On January 13, Detroit sends James Linck off to the Golden State with a soiree presented by Sound and Silence Magazine at El Club. Accompanied by local beat buffs and vocal visionaries, Linck will share the stage with some of Detroit’s emerging and established talent in a beautifully stacked lineup. Cousin Mouth, Doctor Illingsworth, Eddie Logix and Jaws That Bite are on the bill and ready to send James off in style.
As native Detroiter, James Linck has established himself in the Detroit music scene as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and producer. An avid collaborator and performer, he has worked with countless local artists producing, playing in bands, recording tracks and rocking live performances in his discernible falsetto voice. It’s almost as though Linck rejects the idea of genre- constantly blending elements of pop, R&B, Hip Hop and rap to mold his candid, witty and melodic music.
His latest release dropped in October 2016, a danceable EP titled “No Future.” This catchy, genuine and pensive EP chronicles Linck’s ups and downs in life, recounting melancholy yet relatable tales of blowing cash he doesn’t have, searching for lighters in couch cushions, sippin tea like Kermit the Frog and buying cigs with the coins in his change cup. In “Black to Black” Linck reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. In “No Future” he describes seeing business professionals in Downtown Detroit wondering what he will become in life. In the EP’s breakout single “The Artist” Linck brings us into the inner workings of his mind, describing crests and troughs in the industry and his experience actualizing his dreams and identity as a creator. James Linck exerts passion and energy inperforming his honest and heartfelt songs, and nothing less is to be expected as his reps for his city one last time.
Doctor Illingsworth is an OG in Detroit Hip Hop. Starting as a baby emcee in the city, Illingsworth describes that he began “making beats out of necessity.” Primarily into rapping at the time, young Illingsworth was an emcee in search of fire beats. Not knowing how to obtain them at the time, he gathered his paper-route savings to buy a computer and the rest is beat making history. Now a seasoned staple in the game, Doc Illingsworth describes that he finds musical influence in, “comedy, movies, my local contemporaries, random conversations with people I barely know, sci-fi, anime, hip hop and times of solitude.” He’s been a Detroiter all his life and mentions, “The city is a part of me.” Doc Illingsworth is a master collaborator who has made music with Detroit’s greats both contemporary and old school. Doc Illingsworth is a multitalented hip hop artist who makes music with the intent to uplift, and will certainly get heads bobbin with his set for the farewell show.
Cousin Mouth is a smooth and expressive duo comprised of singer/songwriter Alex Burns and producer extraordinaire Lexi. It is the feeling of a warm bowl of grandma’s comfort food, the texture of a smooth velvety warm blanket on a frigid Michigan day. Describing their sound, singer Alex Burns remarks, “Cousin Mouth sounds like if you sent a neo-soul record to outer space and it came back recorded by extraterrestrials from Venus.”
Inspired by artists ranging from Jazze Pha to Jai Paul, the eclectic duo captivates crowds with their original production and awe inspiring vocals. Capitalizing on each other’s talents, Alex brings strengths of lyricism and songwriting to the table. He aspires to present a spiritual and ethereal feel with his songs by using repetition and mantras as a way to resonate with listener’s ears and emotions. Inspired by Detroit’s historically vibrant culture, the group feels lucky to have Detroit as the backdrop of their music making.
As Lexi remarks, “My man Yakoub -look him up- once said, ‘there’s a lot of cross-pollination happening in the scene here’ and it’s true. Everyone’s sharing ideas and techniques. We love and support each other.” Cousin Mouth is priming to release a full length album, released through Barbed Wire Recordings and recorded at Detroit’s Assemble Sound.
Jaws that Bite self describes as “organic psychedelic electronic rock.” An emerging artist and member of musical collective turned record label Young Heavy Souls, Jaws aka Mike D Sabatini is securing himself as a household name in the local music sphere. Jaws took up music early in life as his father introduced him to guitar at elementary school age. In high school he took up piano, grooming him for production and beat making which he is incessantly doing today. Jaws’ musical history translates directly into his contemporary sound where he blends elements of rock, hip hop and ambient music to create original and signature sounding music. “I’d say I’m inspired by my friends more than anything. I’ve always surrounded myself with creative individuals my entire life so I’m constantly feeding off that energy, constantly creating,” Sabatini concludes. Like Cousin Mouth and Illingsworth, Jaws that Bite finds inspiration in his fellow musicians and collaborators: “Detroit has a really unique and supportive scene. Artists help each other with booking shows, production needs and everything else #CoOwnaz. It’s taught me a lot about pushing myself to new limits. That feeling of venturing out on your own and taking risks, regardless of failure. There’s a real cauldron of raw talent out here and I love being a part of it. It has brought so many new friendships into my life and I’m thankful for that daily.” Jaws is currently working on a full length album of his own to be released later this year. In reflecting upon his relationship to James Linck, “to me he’s a musical genius with a unique style that no one but him has. It’s melodic and catchy but also has a heavy yet intimate vibe that draws the listener in.”
An avid collaborator and producer, Detroit’s Eddie Logix will also play the show of his cohort James Linck. Logix draws from hip hop, funk, ambient and electronic sounds to solidify his original music in the local beat scene. A member of Mega Powers, BLKSHRK and artist lifestyle group #CoOwnaz, Eddie Logix is sure to bring his taste for varying sounds to his farewellperformance DJ set. Eddie Logix is well versed in varying musical styles, and will open the night with his masterful selection. With a lineup this packed you’ll want to make sure to get there early to catch Eddie Logix as he gets the ball rolling, pushing the momentum for the evening of music.
On the track, “Half Up Front” from his “No Future” EP, James exclaims, “things are lookin’ up and there’s nothing in my way.” Although Detroit will miss James Linck, PLAYGROUND DETROIT is hopeful that his lyric will provide a template for the bright future as James takes his talents to California. Don’t miss your last chance to see James perform in Detroit at El Club in Southwest Detroit. Doors are at 8:00PM with performances kicking off at 9:00PM (21+ only).
–Words by Hailey Dukes. New kid on the block and sponge for all things Detroit. Student to this earth and the people, places, and things on it. Walking an unceasing journey to observe, feel, analyze, understand. Inspire me! Follow Hailey on IG @wolf___hailey // Twitter @heyygirllhai