blown away the first time I heard their demo — as far as lo-fi go, no one nails it more. Then I met them and they were cool af. There’s something so natural about how they present themselves that I want to be a part of it. So I met up with three of the four (Justin Burns, Sean Labree, & Camden Pink). We complimented each other’s styles and shot the shit for the better part of an hour. They’ve got their sights set high, and I don’t see anyone standing in their way. Enjoy.
matthew warhol: I didn’t do much research. You don’t have much research out there yet. I listened to the demo and I’m like, “That’s about it.” Do you only have the demo out right now?
Camden Pink (bass): We only have the demo out right now. We’re working on the album right now.
matthew warhol: And did everybody work on that?
Camden: The three of us did.
matthew warhol: So is this all of RV? Do you have a permeant drummer?
Camden: We have a permeant drummer, but he’s kind of in a … situation where he can’t play with us for a while.
Sean Labree (lead guitar): His mom is like a famous gospel singer, really like “God” and everything. She caught him with weed and now he’s not allowed to play with us. She still has full control over him.
Camden: We have Caden from Teen Baby filling in for the next few shows we have.
matthew warhol: So your drummer is grounded, currently?
Camden: That doesn’t help with the whole “high school” thing.
matthew warhol: So [the “you’re still in high school” thing] started with just a thing people put on the Facebook Event. That sounds like a Jason Kimmins thing, honestly.
Sean: That’s who I thought it was.
Justin Burns (vocals/guitar): No, I think it was Harryson.
matthew warhol: So, [for the record] you’re not in high school?
matthew warhol: Are you in college?
Camden: I’m the only one in college right now. I’m going for culinary.
matthew warhol: What kind of food do you like to make?
Camden: I work in a pizza place so probably Italian. Sean works there too. We’re pizza pals. I flip ‘em; he drives ‘em.
matthew warhol: What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened in a delivery?
Sean: Some old couple tried to get me to like become their dealers. They gave me their number and I never responded, so they never ordered pizza again. I guess they thought I had ratted them out or something.
matthew warhol: How long have you known each other?
Camden: I’ve known Sean since like…
Sean: …junior year or something? And then Justin I met…
Justin: … 2014. I met Cam before Sean though. We had like a band before RV, but that just kind of stopped.
matthew warhol: That was with the three of you then? What’s with the name change?
Sean: I don’t think any of us were like, as dedicated as we are now, or really understood [what we were doing].
Camden: It definitely didn’t have the same type of sound.
matthew warhol: What did it sound like?
Camden: Kind of like… old Joyce Manor?
Sean: It was more basic surfy music.
Justin: It was wack. I don’t even think we had a band name. We had like three songs and that was it?
matthew warhol: How did you start making music together?
Sean: [Camden] showed me his singing, so I messaged him through Facebook and asked if he wanted to be in a band.
Justin: I remember [Sean] asked me if I wanted to be in a band similar to like really cheesy bands. I was just like what the fuck is this kid talking about?
Sean: I thought it was going to be a thing for me to practice guitar every day. Then we got one track that we all wrote together and we were hyped about it. So it became like the main focus. Because me and [Cam] always have written our own stuff, but just never did anything about it. Once we started working with Justin, it stuck.
matthew warhol: When was that? When did RV actually form?
Camden: That was May or April.
matthew warhol: And were you adamant about wanting to get out there really quickly?
Camden: Oh yeah. We started practicing and got like five songs and then started playing a bunch of shows.
Sean: The second we got enough songs to be enough for a set, we were just like “let’s get out there.”
matthew warhol: What um… you were talking about an album that’s being worked on. How far along is that?
Justin: It’s pretty much done. We just need like two more songs and to finish recording.
matthew warhol: When’s that coming out?
Sean: That depends on our drummer now. Because his mom is Christian, she hasn’t known about our band. He’s just like kept it a secret. And um, once she found out, she took it as a rebellious move, so like she’s kind of weird about having us over. But we’re working on it. We’re just waiting for her to back off of him.
Camden: Hopefully Spring.
matthew warhol: Are the songs on the demo going to be on the album too?
Camden: Yeah, and they’ll be redone with live drums and new tones and everything.
matthew warhol: Yeah, that demo was awesome, really fucking good demo. I remember when I was planning the show with Ugly Orange, we were talking about the Brooklyn bands coming down or whatever and were like, “We gotta get this band to play.” I hadn’t seen you at the time, but I had just heard the demo and was like, “This is cool. This is tight.”
Camden: Yeah, thank you. Really fun show too.
matthew warhol: Yeah, we want to do another one together soon. You should be on it again.
Justin: I’d like to play another Ugly Orange show. That’d be sick.
Camden: Any show at Spacebar is amazing.
Sean: They’re just so nice. And what Ugly Orange does is crazy. I don’t know how you bring the people out that you do. It’s always packed.
matthew warhol: So what’s been the best shows you’ve played?
Justin: I’m going to say… we played a house show in Gainesville with Donkng and Sad Jeremy.
Sean: We’ve played at their house twice, and they’re always great shows. We spend the night there, and a bunch of people always come through. For me, I definitely have to say the Gainesville shows and the Spacebar shows have been my favorites.
matthew warhol: I heard that house is really sweet. Weren’t they worried about the floor caving in or something? What was happening with that?
Justin: We weren’t at that show, but I had the same feeling when we played there. It’s on like a support, so all these people are jumping up and down — and it’s a pretty old house too.
Sean: Yeah, it’s a really old house. They have like crazy neighbors too. This old guy will come over and say what’s up. He’ll drop off a pizza, stuff like that.
Justin: This one guy barged in. He busted open the door and was just like freaking out.
Sean: They all seem like crackheads.
matthew warhol: At least there’s no noise complaints…
Sean: Yeah, nobody cares. This guy rushed up to and asked for 20 bucks. He told me if I gave him a $20 bill, he’d give me a $40 check that I could deposit at the end of the week.
matthew warhol: Have you played many bullshit shows?
Sean: Whenever we first started, it was mainly the idea of like… we should just get out there; play whatever shows we get hit up about. Now it’s just like, we can be a little more picky about the shows we play. We would definitely have a few nights of playing at the same place and there would be like two people there. Our set would be at 1:00 a.m. or something. But now that we’ve been playing less shows, they’ve been going pretty well. We just had a show in Deland the other day. It was outdoors…
matthew warhol: Oh you played that? How was it?
Sean: It was really nice. They had a keg for all the bands to get free beer all night. They had someone making fresh soup all night.
Camden: The soup was alright. It was a squash soup.
Sean: I didn’t try it. I don’t know who’s eating soup at a show.
Justin: I don’t like soup.
Camden: I would have preferred a Campbell’s chicken noodle.
Justin: Don’t tell ‘em though.
Sean: You have to say pause quote.
matthew warhol: What are you thinking for the album? Is it still going to be lo-fi? More spacey?
Justin: It’s not going to be like the demo, but it’s definitely still going to be lo-fi.
Sean: I just want to have the whole post-punk, lo-fi vibe. I don’t know, that sound is just like timeless to me. Anything that sounds classic never gets old to me. That’s my favorite type of sound and I think if there’s a band that masters that in their own way, people are gonna go like crazy about it.
matthew warhol: How’s what you’ve been listening to affecting the album?
Camden: I’d say, for my bass parts, I’m taking influence from like [old jazz standards]. I’m not writing the typical punk basslines. I think it definitely puts a different sound on it too.
Sean: Yeah, I got kind of into Bossa nova like a few months ago, learned a bunch of jazz chords and found a way to incorporate that and stuff.
[Camden & Justin laughing at Sean]
Justin: I just kind of write until something feels right. I don’t like think about something — I just kind of let it happen. If I think about it, it doesn’t come out good. That’s what I’ve come to learn about my writing process.
matthew warhol: So do you sit down and write, or just wait until something hits you?
Justin: I just kind of like… sit with my guitar for a few hours and start messing around. Then like, something will hit me; I’ll like record it really quick. With lyrics, sometimes it’ll hit me out of nowhere so I’ll write it down. But I don’t know what to use it for. Then I’ll go back and add it to something later. I like write lyrics to match the leads so it’s like kind of catchier.
Sean: I don’t know how you write like that, just sitting for hours. I like, dwell on my porch. And I’ll like smoke a bunch of weed, a few cigarettes, go inside, try and write something. If it goes bad, I’ll play it back a bunch of times, listen to it, smoke a lot more cigarettes, go back inside, write something, get happy about it, get high again, and go to sleep. That’s pretty much it.
[Camden continuously laughing at Sean.]
matthew warhol: I’m guessing the ideas that come out are different. You’re not just sitting down like, “Alright, I have to write this kind of song because this is what RV is.” So where does it become you?
Justin: It’s kind of weird, actually. I don’t think about what I want it to sound like.
Sean: It’s basically like, I play exactly what I want to hear in a song. Whenever I hear a part in a song that really gets me hyped, those are the type of things I’m trying to write. Anytime I’ve tried to forcibly write a certain type of song, it just comes out bad.
Justin: It should always be a natural process.
Sean: …from the soul.
Justin: That’s too cheesy.
matthew warhol: Edit that out! Cut that!
Camden: Music’s from the heart man.
Like many local creatives, Henderson Nguyen came to Orlando to study at the University of Central Florida. For his first couple of years, he stuck with the label of “student,” until a block party in the Milk District brought the Orlando arts community into the forefront of his mind. Since then, Henderson has fully submerged himself in the culture, modeling and shooting for local brands (NoXcape & CHROMATIQUE), filming music videos (SugarPlum & TOKYOxP), and creating his own niche as a photographer. His style is perfectly posed, bright images that tell a short, impactful story. One of his favorite subjects to work with is cigarettes; the aesthetic of the object and the multiple connotations — death, counterculture, cool — associated with smoking are all explored in his images. Sadly, this talent is off to LA to pursue his dreams, but he’s leaving us with a bittersweet send-off this Sunday (TODAY) at Spacebar, featuring rapper TEDD.GIF, DJ EMRLDTRACE, and indie pop sweetheart, SugarPlum.
Featured Image by @anand.vision.
Each of the artists performing has deep ties to Henderson and his time in Orlando. TEDD.GIF was instrumental in Hendy’s introduction to the ORL creative community, and he says that the two share similar mindsets when it comes to personal branding. EMRLDTRACE and Henderson went to high school in West Palm Beach and grew close once they started at UCF — and they’re moving to LA together. Henderson heard SugarPlum before anyone else; she had always wanted to give music a shot but wasn’t sure if anyone would listen. We’re lucky she did. He perfectly captured her sunny, colorful persona in his video for her song “All the Time.”
Poster by Maggie Scott.
Henderson plans to keep ORL on his tongue while meeting creatives in Los Angles. He looks forward to seeing the growth of (musicians) TEDD.GIF, SugarPlum, TOKYOxP, Tony Phat, Lanlord, (clothing brands) NoXcape, CHROMATIQUE, Phalse, (photographers) dy_n, daniel moncada, and (promoters) TSA Showcase. Come say goodbye to this awesome dude tonight at Spacebar!