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The SkyBlew Q&A

skyblew1

I met SkyBlew at a show in North Carolina a few years ago… and while it wasn’t the most exciting show, Sky really impressed me with his poise and his stage show. We’ve been chatting since then, and I’m really honored to bring SkyBlew on Tour, which starts this weekend. Get to know “The Colorful Dreamer” with this Q&A!

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

I have actually been trying my best to finish some of the anime I started watching – Attack On Titan, Blue Exorcist and Kill la Kill but, my friends always giving me something new I supposedly NEED to watch lol. Im like “Chill, I haven’t even finished this one”. Oh yea, I started Orange is the New Black as well. That show is awesome! I have also, been watching alot of the trailers for games announced at E3, im STOKED on most of these games coming out, sheeeeeeh! 🙂 lol. Lastly, I been nerding out on life….LIVING life, instead of observing it so much… *MESSAGE* 😉

2. What are your most recent games played?

I’m not sure if Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 counts since I play it waaaay too much but, yea I play that game alot. I’m not the type of gamer to brag about how nice I am at a game but, my reputation precedes me in this game. Now, I shall cease speaking on this matter. lol. I keep giving Call Of Duty Ghosts a chance but it sucks. Bad. Especially alot of the players, they camp waaaay too much and snipe you, like TOO much. Stop it. Enough is enough, you ain’t nice with any other guns?? lol. Mainly tho, i’m trying to finish Dragon Ball Z: The Battle Of Z and that game is INCREDIBLY awesome, yet HARD. Like, dang. Why you make it that hard, is that necessary? lol.

3. What music is on your playlist?

Hmm.. My playlist has been very cohesive with my favorite artists for a while now. People I listen to on the daily, so i’m mainly bumping some: Nujabes, Scapegoat Wax, Blue Scholars, Sublime, Common Market, New Radicals, Marvin Gaye, Brother Ali, Anita Baker, Common, Reel Big Fish, Lupe Fiasco, Joey Bada$$, Amy Winehouse, A Tribe Called Quest, it was the anniversary of Nas – Illmatic recently so been jamming to that classic, and a few others. There’s a new guy TDE signed named Isaiah Rashad and he put out a SUPER DOPE project named, Cilvia Demo and that joint rides yo. Waiting for that new Ab-Soul album to drop so I can throw that on the playlist as well.

4. What do you do in your downtime?

Downtime is becoming a rare occasion in my life, so when I get downtime it’s special lol. But, when I do have downtime most of the time im with friends playing video games, watching some anime, eating candy (lots of it), working out (you know, because of the candy lol), or just chilling. I like to read up on things as well, try to learn about the world. Ill talk about that later. I write alot of music but I try not to let it get in the way of my downtime, so I set aside time for writing but, when i’m playing the game or something, rhymes always seem to float around so I jot them down, most of the time… See what I did there?

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

I’m all about helping out the community so anytime the opportunity comes up and i’m available, then i’m down. We have done concert food drives, clothes donations and also a Christmas gifts benefit a few years ago. There’s also an event coming up I will be part of, which will involve me and other artists doing workshops and performing for the youth.

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

I am trying to learn about different cultures since I want to travel the world, so I been reading alot and also watching National Geographic documentaries. As I stated earlier, im trying to learn how to just live and enjoy life. I had a crazy/messed up life so for a while, all I did was observe life and look at it’s faults, but now im learning to live life and learn from the experience.

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of our website and collective?

I think everyone should get the feeling of empowerment and equality. They should see this website and collective and feel like they are equal just like the next man. Just because your a different color and like different things doesn’t make you an outcast. I’m Alabama a place where they look at you different if your not with the “norm” you know? We are just down to earth people who like nerdy things, make music about those nerdy things and have fun living life. Being who WE wanna be. Racism has always been a factor in this world but, when we are gaming, going to concerts meeting new people, sharing our similar interests, the barrier of color is no longer a factor. Embrace who you are, the same way we at the NPCC do. Nothing’s wrong with that.

8. Favorites:

A) Movie? The Wackness .. That movie changed my life yo.

B) Food? Chinese Food and Candy 🙂 Im addicted to both.

C) Website? This one of course lol. I would have to say. 2DopeBoyz, Kotaku, GeekEinc.com, Unexplained.co (Paranormal Phenomena) and this site by the name of www.SkyBlew1.bandcamp.com (I heard, the last person who went here, wasn’t seen for DAYS) lol.

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t always a positive guy trying to spread love. When I was living in Alabama, I lived a total different life that I won’t speak about at the moment. After I got out of foster care, my Grandma (Arnita Tolbert) was the most important person in my life. I basically grew up at her house with my cousins and Grandad. She was a beautiful woman with an equally beautiful spirit. She raised us in the church, showed us right from wrong, and fed us the best food I have EVER eaten lol. Then she passed away years ago, and that’s when I went through a series of events in life that helped me realize what I was meant to do. Her passing was the icing on the cake. She always said, I will do something great one day and music was always in my soul. I started to change my message and what I wanted to represent because I would always think, “what would my Grandma want me to do and what did she represent”? She represented love and peace. That’s what I stand FIRMLY on. She would give someone in need her last dime. I can’t go into everything great she did because I could write a New York Times best seller on her. Just know, that SkyBlew wouldn’t be who he is today, if it wasn’t for Arnita Tolbert. Rest in paradise, I love you Grandma.

The NPC Q&A : Doug Funnie

I met Doug Funnie almost two years ago when I went to go check him and Mega Ran out at a performance in Dallas at the Double Wide Bar downtown. A random encounter ended up turning into a frequent collaborative effort between two Dallas musicians long after so check out one of Fort Worth’s extremely talented hip hop artists… our own Doug Funnie!

Doug Funnie

 

1. What are you nerding out on currently? 

I recently obtained a PS4, so I’m learning the next gen consoles and broadcasting my gameplay which is really fun to me. I’ve never had a mic for online interactions before so it’s a treat to trash talk to someone that can actually hear me.

2. What are your most recent games played? 

Metal gear Solid 5 Ground Zeros, I am a huge fan of the Metal Gear Solid series so playing another installment for it is always a treat.

Infamous: Second son.

3. What music is on your playlist? 

I found that most of my playlist nowadays are friends of mine in the nerdcore world. Like Richie Branson, Professor Shyguy, D & D Sluggers, Megaran and a lot of others. I like to support my people trying to live the dream.

4. What do you do in your downtime? 

I am trying to write my new album in my free time and building a set for a live performances, I recently upgrade my performance with a visual with it. It been working good so far but there is still room for improvement.

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about? 

I recently put a KickBall team together for a tournament for the Big Brothers and Big Sister Foundation, which was a blast but since we were a team of nerds, we lost, but it didn’t matter, we had fun. Also, I did a speed run of Super Mario 2 for Childs Play Charity in Austin Texas and complete it under 15 min, that one I had to practice a lot for.

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now? 

Build scenery like what I use to do for High School plays. And learn how to create videos for the performances.

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of this website and collective? 

“Always be strong, be who you are.”

8. Favorites: 

a) Movie? Back to the Future Trilogy

b) Food? Sushi. Pretty much any Asian Cuisine

c) Website? Dougfunniemusic.com

9. What’s upcoming for you? 

A plethora of Albums and mix tape releases I been working on since last year, I just haven’t had time to complete and release it. Including the all original album set to release in September. In May  I went on tour with Danger Boyco, Dj RoboRob, and Press B, which was very exciting.

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today. 

My grandfather was a big influence to me as a kid. He was a bare Knuckle boxer in Panama but was a big nerd. He would have boxes and boxes of VHS Tapes I would go over to his place and we would watch “Back to the Future”, Heathcliff cartoons and Charlie Brown. I miss that guy. “Always be strong, be who you are.”

A Q&A With KadeshFlow

Kadesh

Ryan “KadeshFlow” Davis was one guy that I didn’t know as well personally as I did musically: his scene-stealing appearances on Mister Wilson and Richie Branson tracks were my first introduction, but after some digging into his catalogue, ‘Desh is quickly becoming one of my favorites on the scene. Get to know the master of “Nerd Crunk.”

 

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

A few things: 1. 40’s production. I’ve been a fan of 40 since 2007, when I first started listening to Drake (yes, I’ve been listening to Drake consistently for that long). I just am consistently impressed by how much he manipulates silence and emptiness. How moody and minimalist he is, and I’m fascinated by the fact that there is a long history in hip hop of rappers finding producers who just somehow have their sound. How does another human being have YOUR sound?! That’s just crazy to me. 2. As Ran said, health. I’ve been working to drop my grad school weight, get back into undergrad shape and then better, and eat healthy now that I can afford to do so. THIRTY POUNDS DOWN BOYYYYY! The company for which I work has an AWESOME health program, and best believe I take advantage of that thing. 3. (Not gushing here): Mega Ran and mc chris’s catalogues. Lot of diversity in both. These two guys are pioneers in a genre that they, along with a few others (YT Cracker, MC Frontalot) basically created and ran with, and now they’ve made something sustainable out of it. The honesty in their lyrics and uncompromising nature with which they approach their creativity puts me all up in the feels and inspires me daily. 4. Bleach Manga: this stuff Kubo’s been writing for the Final Arc is ON POINT.

2. What are your most recent games played?

Not gonna lie, I’ve been in a drought. I got rid of my game systems in early college and just played other people’s stuff during hangouts for a while (focus reasons). Still haven’t bought my own now that I’m employed, though that’s in the near future. Most recent games played were a few months back but: “Secret of Mana,” “Super Mario RPG,” “Chrono Trigger” (had to beat it again after Richie dropped that epic, Billboard charting effort last year), all via an emulator I’ve kept since high school.

3. What music is on your playlist?

In no particular order, lot of NPC family (Ran, Richie, 1UP, Wilson, Sammus), Mc Chris, Kendrick, The Mars Volta, Coheed and Cambria, Drake, J Cole, Eminem, Lecrae, Trip Lee, LowKey, Wycliffe Gordon, Diverse (Kansas City contemporary jazz group), Lupe, Trombone Shorty, Alabama Shakes, The Revivalists, Janelle Monae, etc.

4. What do you do in your downtime?

Most of my downtime is given to projects on which I’m working or working out honestly. But I am quite social. I very much value relationships, and I’m in a new city, so…ya know #TurnDown4What ;-D

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

Yup. 1. Just joined the Ozanam Guild – a young professionals group associated with a mentoring organization for troubled youth – a few months back. 2. I do some random volunteering. 3. Trying to find a church home, and there will be a good bit of community activity associated with that. In and out at the moment. 4. As far as past stuff goes, there’s a lot, but we can talk about that at some other time.

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

My main learning goal right now is to learn to submit to my creative process and separate creative Desh and business Desh. Hardest thing I’ve ever done. There are so many ups and downs associated with completely submitting to your creativity. As far as other things, I’m refreshing myself on writing web copy and checking into how social media algorithms have been updated since I last was paying attention to them. There’s stuff related to work, but work is work. Just trying to get better always.

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of this website and collective?

Just be encouraged to be boxless. That’s what this thing is. We want people to feel comfortable embracing the fact that boxes are created by others and not the unique individual. Otherwise, Ran and 1Up answered this one quite exceptionally.

8. Favorites:

a) Movie? Tough….”Training Day” or “The Departed”

b) Food? Sushi

c) Website?  Bandwagon: THIS ONE!!! IGN, Kotaku, Buzzfeed, PolicyMic

9. What’s upcoming for you?

“Gateways” – the project that has stolen my life. My first not-totally-an-Anime’nGamingbased project in years. That’s why I’ve kind of disappeared.

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

Event -Interning at the Cannes Film Festival in college – I was around some heavy hitters, and even though I ended up getting an MBA instead of following up on some of the job opportunities that came from essentially partying with producers for two weeks, I was impacted by knowing that all these great entertainment entities were just regular people who worked hard and networked well. Process process process.

Person – I can give you a laundry list of people who just have really really made life so much better for me. But I’ll go with the most recent impacter: Tonya Nelson – of my many mentors, I think she was the most timely contributor in encouraging me to be fearless about taking the risk of what is actually inside of me.
Hit up Kadesh Flow at his website or on Twitter. 

The NPC Q&A: 1-UP

 

Emmanuel at his Alma Mater

Emmanuel at his Alma Mater, Wabash U

I met Emmanuel in Dallas in about 2012 at a show, and I had no idea  that the wide-eyed, fresh faced kid I met would turn out to be one of my best buds in the scene. He’s a man of many talents, a true to life nerd, and a class act. He inspires me in so many ways when I watch the passion he pours into every project. If I’m the brains of the NPC, he’s definitely the heart, or a series of gross looking but super important veins that pump the blood to the heart. And now, meet the man they call “1-Up.”

 

 

  1. What are you currently nerding out on?

 

Right now I am playing through Final Fantasy 7… for the 6th time. I’m about halfway through disc 2. You would think that after the 3rd time knowing what happens I would be satisfied but the story line is just so good! Other than that I’ve been just watching Fairy Tail, reading whatever new anime comes out on Hulu.

 

  1. What’s your most recent game played?

 

I play Clash of Clans religiously. I am in a clan with a bunch of my friends from middle / high school that I used to Lan party with / run track with. Other than that I’ve been mostly playing Halo and Call of Duty online with some of my coworkers.

 

  1. What music is on your playlist?

 

I have so many random playlists. When I’m at work I have a jazz playlist that has a lot of big band jazz on it. I have a fav game hop playlist that has a ton of Mega Ran, Doc Awk, Michael K Hill, Mister Wilson etc. Then I have my gym playlist for when I’m lifting or running with a lot of 90’s early 2000s hip hop on it!

 

  1. What do you do in downtime?

 

I usually spend Sunday night catching up on shows I missed during the week, but in my down time I usually writing songs, recording or mixing tracks. When work send me out of town though I look up the cool places to explore in the area (last week I went to Rocky Mountain National park for example)

 

  1. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

 

I am affiliated with a group called DFW Nerd Night which raises money for local charities through a board gaming night once a month in Arlington. Every other month I set up some music and bring people in to perform and I’m also part of the voting committee (I guess you can call it) which scouts and discusses which charity to support each month. The past 3 years I have volunteered as a track coach (hurdles) for a local high school and a summer track club (Irving Elite)

 

  1. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

 

I’m learning how to buy a house haha. But really I’m learning some more in depth statistical analysis methods so I can be ready to blast through my six sigma black belt certification when I get a chance to take the class and do my project.

 

  1. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of our website and collective

 

Well Xavier said it best in his interview… I grew up around a lot of diversity so I was fortunate enough to not pay any mind to the “put a person in a box” type of comments I get. I want people to understand WHY the NPC is important. How just having a group of people together who want to show, “Hey it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, purple or from Mars… You just have to be you because when you’re old, your memories can never be replaced and you want to be happy with the person you lived as.”

 

I just want us to be able to remind people to be true to themselves and treat others with respect, even if they are slightly different than you.

 

  1. Favorites:

 

A) Movie – Akira.

 

B) Food – Fufu and Peanut Butter Soup (African food lol)

 

C) Website – I’ll continue the trend of leading with NPCCOLLECTIVE.COM!!! And then every Friday before I go to work I read the shirk report on twistedsifter.com

 

  1. What’s upcoming?

 

I have a ton of work projects that have me traveling all over the country a couple of weeks a month this year. I also have some weekend fun with shows like Ongaku Overdrive Day after Show (May 11th Orlando), The Dallas Comicon Official Saturday Night Shindig (May 17th Dallas), A couple of shows in August – one in Orlando and then Classic Game Fest (August 17th Austin).

 

I’m slowly but surely cranking out the second volume of Nerdcore Emulation Station. Verses are trickling in now so I’ve been mixing those in the hotels / on airplanes haha.

 

  1. Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

 

I used to always want everyone to like hanging out with me, but I was also pretty weird / awkward growing up (but also a nice guy) so kids poked fun at me like kids do. But I have this AMAZING group of friends that I’ve been friends with basically since I moved to Indiana in the 8th grade. We were all in band together, we took the same classes together, we were on the track team together and played video games together. Basically we all just did everything together. It was probably my sophomore year high school that I had an epiphany and thought, “These guys push me to work harder, we always have a blast together, we have similar life goals… Literally if these were the only friends I made for the rest of my life… I’d be good to go!”

 

That was the point where I started just being myself and being happy with the person I was / who I was growing into and started appreciating people for the things that made them unique. Everything improved for me from school to track to band (I’d like to think I’m also a more pleasant person to be around because of it too).

 

 

 

I am glad to say I still am best friends with those guys, we all live in different states but fly to visit each other and have done secret santa gift exchanges for like the past 6 years (One of my those guys even came to hang out at Nerdapalooza with his wife when I was out there and met Mega Ran and Sammus!)

 

 

 

So that’s a long story I know but those friends are very important to me and I wanted to do their impact on my life justice.

-RJ

Xavier Woods Aces the NPC’s Q&A

Next up for the weekly Q&A is the a man you may have seen in the ring cracking heads and yelling “IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME,” WWE Superstar XAVIER WOODS.  Xavier was nice enough to take time out from wrestling, training and working on his dissertation to answer a few questions, and even drop off his current playlist.

 

11762 - my_little_pony xavier_woods

 

  1. What are you currently nerding out on?

Currently I’m going hard with subtitled animes on Crunchy Roll. It’s like Netflix for anime, if you don’t know. They upload brand new shows a week after they air in Japan so it’s a great way to keep up on current stuff.

  1. What’s your most recent game played?

Final Fantasy 14 has consumed my life. A bunch of my buddies and I all got it and jumped in, started a guild and are getting in on all the goodness. If you’re getting it then jump on Coerurl so we can play!

  1. What music is on your playlist?

Actually just made a sweet dance club mix for one of my dj buddies and its attached below if you wanna see the whole thing. It’s more or less anything that could go on Michael Jacksons “Off The Wall” album.

if you have Spotify, check out Xavier’s Playlist HERE

  1. What do you do in downtime?

In my downtime I usually watch TV (playing games doesn’t count, that’s “On site training”). I really like Brooklyn Nine-Nine right now so I’m going through that and Prince of Tennis. Boondocks just started back up so that will be on the list as well.

  1. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

A few weeks when I was in New Orleans for WrestleMania I had the chance to do something really cool. WWE had been working with an organization called KABOOM and an elementary school on designing a playground for the kids there. Went in early to hang out with the kids and build some of the playground, which we finished in a day (awesome). The kids were so happy and so excited so it was really cool to see their reactions to something that will leave a lasting mark on their school forever.

  1. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

I’m trying to learn how to complete my dissertation in a timely manner. My goal is to have it before I am 30; I’m 27 now, so learning how to make that happen is something that is pretty important to me.

  1. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of our website and collective?

They should take away that regardless of the color of your skin you can do whatever you set your mind to. You don’t have to put yourself in a box, you don’t have to only have one interest, and you can love whatever you want! Mix and match your achievements to become a well-rounded person who can be a strong role model for others.

  1. Favorites:

A) Movie – White Chicks.

B) Food – Stuffed Crust Pizza with Pepperoni and Bacon

C) Website –NPCcollective.com duhhh and riptapparel.com

  1. What’s upcoming?

I’ll be traveling to Europe in a few weeks to wrestle. I’m really pumped about it considering that performing overseas always has a kind of energy about it. Since we aren’t always performing over there then they are insane to see us. It’s a good feeling and crazy energy like that always enhances your game so its gonna be a good time.

  1. Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

So I was an amateur wrestler in high school and one year I won a very difficult tournament. I came out of the finals beat up, bruised, and bloody. But I remember it being one of the happiest times of my life. There was am upper classman named Mike Hudson, who was absolutely incredible, that I really looked up to. Mike had won this tournament the year prior. After the tournament my coach asked me how I felt, I told him “I’m gonna be the next Mike Hudson!”. He looked at me confused and said “Why don’t you just work hard to be the first Xavier Woods?”. He didn’t realize it at the time, but that one comment changed my life. I then understood that there is no point trying to be like someone else. It’s good to look up to people and to have goals, but it’s also important to never lose sight that you are the only you that you can be. Make your own way and never lose sight of who you are.

 

BONUS: Xavier Woods’ Playlist: 

SWEAT

Michael Jackson

– Don’t Stop Till you Get Enough

– Rock With You

– Workin Day and Night

– Get on the Floor

– Off the Wall

– I can’t Help It (if not dancy enough for you then try – I Can’t Help It (Todd Terje

Rekutt) (2009)

– Burn this Disco Out

– Pretty Young Thing

 

Parliament Funkadelic

– Not just Knee Deep

– Atomic Dog

– One Nation Under a Groove

 

Stevie Wonder

– Don’t You worry Bout a Thing

– Do I Do

– Boogie on Reggae Woman

 

The Spinners

– Rubber Band Man

 

Earth, Wind, and Fire

– Boogie Wonderland

– Lets Groove

 

Sister Sledge

– He’s the Greatest Dancer

 

The Whispers

– And The Beat Goes On

– Rock Steady

 

Shannon

– Let the Music Play

 

Midnight Star

– Midas Touch

– No Parking on the Dance Floor

 

Dazz Band

– Let it Whip

 

Roger

– Do Wa Ditty

– I can Make you Dance

 

The Gap Band

– Early in the Morning

 

 

Eddie Murphy

– Party all the Time

 

SOS band

– Take Your Time

 

Shalamar

– A night to remember (watch the video, youll love It https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guB_jQkCzCo

– Second time around

– Take the to the bank

– Over and over