A CREATIVE DC: KEVIN CHAMBERS
A Creative DC is a weekly series showcasing all aspects of a creative lifestyle in the District. The city's full and part-time doers and makers, how + where they live, gather, and create, and what they do, make, and notice. For more about the project click here. Follow along here at Panda Head and at @aCreativeDC on Instagram, and hashtag your own DC lifestyle with #aCreativeDC. Your life looks good here.Kevin Chambers is a multidisciplinary artist, making work under the names Flash Frequency and Caleco Vision. TX > MD > DC; he's as diverse in medium as the term MULTIMEDIA allows, but music is the touchstone. Whether he's creating live projections to accompany Ayescold at the 9:30 Club, creative directing for Bombay Knox, making incredibly rich + layered collage art, or producing nights like this past weekend's DEEP DISTRICT: Fast Foward, I'm so excited to feature Kevin as part of A Creative DC. Crediting his music + audio projects under Flash Frequency and his visual work as CalecoVision, he's a walking definition of how to make a creative living in this city: side projects + diversification; big hustle + a deep and varied skill set. I've got huge respect for what Kevin is getting into (and it multiplies each time I hang with him and/or get to see, firsthand, how he does what he does).
"A mix of favorite tunes to play while I'm in the process of designing and while I'm designing my art...Gives me a sense of being limitless, because music has no boundaries and has so many colors in its aura."
Click through for Kevin's Panda Head Mix: 001.
Click through for Kevin's Panda Head Mix: 001.
You're as M U L T I M E D I A as they come – can you talk about balancing your different projects?
The balance of my everyday workload gets hard at times because of the amount of projects I take on each month to pay my bills, but it all works out at the end of the day. Normally what I do is create a good time management structure (like if I was working for the man) which I think is key to balancing projects. Without that [structure] it would be very hard to be a freelance artist.
What's your main focus been as of late?
The focus as of right now is creating for others on the visual side, rather than music (mixing, mastering or remixing) – graphic design, photography or filming. I’ve been kind of stuck in this loop because of what's around me...Its mostly been creative directing with people. Giving them knowledge about how design works and what it should look like. People are used to "bad design" and a better look (with my skills) helps them to progress with others – the fans and lovers of multimedia.
After the jump, more about Kevin's projects, whose work he digs locally, and GIFS. ALL THE GIFS.
"I grew up around the world but the place I call home is Texas. When i first moved to the DMV, I lived in Gaithersburg,MD for the first year until I found my own spot here, in the NW area. Adams Morgan."
You're Creative Director for Bombay Knox (which perfectly meshes both your Flash Frequency and CalecoVision projects) - what's coming up for you guys in the next few months?
Right now it's getting more shows and looking to build/buy a building to host our own events, and to run an office out of. Besides that, it's bringing light to the underground music scene and working with Uno Hype.
Where do you look for visual inspiration? What's your typical process for design work?
Right now its been ChangeofThought, ISO50, Print Magazine and Lürzer's Int’l Archive for visual inspiration. The process can go anywhere at any given time, but I still love to do collage art...cutting up retro magazine found at thrift stores and online. Usually what happens at the beginning is loading up Spotify from with an 80s playlist. Something like Pink Floyd and Bo Hansson will get played along with Gong, but I need instrumentals or songs with little vocals to begin my process. This all begins at 8:00am.
Sitting at home from 8am to 5pm. 2 hour breaks and back to work until I get tired or everything starts to looks and sound the same. I usually go out from time to time to get a drink and the night life with friend, [but it's] rare. I'm such a homebody.
Local music + local designers – who are you keeping an eye on?
Music, right now its Uno Hype with his band called “Gump.” It was my homie Goldlink until he found success, he's now working with Rick Rubin. Chaz French, Gems, Ciscero, TXNYKill, PaperHaus, and more. Designers: GRVTY, Razcal Life, Jibbex, Kitsch NYC, Helena Banks and SuperWaxx.
And how did you get started in the DC music scene?
When i first moved here, I was exposed to people who I'd never met and never heard of. My first studio I got to work at was Zen Lounge, with Wale’s people in Bethesda, off Battery Lane. I got to know them by working at Guitar Center in Rockville, and some of the staff members there were working at the studio. Then I got more exposed by meeting Modi and Quinn from DC to BC who ironically knew me already before i moved here, [we had a mutual friend] in Dallas, Texas who i was doing music with named “N-Dex” – now known as Dex Kwasi. Modi (a part of Trillectro, and now at Nike) really got me into the scene. Gave me knowledge on go-go and on people to look for. Soon after it was just me outsourcing myself.
Honestly it's Flash Night Club. They always bring the best from around the world. The sound and lighting there is amazing...I’m always satisfied when I leave. The non-traditional venue is off of Ontario Road [in Adams Morgan] in the back alley. It's really not a venue but the people who own the bike shop let us use to hold events. A hole in the wall, but it's dope.
It used to be every Thursday at LIV but [that night] stopped for I don't know what reason. So now its picking back up with me DJ’n once or twice a month at various venues and clubs around the city. Still working to get more but now we back at the first question of this interview – balancing and time management – because I still have to make music for myself. Most forget that I'm an instrumentalist…I’m still the House DJ for Bombay Knox events (and thats about twice a month as well), but I really cant say I'm a “DJ” [anymore] because I can't go into a mix like how I want to.
Kevin on Instagram
Kevin on Flickr
Kevin on Twitter
related reads: Bombay Knox at WAMU bandwidth
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Labels: a creative DC