Rocky5 made his way back to Chicago last Wednesday to headline at Reggie’s Rock Club for the SAE Institute Academix Showcase. Reggie’s is located in the South Loop and is a place that many of Chicago’s local artists (of varying genres) and talent frequent at some point in their careers. It is also a place where support is evident, positive energy is exchanged, and most importantly, everyone is riding a wave, or building toward a common goal.
A native of Detroit, Rocky has had several performances back home, as well as here in Chicago at evilOlive and other venues in Cleveland, with an upcoming stop in St. Louis. While Reggie’s is known as a spot that shows the underground music scene unconditional love, Rocky notes that he loves performing in Chicago because people genuinely gravitate toward him and can relate to his music. With this in mind, Rocky loves knowing that he can display who he is (an artist and hard-working 20something) and fearfully showcase his artistry.
Hungry, determined, and ready to create a base in the Midwest, Rocky is driven by the lack of support from his hometown, in addition to wanting to change the reality of violence and poverty in urban settings. Working full-time for a major airline outside of his dedication to music, Rocky mentioned his experiences from visiting the South in comparison to Chicago and other Midwest cities:
“Everyone rides the wave when it’s vibing. Fans rely on finding new music from word of mouth, it’s either a true reality of recognizing quality music, or it’s monkey see monkey do.”
After the show, I sat down with Rocky to get a sense of how he was feeling about performing at a new venue and how attendees were affected by the show in its entirety. Rocky performed two of his singles “Nothin’ You Can Do About It” and “Legend”, which highlight both his lyrical ability and personal level of confidence.
“This [Reggie’s] is the type of venue that brings out positive energy and makes me want to perform at a variety of places. At a club, people aren’t really paying attention to your performance, or music. At a regular bar or music venue, fans and supporters come to listen to you, explore new music, and dance.”
Rocky admits that he is working daily toward improving his craft, particularly by connecting with crowds faster and expanding his demographic of fans.