Students and community members gathered to support local music at the “Most Epic Concert of the Year” event last Friday at the Granada Theatre, featuring performances by Slack Theory, Gabe & Benny, Chad “C-Major” Carson and the Emporia State Percussion Ensemble.
“I grew up listening to the blues and a lot of classic soul and rock,” Carson, senior marketing major, said. “2Pac was a huge influence on my rapping from the storytelling perspective, and southern hip hop was an influence from the cadence and rhythmic aspects. As of recently, I’ve drawn a lot of influence from Drake and Flosstradamus.”
Benny Bowden, junior digital audio recording major of the duo Gabe & Benny, said that Carson came to them to collaborate on a song, which turned into “an awesome project that was really easy, but very interesting to record.”
At the end of the show, all the acts joined together for an onstage debut performance of a new song titled “Livin’ Right” that Carson recorded with Gabe & Benny.
“We began coordinating practices in class from day one,” said Sage Thurston, freshman percussion performance major and member of the percussion ensemble. “It was pretty easy when it came time to practice all together. The part where we perform the intro tracks of the mix tape are my favorite part.”
Carson said he really enjoys working with Gabe & Benny and plans to collaborate with them again.
Carson’s newest mix tape, “2012: End of Days,” was released in May. The mix tape incorporates the use of tribal drums and themes related to the Mayan prediction.
“The mix tape is actually not about the end of the world,” Carson said. “(It) is about a change of things to come in the world. I see my music, and music as a whole, as part of that change.”
The mix tape was produced completely electronically, but Carson plans to employ more use of acoustic instruments in the future. Carson said that he used to produce electronica ranging from breakbeats to trance and that electronic music also continues to be a huge influence on his work, but he plans to continue incorporating live bands in performances and recordings in the future. Carson also released an album titled “I’m Ready” in May 2011.
“I’ve never incorporated a live band before,” Carson said. “So I gave them a lot of free range to work with the tracks. It almost seems a little easier to perform the song this way, and I really liked the musician mentality of the collaboration.”
This was Carson’s second performance at the Granada Theatre. Singer-songwriter Vivian Parks joined Carson onstage for a performance of “I Hear Em’ Calling My Name” from Carson’s latest mix tape. Parks previously joined Carson for a performance on April 7 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Carson said there are no plans for a formal release of the collaboration, but it will most likely be included on a future mix tape.