After Work Wednesday's A Perfect Example Of Fort Collins Music Scene

You’ve probably thought to yourself, at least once or twice, “I wish I was a DJ.” You wouldn't be judged if you had. Some of you have maybe even had the chance to dabble some or spin some tracks at an after-party, birthday party, wedding party, cousins bah mitzvah, or whatever. It feels good right? If you haven’t had that chance, it’s a ton of fun! But what do you do when you become serious about it? How do you continue to get that experience that’s so important to go pro at anything? Where do you look for gigs, or opportunities to play? Should you play gigs for free? If so, for how long before you can begin asking for compensation? These are all questions worth asking, and certainly, all of these questions have more than a few opinions behind them.

For one cast of characters out of Fort Collins, CO the answer has come in the form of a weekly throw-down hosted at a local bar, which always features up & coming local artists. It’s amazing what a little group effort and facebook organization can put together. Find someone with some speakers, find someone to bring some decks, add another homie with access to some party lights, finish it off with a willing local bar to host and turns out you’ll be well on your way! After Work Wednesday’s has basically done just that. It's a small group of dedicated friends who’ve found a way to create an opportunity for themselves and now other dreamers to achieve that much needed hands-on experience.

Photo Credit: Taylor Joerger & Jordyn St. Vrain

We sent a crew up to see what these guys were up to and we even managed to catch previously featured SV mixtape artist JAY, who decided to drop in to drop some knowledge himself. And boy did he! But then again, all of the acts that night did, including another young artist we’ve had our eye on in the Foco. BetaWolf AKA Brandon Flores who's recently just dropped a new mix with hopes of being featured in the next Shinobi Sessions this April by Village Hidden In The Bass. Overall there was just something about the small vibe they’ve created at The East Coast bar every Wednesday night. Kenny Iwasa, one of the event founders, told us a bit about the motivation behind After Work Wednesday. First and foremost was them seeking another comfortable place for like-minders to hear electronic music in Fort Collins, something that’s not always easy to come by any day of the week there. More admirable than that, they wanted a safe place for local and amateur producers to have the chance to put some miles under their tires, without the pressure of having to sell tickets, or hack their friends social media accounts to send fake invites for events, or any of the other questionable tactics forced upon new artists in surrounding scenes. This is just pure fun and a real community seems to be coming together around it. Let's not forget to mention the opportunity they create for local vendors/brands to take part as well.

Artist: Betawolf

Photo Credit: Taylor Joerger

In the midst of this grass route organizations' rise, a controversy arose. Should DJ’s play for free? In looking for interested artists to play their new weekly event, questions began to rise. Questions being asked not only of this group but all over the internet and around the music community. More established names weigh in often claiming too many promoters are asking young producers to play their gigs for zero dollars, or claiming that by taking free gigs up & comers are bringing down the value of the more seasoned vets who make a true living out of their talent. Joke memes are prominent about not being able to pay for bills with “exposure.” There’s definitely more than one way to look at this issue. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Artist: Johnny Stylus

Photo Cred: Taylor Joerger

As for what we think, well as is usually the case, life isn’t always so black and white. With this group, in particular, we see love, passion, and pure intentions. In regards to “shady” promoter practices or improper roads to success, yeah sure we see that out there too. SharedViews wants to explore this conversation more which is why this week we will be bringing to you a new podcast session featuring some of Denver’s hottest names in the music scene. We sit down with Denver artist’s RC3 and Dozier, the team from 128 Productions, Longevity Productions, and a few other surprise guests to look deeper into these and several other hot topics. You won't want to miss this conversation featuring some of Denver’s true leaders in the music community.