One of the beautiful things about Deep Ellum, the once again lively arts district of Dallas, is all the different people it brings together. In one night I will run into so many different friends from all different scenes and somehow we all know eachother. One thing I have noticed lately though, is that it’s easy to see the same people around a lot but not really know who they are or what they do. This inspired me to take a moment to write about 9 important people that you might have seen around Deep Ellum that I definitely think you should know.
JOHN STEWART // Twitter: @_mixgod
I only recently met John when I came out to one of his “All / Everything“ Parties this summer. These parties pick an artist, label, or artists to showcase for the night such as Jay Z, Gucci Mane, Drake, Kanye, etc. and the club reaches capacity every time. Aside from this, the MIXGOD as some know him, has audio credits for working with everyone from Kanye West to John Legend. Although the early stages in our friendship, I probably speak with John on a daily basis these days and have enlisted him to put together a hip-hop stage for So What?! Fall Edition, with more plans in the works!
BLUE, THE MISFIT. // Twitter: @BlueTheMisfit
I first met Blue when Orlando, my partner in crime with Third String Productions and So What?! Music Festival, booked him for some hip-hop shows we were doing. Although I wouldn’t call us personal friends, I have been a fan of what he has been up to for years and chances are you’ve seen him around Dallas. He recently sold out his visual listening party for his new album Perfect Night, For A Funeral. If you missed it, you can catch the recap here.
SAM LAO // Twitter: @THE_SamLao
Another talented Dallas artist that to most needs no introduction, is Sam Lao. I first caught live at Index Festival in 2014 inside The Prophet Bar. I was actually cutting through to see a band at The Door but ended up missing them because I couldn’t stop watching Sam. Her high energy set had my full attention and when you’re hearing and seeing someone for the very first time, there’s just a feeling you can’t explain. On top of being an extremely talented artist, Sam is also very vocal on her social media channels about social issues, using her platform to encourage change. Her latest song, Pineapple, which you can catch right here, is an anti-catcalling anthem that has gained national attention.
BRI CONRADO aka CLOVER THE GIRL // Twitter: @cloverthegirl
Bri was an intern for us at Third String Productions and then went on to help us run our festival So What?! Music Festival and has always been around to help when we needed her. Beyond that she has been an incredible friend. But what she showed me one trip out to visit in Los Angeles blew my mind. I had no idea Bri was coming out to LA to record music. She asked if she could put some songs she did on and from the first note to the last note I had chills. I couldn’t believe someone who was volunteering her time and essentially so selflessly there for us always has this incredible talent hidden away. I definitely encourage you to check out her new video “Detox” on her YouTube.
ELIZABETH ASHLEY WHITE // Twitter: @thrashley__
I believe I technically met Ashley when we had a show in College Station and her boyfriend’s band performed, but since I don’t really remember I will just say I met her as “the best thing that has happened to our company in a long time.” With me moving to California and Orlando slammed with more shows than ever before in multiple Texas markets, he needed someone that could dive right in and crush it for us, this is Ashley. She has quickly become such an essential member of our team, one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met, and a real friend who I enjoy having life chats with.
KENDRICK NICHOLSON // Twitter: @xKendrickPaul
There isn’t much Kendrick doesn’t do. You’ve either seen him onstage performing, behind the scenes working his ass off, or running from one venue to the next in Deep Ellum making sure your favorite bands have the best shows. Currently, however, you can catch Kendrick touring the US with his new band, Blindwish. You can check out their music video for 3:am here. Next time you see Kendrick around just say thanks, because the dude is a machine and he helps everything from Prophet Bar shows to main stage bands at So What?! run the best they can.
PETE FREEDMAN // Twitter: @PeteFreedman
Pretty positive Pete was one of the first people with local press that showed interest in what I was doing as a promoter without asking me to buy ads. Infact, he did an entire cover story essentially based around the scene we had going in the suburbs. Although Pete might not originally be as “local” as most of the people I’m mentioning, you would never know. Pete’s love for Deep Ellum and Dallas in general is mostly unrivaled and the website he created based on that, Central Track, is further proof incase you weren’t convinced. Catch him DJing around town or hanging out at the pop-punk show.
ALLI SCHLOEMAN // Twitter: @perkuprightmeow
I have no idea when I officially met Alli since most of our hangouts involve too many shots and loud music, but I do remember that our true bonding happened last Fall at Top 8 Tuesday (our once a month trip down memory lane where everyone’s old profile songs get played and we all miss the days where checking our MySpace was the most responsibility we had). I remember sitting at BuzzBrews not even talking as we both worked away at our festivals like true millennials. Alli is the boss lady over at Highland Concerts which is responsible for Lights All Night, one of my favorite events of the year. She’s one of the hardest working and most ambitious people I know.
GAVIN MULLOY // Twitter: @theGAVER
Last but not least, the man, the myth, the legend of Deep Ellum… Gavin. If you go out in Deep Ellum and you don’t run into Gavin, you probably didn’t have a good night. Gavin seems to be the life of the party everywhere and somewhere between the mayor and court jester of Deep Ellum. I met Gavin years ago when he was working with Granada Theater, but the recent years have found our hero located right in the hear of Deep Ellum at Trees and The Bomb Factory. One day Gavin and I are going to book Blink 182 together and it will be the best day ever. Make sure you don’t miss it!
SIDENOTE: Writing this not only made me miss Deep Ellum a ton (I am currently laying in bed in Los Angeles hopped up on Cold Brew and watching Seinfeld), but it made me realize there are way more than 9 people I need to write about, so stay tuned for the next edition coming soon!
Keep up with me on Twitter @mikeziemer