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It’s Called Gratitude

At only 25, Jared Young—better known in Columbus as the emcee Path or “Producing All the Hits”—has already gone there and back as far as a career in music is concerned. As half of Alleyes Path, the group he formed with Alleyes Manifest, the beats peaked about four years ago when the duo were a [...]
Kevin J. Elliott

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At only 25, Jared Young—better known in Columbus as the emcee Path or “Producing All the Hits”—has already gone there and back as far as a career in music is concerned. As half of Alleyes Path, the group he formed with Alleyes Manifest, the beats peaked about four years ago when the duo were a “band to watch” and the bonkers backpack rap they created together was booming. They unceremoniously split in 2012 just after releasing their debut album, but Young was determined that his destiny as an artist was unfulfilled. He moved on and started the solo life. A shift was eminent.

“In 2014 I moved to L. A.,” Young says. “It was always my dream to pursue my music. I went to school for marketing and I wanted to work in the industry for some powerhouse corporation like Warner Bros. or Sony. One day I just packed up my Civic and took off across the country. I had no job or place to live out there, but at that particular moment I had a confidence and belief in myself that things would work out.”

Indeed, Young found that dreams could become reality. He began assisting on sessions with a reputable producer at a major studio, worked with Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label where he received training in the “business,” and found himself dabbling in other genres and with songwriters outside of his comfort zone. But quickly he realized just how tough a trade it is in Hollywood. Plus, the homesickness. Hollywood was a strange place. Hence the double meaning of Unfamiliar Homes, the new record he started writing in California. By the time he moved back to Columbus, his hometown seemed just as foreign.

“The record is really about me being a little lost,” Young says of the scope for Unfamiliar Homes. “It’s about trying to find a place of, not happiness, but of belonging. I was missing my support system and as much as I wanted that career out there, here you can still pursue your dream and buy a house and plan a future.”

Unfamiliar Homes is not a record built on regret or resentment, though. There are no tales of hard times heading home tail between his legs. Instead there’s an unbounded positivity in “Cloudy Mornings” and the stand-out “Forgiveness,” as if Young is flashing the peace sign to the universe in every couplet. Endless waves of gratitude and inspiration thrown by Young towards the obstacles and challenges of the past half-decade—no mud, no lotus, man.

What was gleaned from Los Angeles is evident in Young’s decision to write, play, and produce the entirety of Unfamiliar Homes. It’s not that he abandoned the eccentric quirk of Alleyes Path’s uncanny hip-hop, but it has been transformed into mainstream sweeps of strings, piano melodies, and samples of Hot Chip. Nor is it commercial. What may throw listeners off is that it is current. As a student of hip-hop since he was 15, Young has absorbed a bit of everything, from Kanye’s grandeur to Eminem’s gritty confessions, the thoughtful breeze that defined ’90s G-funk and the strange ambience that pervades trap music in the ’10s. The b-boy bouillabaisse is strong on this record…

“The record is really about me being a little lost. It’s about trying to find a place of, not happiness, but of belonging. I was missing my support system and as much as I wanted that career out there, here you can still pursue your dream and buy a house and plan a future.”

… but so is his mental fortitude. Where once Young was dominated by a “party influence,” he’s now more “cautious” and “real.” Unfamiliar Homes is not completely staid and strictly serious. It’s loads of fun, poppy even, especially when Young invites in some guests, Lev Don and Nes Wordz, on “Starchaser,” or acknowledges the debauchery of Hotlanta on “Flowers and Syrup.” Still, it’s hard not to see Young’s journey in song as a symbol of growing up.

“My mom and I were just talking about how angry of a kid I was and how music really calmed me down,” Path says on the redeeming qualities of hip-hop in his life. “At first I was an angry suburban punk with a lot of pent-up anger, but soon I started skateboarding, and that led to hip-hop, and eventually I wasn’t even skateboarding because I would stay home and make beats.”

At the very least, Unfamiliar Homes is a testament to hard work and perseverance paying off in the end.

For music and more information on Path visit path614.com.

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Music industry designates Blackout Tuesday as time of pause

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To honor the memory of George Floyd and fix the injustices surrounding his death, the music industry has designated Tuesday as a time of pause to collaborate on ways to better support the black community.

Businesses and organizations within the music industry have been asked to pause regular work to reflect on how they can better serve the black community, according to a report from Variety. In general, businesses and organizations across the board have been asked to use Tuesday as a way to focus on the effort.

The message that circulated around social media quickly on Monday stated that “Blackout Tuesday” is being used as “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” and “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”

The movement has been gaining momentum under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused. Major labels such as Capitol Music Group and Warner Music Group announced their alignment with the “Blackout Tuesday” cause. 

Companies have also announced practices such as pausing social media activity throughout the whole day.

Spotify and ViacomCBS have already announced an 8 minute and 46-second moment of silence for Tuesday. The time reflects how long the Minnesota police officer dug his knee into the kneck of Floyd.

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Curbside Concerts brings live music, hope to those in need

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Can’tStopColumbus took a quick pause when the pandemic shut down the world and asked two questions:

  1. Are we sure we're solving the needs of everyone in our community during this time? 
  2. Are we not just coming up with ideas based on our own experiences?

Our elder community was one of the major demographics to have stricter socially distancing guidelines suggested to them. Holidays and birthdays went by without hugs from grandpa or grandma’s cookies.

Out of the need to fill that missing love in the life of American seniors, the idea of Curbside Concerts was born. Anyone is able to jump on the Curbside Concerts signup page and request a concert for an elder, sick people not able to leave the house, or a simple celebration.

Sending a concert telegram is free, and you can also leave a message for a loved one and suggest what type of tunes the organization-selected Columbus-area musician.

So far, the feedback has been inspiring. 

“People cried. I cried. We cried. It was beautiful,” said Zach Friedman, one of the service’s founders and creators. “We had a powerful idea on our hands, and the amazing power of the #Can'tStopColumbus community to scale it and bring it to life.”

To date, Curbside Concerts has had over 50 volunteers. Their job is to drive around a Columbus musician and their equipment with trucks provided by Ricart Automotive. It’s a road trip around the Columbus area, delivering concerts to those who may just need their spirits lifted. It’s like a non-depressing version of Inside Llewyn Davis.

Support has come from all ends of the Columbus creative community, including The Columbus Foundation, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Streetlight Guild, and What? Productions. Through these organizations, musicians are able to be paid for a route that usually lasts five to six hours. 100 percent of the donations they receive on their route also goes to the musicians.

Friedman is asking people to keep requests to older audiences.

“Working with local musicians to perform curbside at people's homes is the vehicle or medium, but the real thing we are doing here is connecting those to older people they love, with an authentic and emotional experience to send love over,” Friedman said.

We found out pretty quickly how much as a collective that we take live music for granted. Live streams have been a temporary, dulled-down replacement. You realize how long people have been robbed of the experience when you see a musician pull up in a pickup truck, set up in five minutes, and serenade neighborhoods with songs like “Lean on Me” and “What A Wonderful World.” It starts off with a message to one house and then resonates down the street, like the citizens of Gas Town rushing to The People Eater for even a drop of water.

Photos by Zak Kolesar

For most people, it was their first taste of live music since mid-March. While we may want concerts to return as soon as possible, its productions like Curbside Concerts that display the emotional power of music.

To request to send someone a concert, follow the link here: https://sendaconcert.herokuapp.com/request

To volunteer for Curbside Concerts, follow the link here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b45abaa22a4fb6-curbside

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Arts & Culture

Live music allowed again in restaurants and bars: how will these establishments respond?

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A major step forward in the return of live music in Ohio took place over the weekend. The Ohio coronavirus guidelines were updated to reflect the new COVID-19 Dine Safe Ohio Order.

The order outlining the guidelines on live music in restaurant and bars is as follows:

Musicians and bands may perform in restaurants and bars as long as the individuals who are performing maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other people including, but not limited to, fellow performers and restaurant and bar patrons and staff.

DJ's are included along with musicians and bands in the order.

Something that was on the mind of a lot of musicians with the reopening of restaurants and the indefinite closing of large venues was how restaurants and bars were going to respond to the immediate venue demand. Places like Woodlands Tavern that already have an infrastructure for live music will have no problem complying with the updated order, but will restaurants and bars that depended on jukeboxes before pivot to a live music model?

With a lot more space available in restaurants due to capacity cuts, does this leave more room for a live music set up? Or will restaurants have to get rid of even more tables if they want to make room for a performer?

The thought of live music in a venue setting is alone enough to get excited about. How these places that now have the ability to host live music execute freeing up space for a band to set up or a DJ to bring his rig in while practicing social distancing is what makes this situation a tricky one.

Not being able to get down in a MojoFlo Soul Train line will be pretty tough, but it’s a tradeoff we’ll have to accept for the return of live music.

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