“We want to build a super conglomerate of artists…”
For the last few years now, the world has been oozing with creativity, more so than ever before. In an age where self-promotion is unlimited with the likes of social media, a modern renaissance of young musical artists, fashion designers, producers, visual artists, curators, sculptors, and all kinds of artistic excellence have been popping up everywhere. With this new creative revolution, comes the spiderweb-like connecting of the dots, where these youthful geniuses are coming together to collaborate and build for the greater good of our culture… and that is where we come in.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been learning more about the multi-functional creative collective based in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area, The CHESS Team (Chasing Hope Every Single Step), an uber-talented group composed of music producers, rappers, and visual artists.
The group was formed about 6 years ago in 2010, however it wasn’t very active until around 2011, according to co-founder and recording artist, Knight (pictured above).
“Miles and I started to form the group back in 2010, but we didn’t start any type of activity until 2011,” explained the artist, “I met Miles in high school, in ROTC.”
Although the group was formed in 2010, a bulk of the collective started to trickle in between the years of, well, now, and 2012.
Knight continued, “Originally we just wanted people to make music with, but the vision for the group quickly changed with the more people we added.” CHESS has shown no sign of slowing down since its formation, as each artist in the group has put out consistent projects. What allows them to stand out is their sound, as it is different from a majority of the traditional music that comes out of the DMV area.
Knight’s latest track, “Decompression”
As many collectives form throughout various cities I found that unlike most collectives, CHESS is inclusive, as they want more artists to join and build upon the foundation of raw talent in which they have created. Codie, the Creative Director and Photographer of the squadron of visionaries, stated,
“(CHESS) wants to form a family of creatives within the different forms of art to not only create better content for the world, but to set an example on what team building really means.”
Despite the growth the collective has witnessed over the last 6 and a half years, the group still yearns for self sufficiency, with the desire to release content on their own terms. They’re still young.
CHESS is always putting out new content, consistent is an understatement. Producer and recording artist, Allen Le Grand (pictured below, right), has recently released a track called “Windows Up” via Soundcloud. Listen to that below.
Fellow recording artist, Dizzy Gordo (pictured above, left), has released a track as well titled “All The Time”. Listen to that below.
Meanwhile, Codie and DaRaun, a visual artist, have been collaborating on visual projects like the two below.
The rest of the team is still in the process of working on and releasing projects. It is evident that the group does not have to work extremely hard to stay relevant because while one artist is working on something, another is releasing something.
At one point during my time with the team, DaRaun jokingly stated, “I’m working on an app that’s going to change the chapstick game forever”, showing that literally anything is possible with this group of forward thinkers.
“For me I think one of my biggest challenges is to continue to push myself outside of the lines of what everyone else is doing, especially with everything being so oversaturated nowadays,” said Allen.
Keep your eyes peeled on CHESS and watch as they continue to grow, and exemplify what a real family of creatives can do.
Follow the team on Twitter @knightcantrap @mxmeraki @ponchoroyyel @CT_CJ @AntroneC1 @CodieMonowi @allenlegrand @DizzyGordo @Daraun @kurruptionn