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What does Charleston love about music?

Here at Extra Chill we’re all about the growing music scene in Charleston. That’s why for this piece, we reached out to 10 of our friends who are heavily involved in Charleston’s music scene and asked them all the same question.

The question was inspired by the movie Almost Famous: What do you love about music?

Read their responses below.

SondorBlue at Eclectic Cafe. Photo: @shaypett

Andrew Halley, Singer and Bassist in SondorBlue:

Well, I could give you a laundry list of reasons as to why I love music: I love music because it makes me feel something, I love music because it has the ability to change people’s lives, etc. But, at this very moment, as I answer this question, I have a very specific reason as to why I love music.

I have been reading a lot of Walt Whitman lately and his poetry harnesses this inexplicable, mystical energy that somehow explains the human experience for me. He put the voice of so many people and their angst towards a nation on the brink of modernity into beautiful, innovative words; this is why I love music. We live in a day and age where there is so much happening. Whether it is the angst you feel towards the state of our country or the unconditional love you feel towards another human being, music has the capability of expressing what is current–what is important–in such a beautiful way. And if the music meets these requirements, the people have no choice but to listen and live out what the music is saying to them.

Charles Carmody.

Charles Carmody, Director of the Charleston Music Hall:

I love the way music bridges and also enhances the dichotomy of self and community. Music has the ability to reach into the pit of your soul and make you feel all the feels, and it also has the ability to bring a group of people together to communally feel, share, and experience. We need self. We need alone time. We also need community. We need interaction with other like-minded and not like-minded people in able to grow as an individual and ultimately grow as a society. Music has the power to change the self. Music has the power to change the community.

JP on drums. Photo: Sloan Bragg

JP Treadaway, Drummer in BYOG:

I love the community that music brings with it. It was very cool to see the different “scenes” merge at the Royal American on election night for SUSTO’s pop up show. We are in a time of chaos and uncertainty right now. The only constant we can truly rely on is music.

Through music we can voice our opinions, thoughts, emotions, concerns, strengths, weaknesses etc. and it’s becoming apparent that everyone’s input is respected and well received, no matter what scene one may call their own around town.

We had representation from the indie rockers, the jam banders, the rock and rollers, country, folk, electronic, jazz, you name it, all under one roof, singing along to the same tunes… And it was electric!

Although we can’t all be in the same places at the same times with touring, producing, writing and everyday life, it’s great to see everyone come together through music, despite whatever nonsense was happening on the television. Music is real. Music is pure. We don’t have many real, pure things that we can truly rely on these days.That’s what I love about music.

Justin Osborne at Charleston Library Society. Photo: @driesipoo

Justin Osborne, Frontman in SUSTO:

Can’t put my finger on it man, it’s like my life revolves around music. As I’m answering this email, I’m sitting here making a Spotify playlist & having a blast with it. Songs I’ve been listening to for 15 years or more, still resonating with me. It’s a powerful thing…actually I think that’s what I love about music, it’s personal & timeless.

Brave Baby at Music Farm. Photo: @killlgo

Keon Masters, Frontman in Brave Baby:

I love the party that music can be. Music is something that can be experienced in a multitude of dynamic ways and often feels to me like celebration.

Manny Houston. Photo: Justin Falk

Manny Houston, Frontman in The Howling Moon Pimps:

I love the sympathetic connections that music brings. There are so many ways this happens too! When you’re on stage playing with a band, and everyone locks in, you can feel it. It’s almost like being a really good dance crew, you can feel what each person is about to do musically, harmonically, dynamically. When you’re in the audience and everyone realizes that the band has locked in, that is an amazing moment of clarity for an audience, because we all become super in-tune with all the vibrations happenings around us for like five seconds or so. That’s what I love about music.

Matty Z hard at work. Photo: @driesipoo

Matt Zuttell, Founder of Coast Records and Drummer in Human Resources:

I love music because it gives me a creative outlet that I’ve been lucky enough to make a living from. With music constantly changing and evolving, I’m always hearing new sounds, new songs, new artists, & new genres emerge. With today’s technology, we’re living in a very exciting time to make music.

Makeout Reef.

Michael Collier, Founding Member of Makeout Reef:

What I love about music is the fact that it provides an outlet, scene, and opportunity for genuine human expression and connectivity. Music (and art as a whole) is based in feeling, and whether that is translated through live performance or some variety of recording, everybody knows what it is like to feel wrapped up in the depths of a piece that speaks to you. Additionally, music breaks down barriers and creates community by uniting artists with feeling-seekers (fans) regardless of background or demographics.

Nate from Heyrocco at Music Farm. Photo: @killlgo

Nate from Heyrocco:

I love the way music fills a room. Whether you want it to or not, it will always exist and it will always bring people together. Without it we’d just be drinking beer in silence..

The Night Caps at The Commodore. Photo: @extrachill

Pat Magwood, Saxophonist in Whitehall and the Night Caps:

What I enjoy about music, as a man of few words, is that I can connect with people without speaking directly to them. All an instrument is is a physical medium for what’s in your soul. Anyone who doesn’t feel anything in response to music is definitely a robot or something, because I have never met a single human being in my brief lifetime who doesn’t enjoy music. No matter what genre you prefer, there is a universal truth about music that it brings people together on a spiritual level.

If I were to comment on the rising music scene in Charleston, it would be this: why would you stifle art in the first place? The music scene should always be on the rise everywhere, but here in Charleston, I think we’re seeing a growing collective of like-minded artists who support one another for the sake of art. I think that anyone who goes into the music industry at any level just to turn a profit needs to get their head checked out, because art isn’t about money, it’s about dealing with your human experience, and sharing it with other people with the hope that just maybe you can set someone down the path that they’d like to be on.

Editor’s Note:

Thank you to all of the above for the responses, and thank you for reading Extra Chill. I hope that through this site I can help bring people in our musical community together in a positive and meaningful way. I’m very happy with the direction Charleston’s music scene is headed and I’m thankful to be a part of it. I encourage all the musicians to keep making music, all the fans to keep going to shows, all the venues to stay open, and the producers to drink more coffee. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should get involved in this community, the answer is an astounding yes.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Peace.