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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Sketch Tha Cataclysm - Travelin Man
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In 2008 Fairfield County Weekly readers voted Sketch Tha Cataclysm their favorite Hip-Hop act in the area. A handful of months later he felt it was time to see where else he could make an impact.

“My idea,” he explains, “was to come out to another area of the country and try to get something started the way I was starting to build up things in Connecticut and regularly return to Connecticut, not abandon it, but be really supportive of my state. I love the people there.”

The plan is working to perfection as Sketch, who moved to Minneapolis, MN on June first, will be making his triumphant return to CT for shows on August 21st, at Cousin Larry’s in Danbury, and August 22nd, at the Acoustic Café in Bridgeport. The latter he’ll be headlining.

Many may ask, of all the places to move to, why Minnesota? For Sketch the answer lay in the unique artistic community he had heard the area featured. It seemed like, to him, the perfect place to build. According Dessa, of the Minneapolis based Hip-Hop crew Doomtree, Sketch was right on the money with his assessment as she says “musicians here collaborate a lot. We play mixed bills and drink beer with people who make music that sounds different than our own. Compared to other cities, we also might be more likely to celebrate the successes of our colleagues. We don’t necessarily perceive them as threatening.” Sketch felt the community vibe as soon as he arrived, noting “there’s a quality to the musicians here to where they’re personable. They’re people you can go up to and have a conversation with.”

None of this is to say Sketch doesn’t still have an appreciation for the artists in his home state. He’s quick to say “one of the things that is incredible about Connecticut is the amount of musicianship that there is. There are incredible musicians of all different genres and increasing levels of talent.” The audience for those artists, however, isn’t the biggest and Sketch wanted to find a place where the music fans are just as rabid as he is. Receptive audiences happen to be something Minnesota has in abundance and Sketch received his first taste of this his very first day there while attending an event at McNally Smith College of Music.

“The event was hosted by Toki Wright from Rhymesayers,” he remembers, “the invited special guest interview was Davey D. It featured a beat battle between the two brothers in Big Quarters, and the closeout was a performance by Toki Wright and Doomtree.” The reaction Doomtree received when they hit the stage solidified Sketch’s notion that this was the place where he needed to be right now. “It was like the fuckin Backstreet Boys had just come out. There were girls like ‘oh my God, Mike Mictlan, I want your body!’ And guys yelling ‘Dessa, marry me!’”

Another moment from the show that made Sketch very confident that things were going to go well in his new place of residence happened during one of Dessa’s songs. “There’s a song by Dessa called ‘Mineshaft,’” he explains, “she has a part in it where her rhymes are chopped up in triplets for a brief moment. There was thunderous applause when she did that. I was like, this is crazy, this is why I moved over here, it’s an appreciation for things like rhyming in triplets.”

Sketch hopes to generate a similar reaction from his hometown crowd for his upcoming performances, saying “I want people to have something to talk about, so they’ll stick around and they’ll be back again when I pop up in either October or November.” He’d also like for people to pick up one of the many projects he’s been working on while they’re there.

Before Sketch left for Minnesota he produced The Protégé’s Untitled Is Hard Enough EP and he’s just finishing up another album with one of The Protégé’s partners in rhyme from the group Phanetiks, deto-22, titled Sharing Is Caring. In addition to those projects Sketch also recently completed a CD with DJ Halo titled The Shoeless Flow Jackson EP. His hope is to put together enough money from this tour to record his next EP, Indie Rappers Do It For Gas Money.

According to Sketch gas money will likely be one of his main goals for the next few years as he’s convinced his globetrotting ways are just in their infancy. “I’ll probably move again,” he says very matter of factly, “if not right back to the tri-state then somewhere else in the country.” He notes that Europe is also on his radar. “I gotta keep it moving and start building something up,” he says of his career plans. “I think now is always the time.”

Story originally ran in the FairfieldWeekly.

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