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I sat down with Chris Weir (producer), Harris Freedman (producer), and JD Tulloch (manager & agent) to ask them some questions about their experience with Keepin’ It Real.
To start off, can each of you tell me a little bit about yourselves?
Chris: “I’m from San Francisco and came here for school. I study business and I mostly perform house music, but I really enjoy producing a lot of other types of music.”
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Harris: “Well I go by the name of Derdy Harry for producing. I’m originally from NY, and I make mostly house & trap music. I like to get people jumpin, and I recently started making visuals and media.”
JD Tulloch: “I grew up South of Denver and came here for school. I’m six-foot 4, and I mostly do management and booking now. I started off with an internship for SCI records and now help out managing a lot of other local bands.”
How did you guys get involved in making music?
Harris: “I grew up playing guitar and listening to classic rock. In 8th grade I went to my first music festival, Bamboozle, and it blew me away. The next day I started making mash-ups.”
JD: “I grew up playing guitar as a kid – my first live experience was Sublime and seeing them play really connected me to live music and made me want to get involved. I love making music but ultimately, I wanted to use my managerial skills to get more involved in the music industry.”
Weir: “I started playing guitar and took a percussion class in high school. I started getting into Griz and eventually came out to CO and saw Big Wild. I always thought of electronic music as people pushing buttons, but all of the artists were playing instruments. One of my buddies taught me how to produce a year later and it sort of went from there.”
Tell me about how K.I.R. started & any big milestones its hit.
JD: “It all started in late 2016 and I was managing my friends Noah and Vince, Lost Glory and Visus…I didn’t really know what I was doing, just getting a feel for the industry. But I got them booked as an opener for some cool acts, and we had a really bad experience with a promoter, so we were looking for a cheap venue and found Cosmic Collective here in North Boulder. We ended up doing a show there that sold out and did really well. The guys had actually already thought of a cool name like a year prior, so we went with it and started doing house parties more often. Now we’re excited for our show at Larimer Lounge coming up.”
What is your guys’ read on the music scene here in Boulder & Denver?
Harris: “Dope. 99% of the time we can play whatever we want and it’s really cool to be able to do that and to see people get down to it. I think this is a cool part of Boulder that may not exist in other college towns.”
JD: “I will never play a song that I don’t like, and I don’t want any of my artists to do that. We started this so that people can express their art how they want to. The Boulder & Denver music scene is really accepting of new electronic music, which is great for us.”
Weir: “I think it’s really dope how much variety there is around here… it’s just cool to be able to play an event and play what I want. It’s so sick to see people get down to what I love.”
Can you comment on the growing popularity of electronic & house music?
Weir: “It’s really really really dope…hahaha. I love how electronic music is becoming a lot more mainstream but at the same time it’s a huge shame that it all gets lumped together. There’s a lot of technical theory when it comes to making house music and labeling certain types of music as something it’s not can take away from the art.”
JD: “It grew so fast and gained so much diversity that people can’t define it.”
What makes Keepin It Real unique?
Harris: “Our variety…one of our main attractions is that everybody does different stuff. We play at a lot of house parties in Boulder and we all spend time developing a set and try to get after it and provide a fun time.”
JD: “Yeah, it really is a big differentiator. No matter the size of the crowd we’re gonna put in the time to make it a legit production. We love the family vibes – we want the community to be involved.”
Weir: “We’re inspired by Dirty Bird. They started off doing parties & BBQ’s and just being a part of the community and now they produce their own festivals. Building a community where we’re all having fun together is sick.”
What does it feel like to share your music with people – especially for the first time?
Harris: “It’s great, awesome. Especially unreleased stuff, when you’re testing something that not many people have heard before, it’s such a cool feeling.”
Weir: “The other day I heard our neighbors playing our song…it’s just so dope, it’s a whole other thing to just hear someone playing your music and get real feedback that way.”
Natalie Pulvino is a senior at the University of Colorado, Boulder, pursuing a BA in Economics and Spanish. She is also an intern at 7s Management in Denver, specializing in digital strategy and day-to-day artist management. Intrigued by the creative process of music, Natalie plans to advance her career in the music and entertainment industry post-graduation.