Here at Active Soul Design, we are driven by our passion to generate awareness, respect, and support for all kinds of talent and creativity. When we see an upcoming musician with potential, we show them some love. All of our musician homies are listed below...
Flex Mathews has been a rising star in the East Coast hip-hop scene for more than nine years. He was named one of URB Magazine’s Next 100 Artists in 2005, and his transition from the local DC underground to national recognition has been the product of his dedication, quality live show performance, as well as his numerous victories in MC battles. Flex was recently voted Best Rap Artist of 2009 in Washington, DC area. Flex has been spotted wearing our Based On Being Original hoodie everywhere from Virginia to DC to Colorado.
Flex Mathews has toured and performed with: Lupe Fiasco, Matisyahu, Mike Posner, Del The Funky Homosapian, Souls of Mischief, The Beatnuts, Atmosphere, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Gang Starr, Biz Markie, The Wu-Tang Clan, Pete Rock, Talib Kweli, Slick Rick, The Roots, The Lords of Brooklyn, Immortal Technique, and more...
Alex "B.Dolla" Ben-Abdallah began producing hip-hop and electronic music at the age of 18, after years of experience playing bass in orchestras, jazz bands, and funk bands. These years of training helped develop and fine tune Alex's ear and helped pave the way for his future musical endeavors. After a few years of producing hip-hop for artists such as XV, Nickelus F, and Young Prince, the direction of B.Dolla's music began to shift towards a more electronic sound. With the combination of his funky roots and his new electronic sound, B.Dolla is well on his way to crafting his own style. Our head designer, Ilya, designed B.Dolla's logo in 2012 and it's on the cover of all of his E.P.'s. You can catch B.Dolla throwing it down anywhere from Baltimore to DC to Richmond.
Chris Birdd is an up and coming hip-hop artist from the Maltese Islands. The 19 year old has always been keen on different genres, but hip-hop music and culture have his heart. He started working on his own rhymes and over time (with some help and support from ChapterZero's emcee Digby) he brought about putting his ink to sound. After reaching out to us late in 2012, we were blown away by the potential we saw in Chris. We're proud to sponsor him as an artist and we know it won't be too long until he blows up. Chris Birdd recently dropped his first mixtape: Birdd Nose Best. (Listen below)
Brian Groove Status Carroll is a 20-year-old Richmond native who has evolved over the years into one of Richmond's most prolific Glitch-Hop producers. According to Brian, "Groove Status" is a state of understanding rhythmic patterning in a cycle of motion that emerges from carefully aligned rhythms and melodies, setting in motion dancing, foot-tapping, or speaker humping on the part of listeners. Brian has been a huge supporter of Active Soul Design since the getgo. We've had the opportunity to sell clothes at several of his shows and he always knows how to get the crowd bouncing.
Congo Sanchez (of Thievery Corporation)
Congo Sanchez delivers a sound manifested through the musical experiences of producer/multi-instrumentalist, Jeff Franca. Congo's music takes you on a sonic journey through a unique brand of psychedelic, outernational funk. The Washington, DC based artist has adopted a melting pot of sounds from Africa, Latin America, and Jamaica that are indicative of the diverse cultures and musical traditions of the nations capital. Jeff is a homie of ours since way back, and we recently worked with Sugarcube Productions to bring Congo Sanchez to Richmond with his entire "Congo Sanchez Experience" crew. Musician and Selecta extraordinaire, Congo can generally be found in one of two places. If he’s not on the road drumming with DC’s own, Thievery Corporation or See-I: he’s jamming out to fresh vibes at the mysterious Lillypad studios. He is developing a unique blend of Afro-Latin Dub, as he evolves in to his own on the DC music scene. Congo Sanchez knows his roots and leads the listener on a fascinating journey along the vibrations of DC’s outernational sound.
j.pak & pak.one are the Mint Lab Astronauts. They were both born in Chicago. They’re brothers. They both like to huff glue and eat dinosaurs. pak.one likes to make beats and rhymes whenever he fucking feels like making beats and rhymes. j.pak is always spitting verses, and does most of his writing while taking shits. Navigating the karmic vibrations of the space-sound continuum, the Mint Lab Astronauts come in peace, beats, and a middle finger. Manifested from within the cosmic haze of Mint Lab System, the star nomads walk intergalactic rhythms to battle the tyranny of Medio King.
Hydrophonics is a producer and multi-instrumentalist from Richmond, VA that produces live hip hop beats and intelligent electronica through live improvisation with an MPC, synthesizers and an array of loopers and effects processors. His live act seamlessly blends ambient sounds into hardcore hip hop into heavy dance grooves, and all the way back again. Every set is focused on the art of improvisation and is a unique experience for both Hydrophonics and the crowd. We've had the pleasure of selling clothes at several Hydrophonics shows around town, and he's been a resident DJ at our H3ADs UP First Friday parties in Richmond.