Ten years comes around pretty quickly – a birthday, an anniversary, the time since you had a holiday – but for The Community, it has been a whirlwind of great events, experiences and triumphs. Starting off as an art event back in 2004, the movement grew from humble beginnings, to a bona-fide collective that hosts events with the intention of promoting alternative hip hop and electronica. RK talks to one of the key players in the game, Diger Rokwell about exactly what has transpired in that time – and the preparations underway for the upcoming 10th birthday celebration at The Bakery, Saturday, June 21.
“Basically, Mathas and myself are in charge of the website, promotions and the graphic design side of things,” explains an upbeat Rokwell. Likewise, the artists are solely responsible – encouraged even – to post and deliver on their own art. The centerpiece of the group is their website, and Facebook and Soundcloud, where the crew is encouraged to post events, upload new music and tell people about what they are doing. “We act like a network where we try to promote and support each other,” chimes Rokwell.
Indeed, starting life as a small group of like-minded people, the posse is now a collective of 30 plus musicians and artists, who have carved out a niche as independent professionals with creative purposes. The very raison d’être behind their approach is the uniqueness members bring to the forum – each having a different skill, which is in turn used to good effect and coupled with an appropriate level of collaboration.
Staying busy too, all Community members have full time jobs yet find the time to make and perform music. “We’re always involved in the creation of music,” says Rokwell. “We live for making our own music. We are all producers who want to make different and innovative sounds. From the beginning, we wanted to change the face of Perth’s creative scene – and to promote our emerging art in a DIY fashion. I think we are socially conscious people who want to make music that inspires, informs, educates and entertains people. We aren’t into following trends or fads – our music comes from a purely creative space. It is music for ourselves firstly, then the audience. We want to promote collectiveness and a sense of gratitude for our local places and artists.”
Rokwell describes The Community’s stable of music as particularly diverse: “we go from the straight up raps of Mathas and Archi, to the conscious hip hop of Empty and FG to the crunchy textured electronica of Lowaski and Ylem, to the deep abstract sounds of Vishnu and The Boost Hero Man, to the psych hop of myself and Naik right through to the future beats of Maxy Bills.”
And with this diversity, comes a different story behind each artists’ foray into music. “For me, I grew up in a hip hop and early electronica world, and my music reflects my love for diversity and wanting to make as much music as possible.”
The Community 10th birthday celebration is at The Bakery, Saturday, June 21.
Get your tickets here.