Q+A with Naptown Revival

Photography by CHANTAL DOMINIQUE

Naptown Revival is a new competition for local hip hop artists that provides the opportunity to be paid for your talent, no matter how popular you may be. First prize is $500, second prize is $300, and third prize is $150. All prizes also include 2 hours of free studio time at local recording studios.

Naptown Revival was created by local hip hop artist SPROVE. SPROVE stopped by the PATTERN office to chat about his experiences, his thoughts on Indianapolis, and how Naptown Revival began.

Julia Bluhm: How did you get started as a hip hop artist?
SPROVE: I went to IU Bloomington for four years, graduated 2016, so that’s kind of where my career started because before that it was just kind of for fun with my friends. I wanted to be an anesthesiologist. I wanted to go to school and become something in the medical field. But that was because that’s what my family told me. People who work for people tell you to go work for somebody else.

What sparked the career drive was actually the death of my grandmother. Making [music] was my means of coping, and when I released it people were like, “dang, that’s cool.” And when my grandmother passed, I almost thought about quitting school but the music and the people kept uplifting me and brought me back into it, and I finished school. It brought me back here, and now I’ve been doing the same thing, as my career.

JB: How has your career progressed?
SPROVE: I travel as much as possible. I went on tour in London last year for four weeks, doing a promo tour for my songs “Pacific” and “Nuvo.” I was on a radio campaign for three months and it caught some fire– both of them at the same time because I pushed both of them. I just haven’t been able to go back [to London] because sometimes money ain’t right. I’m cool now, and I’m going to go to London three times a year starting next year.

JB: How do you feel about being Indianapolis based? Do you like Indy?

SPROVE: I believe that it has potential. Everybody’s just like, “fuck Indy,” excuse my french. I’ll say the same thing, not gonna lie, because it’s not always supportive, everybody’s a hater, etc. But what are you doing to uplift it and make it so people aren’t saying that? What are you doing to fix it and fix that notion of “fuck Indy?” My goal with Naptown Revival is to create a hub for artists, with no favoritism. Something like Revolt TV or like a second Chreece. That’s my goal.

JB: What was the process of making Naptown Revival like?
SPROVE: It was actually pretty scary. I’d done events with my fraternity brothers back in the day, but it was just an “I’m going to see how it goes” type of thing now. The studio I was going to collab with kinda backed out when I needed them the most. I was left all by myself, with my own money. When the artists started registering I was like, “now I just have to make it happen.” The artists came through, and it happened! And everybody loved it and are looking forward to the next one. The people who helped, like the panel judges, they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into when they came. But after they were like, “when’s the next one, when’s the next one?” And now we’re doing the next one.

JB: How do artists apply for the competition?

SPROVE: So basically they send in three songs. I always listen to at least a hook and a verse. And if I like it I like it, and I give them the rules and all the details about the event. Each artist puts down a deposit of $100 before the deadline. And on the day of the show, they just have to have $50 in cash. But they could win $500, $300 or $150. And everybody gets a free shirt, everybody gets a flyer, free pictures, free video. You’re getting back more than you’re giving in my opinion. And I was asking a lot of artists if they felt like it was steep and they were like, “really I feel like I should of paid more.”

JB: How are artists judged?                                                                       SPROVE: There are criteria that the three judges base their scores off of, like stage presence, lyrical content, composition and creativity. The judges mark you while you’re performing, and then add up the scores. And at the end, if you win, you get it in your hand $500 cash money.

JB: Who were the winners at your first event?                                    SPROVE: First prize this summer when to Allen Cortez, he’s a talented artist in the city. Then actually two girls won, which is crazy, I love that. Second prize was ameriKKKen, she’s really cool, she’s at Ball State right now. She won the $300, and she actually reapplied so she’s going to be in the next one too. And then it was a girl named VY, I loved her, her vibe and her sound was really different.

JB: When’s the next event?
SPROVE: Oct. 27 at the Grove Haus. You can buy tickets online or at the door.

JB: And lastly, who are some of your favorite artists right now?
SPROVE: Valee, a Chicago rapper, probably. I would still say Young Thug, Future, and Drake too. And R. Kelly is my all time favorite.

For more information, follow Naptown Revival on Instagram.

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