How does the chain of connections start? Well, Connections.Media picks someone we feel drawn to hold space for. Like anything, it is a feeling in your gut, something you just have to reach out and begin. Then we follow the journey from there, as one person picks the next, based on the conversation that took place on that day, in that moment. After 5 conversations a theme reveals itself, and a chain is complete.
Follow this theme of "COMMUNITY"
Town of Birth: Atlanta, GA
Occupation/Job/Life Purpose Work: I want to help these great folks here in Charleston get the great music they are making out to a larger audience, and have fun with my friends during the process.
“I’m very lucky that I get to hear a song today, and then in 6 months it could be way different. And then by the time it comes out on the album, it definitely is going to be way different. To watch that CHANGE and EVOLVE is the coolest gift.
Like Susto’s song ‘Gay in the South,’ for instance. Johnny [Delaware], Justin, Wolfy and me were all in there in the old storage unit. They were building a big hotel nearby. The annoying pile-driving drill was screwing everybody up because of this *tink tink tink* *tink tink tink* sound. They couldn’t record with that sound, that damn *tink tink* noise.
Finally, they were like ‘alright, let’s take a break, but let’s record that sound.’ Then they made that annoying *tink tink* drill sound into the percussion on that song. I think that’s indicative of how this whole crew operates, trying to do our best to take lemons and make lemonade.”
Justin knows me, and knows that I'm not a deep guy, so he probably just thought it would be funny (he's a sick bastard). Respectfully, of course.
“Honestly, I think that this music community really has the potential to be to Charleston what Motown was to Detroit, or Subpop was to Seattle. All the artists are really, really good and will be the foundation on which this entire thing resides on. There’s something that’s really awesome happening here, RIGHT NOW, and it’s just a matter of time until everybody else catches up to it.”
James Hynes is a diehard music fan who has made his own name in the industry by being helpful. He helped his producer friend Wolfgang Zimmerman achieve his dream of opening his own recording studio, Rialto Row, and does what he can to make the musicians’ work easier.
He has changed the trajectory of several artists’ careers by introducing them to future collaborators, and he is on the Board of directors for CHARM, a nonprofit that helps subsidize health insurance premiums for musicians.
It’s hard to get James to talk about himself because he focuses so much on others, and directs everyone else’s attention onto them as well. His pride in his community is contagious. He lives, eats, and breathes music, and is devoted to using his skills to better the lives of the people who make it.
He daily sits in elevating others to help them reach their potential. But maybe, as he is witnessing it, he has become a BIG PART of the pulse.
“I want to see Wolfy, and everybody, not struggling and not having to deal with being in a storage unit. I want to do WHATEVER I can to fix things any time something’s stressing somebody out. I want to see those guys GET what they deserve. And when they do, a RISING TIDE raises all ships, right? So, I just want to see it continue to evolve and grow.”
What's your go place to grab studio grub?
How are you creative?
I'm honestly not creative really. All my friends are creative as damn sh*t, so it kinda offsets my lack of talent or creativity. It's like if I was friends with Lebron, I'm not gonna sit there and watch him rip windmill dunks, and be like "Yo, Bron, check out this sick ass jumper".
Are you optimistic about Charleston's future?
I'm trying to be optimistic about a bunch of stuff and it's very hard right now with all that's going on, but I'm a pretty optimistic, half full glass kinda feller so I tend to err on the side of optimism I reckon.
What are you most grateful for?
I'm beyond grateful and thankful and humbled by life in general honestly, and just feel lucky as balls. But to get specific:
My girlfriend Emily, my family, having great friends despite being a s**thead, our dog Luda, living in Charleston which is the best, the fact that the ‘Dawgs beat the brakes off of the Gators yesterday, The Royal American, the fact that I get to be around such great people making awesome art, the dolphin and the billboard.
What does the Rialto Row dolphin mean for you?
It's just funny, and it makes me happy every time I look at it...NO MATTER WHAT. She's special.
How did it feel to quit your job and start this dream project?
It was both liberating and terrifying as sh*t. No other way to put it. Still is, but we are making progress, and I'm really excited for the challenges ahead.
“I had a really good job that I worked at for 11 years and I just was like, if I’m not doing this (meaning music), I’m not happy. I didn’t want to work for that anymore. I wanted to do something that was challenging and entrepreneurial. And, that I LOVED and believed in.”
Wolfy Zimmerman. Wolfy is built for this, and is a deep ass guy, so I immediately thought about him when answering questions.
“Everybody’s really stoked. It’s just going to get better. I just like seeing things get built - whether songs get made, or this place getting painted. It’s something I love to watch, so I’m happy to be here.”
Editor in Chief: Becca Finley Article: Caralie Byrnes Photos: Caitlin Billard
Stay tuned for the ‘Connections’ book coming out January 22, complete with all 55 Connections, and how they fit into the Charleston community. Brand new pics + quotes.