Where the hell do I begin?
The first time I heard Lyn perform, he wasn't rapping. He was on stage, in the Seton Hill University Concert Hall, singing a setting of the spiritual 'Steal Away' by H. T. Burleigh. This was his first year at Seton Hill; my second. There was something magnetic about Lyn's performance. He exuded confidence. A few years passed and Lyn was in search of a social media manager. Myself, having absolutely no experience at all, jumped at the opportunity. And here we are now, about to move across the country.
Growing up, Lyn wanted to do everything. I mean, if Donald Glover can write for '30 Rock', star in 'Community', perform stand-up comedy, and make music as Childish Gambino... why would you even think about putting a limiting your own potential?
At 15, Lyn aspired to be as diversely talented as Glover. But, one has to start somewhere. So Lyn started rapping. Soon, he sat down with four other friends, smoked, and created the original idea for 'High Five Productions'. High Five changed over the years, all while Lyn grew. Singing. Acting. Dancing. Producing. Evolving.
To date, Lyn has released four EPs and four mixtapes, performed often as a member of the Alumni Theater Company, and earned his bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance.
High Five Productions LLC is an active and operating business, hosting live events, producing records, and working to help build the hip hop community in the city of Pittsburgh.
We recently produced the experience that was Universe 25, an EP and live event funded by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Lift Grant. We began writing the grant in late November and brought the project to full fruition in May. The event was held in the Alumni Theater Company space and involved an incredible team behind the scenes. Stunning visual art was even incorporated into the event by Zachary Rutter (June's featured artist) and that art is actually for sale right now! Check out the paintings that are based on each track from Universe 25 here!
(Through the end of July and into August, we will be featuring each track, along with Zachary Rutter's artwork, on the High Five Productions Instagram. With each post, Lyn will be providing some insight into the making of each track off of Universe 25 and how he tied together the mice, the rapper, and Pittsburgh.)
High Five is growing every day. Now, we build even further.
Lyn's vision for High Five Productions is expansive and diverse. Would you have guessed that we are set to publish a children's book by the end of 2019? Well, we are.
But for now, we're moving to Los Angeles. In September, our team will be relocating to LA where we will be working daily, building relationships, writing music, and hosting hip hop events. Pittsburgh will always be home but as Lyn put it in a recent interview, "in Pittsburgh, we have a tendency to fight each other for nickels but in LA they fight over thousands and millions. That's why I'm moving to Los Angeles. I'm going to go make my money and I'm gonna come back to Pittsburgh and take this shit over."
Writing this feature really got me thinking about when we started in college only a few years ago. At that point, I thought that I would be teaching music for the rest of my life. But, if Lyn Starr can do all of this, why think about putting a limit on my potential?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org so we know about the work you are doing to grow Pittsburgh's already incredible artistry.
All photos by Sarah Bader @sarahbader