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South by Southwest is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas, United States. It began in 1987, and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year.

Every year there is a huge focus on underground talent and for many, SXSW is a major opportunity to grow their audience. This year, FlyPaper Magazine caught up with two Ohio artists, a DJ and a rapper, to talk about their experience going into the conference. OG Vern is a rapper from Columbus who makes everyday raps that everybody can relate to. He’s been previously featured on the FPM 6-1-4 Power Ranking. Chip Banks is a multi-genre producer/DJ from Youngstown who specializes in EDM and Hip-Hop.

Check out the full interview below:

How did you end up going down to SXSW? Are you going to get a chance to perform?

DJ Chip Banks: I attended SXSW in 2017 and performed at a few unofficial SXSW events. While I was there I networked with a lot of people and through networking I was booked this year through SXSW as a official performer.

OG Vern: The good folks at @averyrareshop who used to have something to do with O-Block back in those days had a contest for 3 people to come and perform on their panel with the 1st place winner getting a round trip. Needed to get hella votes and we got it so we on the way to perform right now!

How long have you been making music?

CB: 13 Years

OGV: I’ve been making music since I was 8/9 years old. My dad and mom were rappers. I was always around it. I wrote my first when I was 9 under the name ‘Lil Thunder’ I start taking it serious and wanted to pursue it to be my career when I was 16 years old. My senior year of high school at Mifflin.

What are you hoping to get out of your trip?

CB: I’m hoping to network again like I did the previous year and meet the new and upcoming artists. One of my main goals is to get on a national tour, last year while in Austin I auditioned for 2 tours. If things go as planned more executives and big artist will see my performances and possibly invite me to more auditions.

OGV: I just want to get an experience out of it. I’ve never been on a plane. I’ve never been to Texas as a grown man. I just want to bask in it all, make connections, and have as much fun as I can while doing something I love.

Is this your first time hitting the conference?

CB: No this is my second year attending SXSW.

OGV: This is my first time, yes. I used to watch all my favorite people do this and be like that’s gone be me.

Do you feel a personal obligation to represent for the state? Why or why not?

CB: Yes absolutely!! There are people from all over the world representing their areas and I feel proud to carry my city and state on my shoulders and do my thing. It’s definitely a great feeling.

OGV: Uh Duh! Who else gone do it?! I gotta put on for the state always. I was born and raised in Ohio. I got love for Ohio. I barely even wanted to leave today. LOL. I got nothing but love from everywhere around the state. It’s only right I show it right back.

It’s like no other place on earth!! 🙌🏾#SXSW2018 #DJLife #DefJam

A post shared by DJ ChipBanks (@chipbanks) on

Do you feel like going to things like this are important for breaking in this industry? Why or why not?

CB: YES YES and YES!!! I tell everyone that SXSW is the NFL combine of the entertainment business.  There’s so many up and coming artist, interns and people in the entertainment business that get found at SXSW. A lot of the biggest artist in the game get there breaks at SXSW.

OGV: In a sense, yes. I mean it is a music/arts festival so a lot of different people gone be there. Looking. Watching. People with they foot already in the door. But I’m not out here chasing nor looking for that cause I can break from home!

Do you feel supported back home? If not, how can home support you more?

CB: Its been nothing but love and a lot of support from back home. Being that I’m the only official performer from my home town it was a big deal for the city. Every news media outlet reached out and did interviews even the bloggers reached out. I’m feeling the love from my city Youngstown, Ohio!!

OGV: Hell yeah. There’s definitely room for more but we gone work to get that support from others. I feel like people cry for support without even doing shit half the time. They just want it cause they feel like people obligated to support them. I came to conclusions that not everybody gone like my music/support me so I can’t be worried about them when I got hella people who love my work and are actually true fans. I hate the term fans too. My true supporters**.

Do you have any new music coming out soon?

CB: No new music at the time but I do want to start officially releasing some singles with some of the artist from my hometown.

OGV: Oh yeah. New album coming this Summer. It’s called NOT4THEWEAKHEARTED. It’s my 7th project and I’m going to just call it an album. I got really in touch with my emotions on it. Y’all will see. I hope y’all check it out. I just inked a distribution deal with AU MUSIC (Jack Burton) so it’ll drop through that. I’ll really excited. calm before the storm out now and we got visuals for y’all really soon.


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