While the headliners are what bring the big crowd to the stages of Stoopfest, there would be no festival without acts that appeal to new and different niche audiences looking to expand their taste with lesser faces. known, but talented and fresh in music. industry. Stoopfest has plenty of opportunities this weekend to find new favorite artists.
Hot off the heels of his first major post-lockdown tour, performing for audiences across the country, Paisley Fields’ James Wilson said playing shows like Stoopfest is the most rewarding part of being a musician.
Singing his own kind of country music, Wilson hopes the Stoopfest will resonate with his new music such as “Jesus Loving American Guy” as much as his tour audience.
“I think there are a lot of misconceptions about country music, so I hope anyone who might not be a fan of country music for whatever reason, I can get them to hear a different kind of country music that would maybe resonate more with them,” Wilson said.
While on tour, Wilson spoke to many college kids about the music he was playing and learned that they were receptive to it, which prompted Wilson to take part in Stoopfest. Wilson hopes her show will be a hit with college country fans in Lansing.
Rachel Curtis is a folk-pop artist who has been a part of the festival for years. She feels proud to be a part of it this year, to be able to perform new music, like her pandemic release songs, in the community she grew up in.
One song she feels ready to create for this audience is one of her new songs: “To Arise.”
“It’s a song from my new album and it’s about the struggle of being an artist and continuing to pursue that even though it can be difficult at times,” Curtis said.
Curtis said she aimed to write lyrics that were emotionally deep and relevant enough to connect with her fans.
“Hopefully they can relate to some of the songs,” Curtis said. “I just love performing because I’m able to connect with people and relate through music, like one of my songs ‘Dandelions’ is about…totally accepting who you aren’t no matter what. than it can be. I hope they get something from the lyrics.
However, Curtis believes his entire discography is able to relate to his target audience, which means something different for every listener.
“I think a lot of my songs are about everyday life and everyday struggles, but also about the joys that come with it, so hopefully there should be a song for everyone,” Curtis said.
All members of A History of Accidents have always been fans of environments like Stoopfest where the festival energy is totally unique, safe, fun and laid back.
“As far as festivals happening in and around Michigan…I think this is a unique (festival),” said A History of Accident member Keith Music.. “It’s very DIY. It’s really by the people who do it for the people who do it. It’s also some really interesting acts that are drawn. I always come across something really weird and really interesting and unique every time we go out for it.
On a recent show, A History of Accidents were introduced as a wild and fuzzy indie rock band, and member Champ Richardson said that was their favorite description of the band. They explained that this description and their new music is evident from the path they are taking as a musical act and exemplary of how they want to sound.
Richardson also explained that the group’s diversity is one of their main branding goals, striving to push that diversity that so many people are looking for in the music industry.
“Me and Gabby are people of color and me and Micah are queer, non-binary people,” Richardson said. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I know when I go to shows and see other people like me, I get really excited. Even though I don’t like their music too much, I want follow them and support them.
Micah Conter also thinks their group could be prevalent in Michigan State’s culture, reflecting the vibes he picked up when he spent his time as an undergrad partying on campus.
“We’re very loud,” Conter said. “We’re very deadpan and we’re very obnoxious. I mean that with all the love in my heart, it follows with every MSU experience I’ve ever had.”
Ally Evenson is another artist excited to play alongside musicians and close friends at this festival, especially as this is the first festival she has ever played, bringing fresh new sounds to the Lansing scene.
“I feel like my music is cinematic emo music,” Evenson said. “I think it’s a fun genre name, but if I’m being more blunt, it’s probably just alternative indie folk.”
Evenson will perform with a full band, playing what she describes as heavy, sad songs, but also covers. She’s excited to play new live music that may sound more fun than when she first recorded it, and she hopes to reach new audiences.
Support student media!
Please consider donating to The State News and helping fund the future of journalism.
“I feel like the music I write is therapeutic for me, so hopefully new fans can connect with it and I feel what I feel,” Evenson said. “If anything, I just want to help people. Music is therapy for me in a way, so I want my fans to be the same. I wish people who listeners are like, ‘Wow, I really connect with this and I’m great into this artist.’
She also thinks her music was made for a certain audience that will be at the festival.
“I feel like my music in general is for young people,” Evenson said. “I’m sure older people resonate with it as well, but I started writing these songs when I was 21. I think it’s all about my life growing up and figuring out who I am and what kind of person I am. I want to grow and be, so I think it’s definitely geared towards a younger college audience. I also wrote most of these songs when I was struggling in college.
Evenson said it was surreal to be on the same festival lineup as Sidney Gish of whom she has been a longtime fan and is excited to find out what else the festival has to offer.
“There’s a lot of people I know playing and there’s a lot of people I don’t know,” Evenson said. “I’m always super super interested in finding new bands to listen to and be friends with.”
Much like Evenson, Dana Skully of the band Dana Skully and the Tiger Sharks have many connections and close friends in the roster and are excited to see them back after almost four years. They’ve been stifled by programming and the pandemic, but their music is a culmination of influences from that era.
“We’re a punk band, but we’re very influenced by a bunch of different genres that we all care about,” Skully said. “A lot of us really love country music, so sometimes we write country music, but we still have that edge and it still means something to us and has some sort of message.
Skully will be performing new music that the band just finished writing a week ago, like their song “Student Loans.” As a graduate student, she thinks their music can relate to the student’s plight.
“A lot of music for us involves this frustration with academia and this frustration with studies and… the balance between life and school,” Skully said.
Skully also commented on bringing a queer perspective to the stage, wanting to correct this deficiency of queer people in front of punk bands and portraying this portrayal in their music.
Another band new to the festival scene is Xanny Stars. One of the members, Allie Mattis, said their music was fun, pop and danceable.
“Our music is influenced by the 90s and girl bands,” Mattis said.
Excited to perform their new single titled “A”, Mattis hopes to bring Cleveland sounds to Lansing.
Each band is sure to bring their A-game to Stoopfest this weekend, creating a whole new stage of music for you to experience.
Share and discuss “Meet the Musicians: Stoopfest 2022 Pt. 2” on social networks.