Today we’d like to introduce you to Ramon Norwood.
Ramon, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My foundation/roots are within hip-hop/bboy culture, sparked this off in high school and early college, buying records from Dr. Wax, Second Hand Tunes (now Hyde Park Records), HiFi Records, Gramaphone and Dave’s Records, wanting to scratch and mix and also bboying at The Point (Promontory Point) field house in HydePark by the lake in Burnham Park. Hyde Park, south shore and south Chicago are my meccas. I’ve lived all city yet mostly southside, especially south shore and southchicago plus highschool and early college in Hydepark. My introductions to a lot of hip-hop and music, in general, was from Rap City, MTV Raps, The Box and my cousins making me tapes, then later listening to WHPK and 106Jams and making my own pause mixtapes of tracks that really stood out to me.
My mother played a lot of gospel while we cleaned the house and prepared breakfast and we listened to a lot of Soul & R&B, especially Herb Kent on V103 Sundays as well. I remember seeing my grandfather practice bass and head out to rehearse and play often in Chicago.
I started getting into beats in 2001 with the use of Acid Pro I think it was 2.0 or 2.5 from my then roommates, The Stowaways (especially Allen Johnson, known then as Jubilee) who were later part of The Nacrobats, we lived at what was then known as the Dover Crib, there I met Elevation KNA Uncle El, Decay, Gilead 7, Ryan Officer and many more. Cats I highly respected/looked up to at the time on the scene, were Thaione Davis, Kenny Keys, Max Sansing (Aeros), Rahmaan Statik, Infinito 2017, GQ the Teacha, Duane Powell, Cap D and All Natural Inc, Iomos Marad, Cos G, DJ Fokis, DJ TolTech (then known as FlimFlam I think), The Molemen, The Brickheadz and many more.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I produce and perform live original productions/beats in an improvised manner, with analog gear (drum machines, samplers, effects, mic, etc.). I also enjoy and shoot analog and digital photography, and am heavy into ital/plant based lifestyle, traveling and building within communities. My mission/purpose is to be inspired and I aspire to inspire and heal with my gifts and knowledge. I just want to see as much of the world as possible and help build within these spaces and bridge the gaps between them, help to show that though it is a massive world, it is also a small one. If we could see the big picture which is community and unity within it, then we will have all we need. Music is love, music is God/The Universe to me. Sound is the most powerful tool/language of communication and I feel is the way to tap into the infinite source of all life aka nature. I feel the same about food and nourishing the body. The Earth has the answers, nature is the key. Improvisation is the way it all works, being one with nature at the moment and going with the flow, especially together! My photography is how I feel and see the world as well. I am capturing the moment and sharing that with others to further inspire others that moment or in the future. I also enjoy documenting what is inspiring me to spread more awareness as well. I’m drawn to shapes and geometrics a lot within my works.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
My advice would be to represent you, be yourself, don’t overthink it and also don’t hold back. It is easy to get caught up on others persuading you or not supporting you in your endeavors, but if you are loving yourself and creating than you are being the best at being you. Having a great supportive circle is essential, I feel that the more culturally diverse and various age range is key as well; so you can balance and grow to reach new levels consistently. I also recommend to travel and seek communities near and far for growth and also to move/spread your art.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can see my works via EtcRecords.com which is my label, the solo page is Radiusetc.bandcamp.com yet I have various groups as well, currently; Lagos (w/ Leo123) https://lagoschicago.bandcamp.com/, Dia.L (pronounced Dial w/ Lailah Reich) http://Dialchicago.bandcamp.com and Beyond Luck (w/djmoppy, Lailah Reich, Kenny Keys and other collaborators), http://beyondluck.bandcamp.com I have other projects or releases with others as well that can be found online.
Links to my photography books online are:
(Or ask me in the streets direct if I have any in stock)
Works can be bought or played and shared directly from those websites as well as finding me in person and obtaining music or photography works, I am also available for booking, live production/performance, studio work and photography for covers/flyers, etc., soon for photoshoots and plant-based food (juices/smoothies) recipe and preparation too.
- Website: etcrecords.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: radiusetc
- Facebook: radiusetc
- Twitter: radiusgetsitin
- Other: instagram.com/etcmedia
Ramon Etc (Radius), Thaione Davis, Ervin Arana, Shami Choudhry, Eli Oakley (Bob Jones)