PDVNCH: Performer, poet, music producer


He was standing in front of a laundromat and picking up the beam from the ten o’clock lamppost. He was 5 years old. A white girl of about 12 asked him if he knew how to rap. “No, what is it?” ” He asked. She replied, “It’s something black people do, and it’s cool.”

What impressed the kindergarten child even more was the girl’s ability to rhyme her name, pronounced Pee-dove-inch.

“I’m P., and I can rap” became a whole song that night on the concrete.

So he recited his first freestyle at the age of 5. Later, he will be inspired by William Shakespeare. But in between, for selling the most candy in fifth grade, he won a boombox. He bought tapes, recorded freestyle music on them; his career had started to flourish and flourish.

“I was playing this boombox on the (school) bus, and the kids would roll over in their seats to listen.” To be suddenly centered in worship was good for this “introverted extrovert.”

I met this dynamic and dapper artist in 2019 at Venue Fine Arts & Gifts, downtown, during his “Ekphrasis” event. The owner of the place, David Colman, matched poets with artists, and we recited our words, inspired by “our” work of painter.

PDVNCH stood out, literally, among good poets. He was tall, six and a half feet, but he also had smiles and a heart. Her brilliantly beaded hair added to the visual art.

Born Bloomingtonian, raised Ellettsvillian, poet PDVNCH is a product of the 1980s shaped by the 1990s. This certified cinephile has watched many genres of films. (And listened, he said, to all kinds of music.)

One of his classmates commented: “You are not in your place, but you mix in. “

National tours and international travel also feature high on its list of activities. By the way, breakfast is her favorite meal. He says he is “an African American who has been black all my life”.

A rapper, he despises gangster rap because of his ability to glorify violence. His focus on crime can enter a listener’s head, he said. “Then they could replicate that in their lives, start playing it. “

His nonprofit, Ghett-Healthy Productions, which he founded 20 years ago and still runs, started with PDVNCH writing songs for his students, emerging and up-and-coming artists. Now they watch him, as a music producer, take inspiration from him in the studio.

“The clients write their own projects. Then we record and produce their music.”

Learning to record original material – what your students’ work should be – must be exhilarating, when your trainer’s mottos are “Allergic to the lazy” and “Always be willful” and who describes himself as “serious about being hilarious. “.

Here’s how it works: Enthusiastic new songwriters receive a song written especially for them, by PDVNCH, which takes into account the personalities of the singers and coaches them on how to sing in a style that suits them. He teaches a variety of genres, from hip-hop to gospel to country-and-western. Then come the lessons on recording music. The last is photography and art for the album cover.

The student now has an original CD.

He told me about these elements (there are others) that are part of this creative arts organization: youth and community; cultural diversity; volunteering and service; celebration of our differences.

A writer too, he belongs to the Writers Guild of Bloomington and works on his books and CDs.

As an inventor and designer, he said he was known around the world for his hair designs, “Pearls of DVNCH”, his eyeglass frames and his fashion sense.

His influencers include Martin Luther King Jr., Cornell West, Michael Eric Dyson, Dick Gregory, Richard Pryor, Paul Mooney and Sinbad.

“(I am) a passionate enthusiast, who refuses to complain, and maintains that apologies are unnecessary.” Instead, he prefers to find solutions.

You can hear him reciting his poem “PDVNCH Is” on WFIU’s weekly “Poets Weave” show at https://indianapublicmedia.org/poetsweave/pdvnch-is.php.

Find PDVNCH on facebook.com/pdvnch/

Undertale, the fifth house show postponed

Bummmmmmm. Fifth House Ensemble, a Chicago-based chamber orchestra, was scheduled to perform music by Toby Fox while audience members participated in Fox’s video game “Undertale” on September 1 at Buskirk-Chumley.

But in light of the recent surge in COVID-19 rates and the increase in the delta variant, Fifth House has suspended its tour.

“We hope the Fifth House will eventually join us in Bloomington and look forward to celebrating them with you,” said Alain Barker of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

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