FREESPACE is the brainchild of Pulaski English teacher Vince Gaa, along with Janice Vogt and Sam Ahmed (or as you may know him, WebsterX). It's an initiative that they set up in order to shine some light on talented young artists in the city, all the while guiding them in honing their craft and beginning to organize their own shows. FREESPACE isn't just an idea, it's also what they call the events that they host: FREESPACE. It is a free space, a space of free-thinking and free of judgement.
Each FREESPACE event features two artists: a young, aspiring artist and a more veteran, established artist. This is a pretty loose concept, as the 'more veteran, established artist' at the first event happened to be IshDARR, who is just 19. Additionally, the 'young, aspiring artist' at the most recent event happened to be BANKX, who at 17 is most certainly young and aspiring, but is already knocking on the door of 300,000 Soundcloud plays.
FREESPACE is in the process of locking down a permanent home. Yesterday's event was held at Jazale's, who was courteous enough to host. Alongside BANKX was Klassik. As is tradition, the event began with Vince's reading of their ever-changing mission statement, followed by an interview with the youth performer. Vince has a very unique style of interviewing that never fails to get a reaction out of the artist. With a mix of long-winded questions, short provocative blurbs that aren't even necessarily questions, and some deep-digging questions the artists would never expect him to bring up, he keeps everyone on their toes. Nardwuar's interviews can't help but come to mind in watching Vince work his craft.
Next is a performance from the youth artist. BANKX, broken foot and all, stepped right into it and put on a good show, with a little help from Explain's own DJ Marcu$.
The process is then repeated with the veteran artist, in this case, Klassik. Vince dragged this interview especially long, at one point even just stating, "Guest Lists. Drake. Parking Checkers. Give me your thoughts on these things". As silly as this sounds, it wasn't totally random. It's a list Vince dug deep to find and ended up being fairly provocative. Klassik's performance spoke for itself, as it always does. Doing all sorts of live instrumentation himself, he explained that he started doing shows that way simply so that he doesn't have to rely on someone else to get the job done.
FREESPACE is a unique and overwhelmingly positive environment to be in. It's not something you can really understand or grasp the feel of until experiencing it first hand. So keep your ears open for the next one! The FREESPACE team plans to hold monthly installments going forward.