It's honestly surprising that I ever ended up in this family. In some ways, this shouldn't have ever happened. There were so many opportunities to settle before this. In other ways, I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I've always wanted something more. And I think the same goes for everyone here at High Five. We all knew for a long time that we wanted to make something of ourselves. As musicians, that is inherent. When you finally accomplish your goal, there is a need to create again and again and again. It's not exhausting, it's inspired!
I was well on my way to teach music for the foreseeable future. I really did enjoy it and spent some time teaching in an elementary school. But I couldn't imagine going into my 10th year teaching and still having the same passion and excitement that I had now. I could see how drained the other teachers were, doing 30x the work of their pay and then still getting shit on by the education system. I give every educator so much credit, but it wasn't sustainable for me.
There are no limits to where we can go with High Five. It all depends on the concentrated effort that we put into it. And since the four of us have been pushing together, the mountain doesn't seem as steep. Big results are coming from our work. I contribute as High Five's Social Media Marketing Manager and Web Developer. On top of that, I am part of our four person administrative team that makes all High Five decisions. That can range from executive producing Lyn's music video for "Fit In", to workshopping beats, album artwork, potential artists and projects, etc.
With all this being said, I would have never been in the position to contribute to this family if it wasn't for meeting Nick Hawkins.
I met Nick at marching band camp my sophomore year at Seton Hill. We hit it off pretty quickly and spent a ton of time hanging out with our other band friends. Before this, I wasn't listening to much Hip Hop. In high school, if someone asked what my favorite album was, I'd probably say Blue Slide Park, because that's pretty much all I remember giving a chance. But Nick introduced me to this guy Chance the Rapper, and with some convincing, I was hooked. So thank you Nick!
At High Five, Nick is our Artist Manager, Event Coordinator, and Director of Outreach. I would say that he is the glue holding our group together. He is constantly thinking of every possible outcome of our choices. He keeps us grounded when we start to drift too far into speculation. He is equally logical and creative, unlike myself sometimes! Nick cares deeply about the process rather than the end result, always prepared to go the long route to get the right outcome. On top of all this, he's probably the wittiest of the group, always ready to clown someone and just keep us laughing. This is it for him, just like it is for all of us.
Luc is the most recent member of our administrative team. He is our Marketing Manager who plans our marketing schedule and collaborates on new product ideas. In addition to this, Luc is an incredibly gifted producer and produced the majority of Lyn's last EP, Universe 25. Luc is also an up and coming rapper, who is preparing his first tape to be released through High Five in the near future. We currently sell his beats on our site!
We all met Luc at school as well, but we never really worked creatively until the last year. The growth that Luc has shown in his production and his own music is really impressive and shows how determined he is to perfect his craft and tell his story. His innovative production and marketing ideas are helping to propel us forward every day.
We all reached out to Lyn when we felt we could give a part of ourselves to his vision. He accepted us and gave us a purpose in High Five Productions. And now we're just at the very beginning of seeing the fruits of our labor. I am so excited to work with these guys and create an untouchable pillar in the Hip Hop community. High Five is doing huge things and I couldn't be more proud of everyone working behind the scenes. High Five for life.
You can follow us on IG at @ryanrick, @est_indy, @l_booyay, and of course @stoasta
Thanks for reading!
Do you want to be featured as our next Featured Artist? This monthly series will dive into the underbelly of Pittsburgh art and bring recognition to some of the hardest working, most inspired talents in Pittsburgh. No matter your artistic medium, send us an email at email@example.com so we know about the work you are doing to grow Pittsburgh's already incredible artistry.