Several local artists performed at Red Bull’s Skate Our Stages, a skateboarding-inspired event meant to bring awareness and relief to the many people in the entertainment industry who have been affected by the pandemic. All over the country, venues have been closed for months, performers left without stages, and millions jobless. This multi-day event brought skateboarders and entertainers from all over the city and state to Exit/In, providing the skateboarders a place to shred, the musicians a stage to perform, the workers a chance to dust off their skills, and even local vendors benefited because, well, someone has to feed all these newcomers.
Artists like Tim Gent and DJ AB Eastwood were among those who were able to do what they love, live, and in person. Gent has been rapping and songwriting since his senior year in high school and “It’s been amazing! When I got to, like, year seven, things started to pick up. And now I’m at year 10… and I just signed my first deal last year with a publishing company here in Nashville, based in LA, named Prescription Songs.” Gent has recorded a song with DJ AB Eastwood and Bryant Taylorr, all Nashville artists, that aired in a Super Bowl commercial and he recently attended a writers camp in Atlanta where he wrote a song for the upcoming movie They Cloned Tyrone. “I was working with some legendary folks out there- Organized Noize, Trinidad James, Deante’ Hitchcock, PJ…- It was a crazy camp. It was three days long. We probably did like 30 songs out there.” As he gets to watch his career grow, Gent is excited to see his name in the number one spot in Billboard, “on a consistent basis. When you hear films, when you see tv, when you see sports, you see us.”
Similarly, DJ AB Eastwood, who has been DJing for 3 years now, is excited to see what is coming next once the world begins to wake back up. He knows that DJs are an important part of the entertainment atmosphere. “People are going to take every chance they get to be outside and we are the soundtrack to that new liberation.” Finding inspirations for his music from his music, Eastwood is ready to get back to being on stage and performing. “[I’ve been] Learning lyrics to my guys’ songs so I can be better supported on stage, you know. I know when things get back rolling it’s going to get busy real fast so I’m just conditioning.” He is looking forward to the day that we can all open our doors to safely enjoy each other’s company, and when that day does come, he wants everyone to remember to have fun and live. “Next house party, next rave, next concert, don’t hold back. Don’t be too cool. Live in the moment if it’s there. Party like it can be taken from you because we know now, it can.”
Though it has been hard for everyone during this time, both men are excited to be producing more content, more music, and attending more performances. It’s been a long road, but they are keeping their heads high and finding the silver lining in everything. Gent said, “I want y’all to remember to catch height in every fall… find the highs in the lows. Just remember, when all falls down, catch height.”
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