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: Charleston, SC
Occupation/Job/Life Purpose Work: Artist/Musician
“I think there’s this natural feeling of wanting to have purpose. You want to have something of value, of personal worth, to contribute. People feel this pressure to make their existence known at all times, like ‘I’m here and valuable in some way.’”
Wolfy probably picked me because we get real far out in our conversations, real fast.
Also, our working relationship probably has something to do with it.
“When I write I’m just letting whatever ideas that are in my mind just escape in whatever form they want to. I really don’t ever intentionally write about things. I think it just ends up being whatever I am semi-consciously/ subconsciously dealing with. The way that I write leaves a lot up for interpretation. I’ve found that people are more likely to interpret the things I write in relation to themselves. More likely than ‘it felt like Khari was saying this about himself’...which I probably prefer.”
Khari Lucas, also known by his stage name Contour, actively works to help the Charleston music community grow and flourish, even when it’s tough.
Serving as panel member at Southern Discomfort forum, he addressed the racial divide and prejudice in Charleston’s music scene. The following year, he released Softer, a music and film project that showcases the side of Charleston the tourists don’t get to see: the hidden graveyards, abandoned basketball courts, and overlooked side streets.
He has since collaborated with other local artists on a variety of creative projects, including co-directing the visuals for Benny Star’s recent live album recording. Earlier this year, he released his song “Tantrum in Azure” and its accompanying video, a self-aware examination of finding conflict in trivial situations.
Khari is eloquent, and not afraid to take the time to think carefully before he speaks. The results are profound and thought provoking, stemming from a deeply rooted self-assurance that is fascinating to observe. These days, he’s working at Rialto Row recording studio, soaking in knowledge and further expanding what he has to offer the community. His avid support of other artists through his actions and his online presence make his FB page a thriving hub of musical discussion and recommendations.
“People really like to be like ‘social media is making people less likely to actually understand the truth about what’s going on.’ I don’t really think there are more people saying untrue things than there ever have been. I just think we have more access to those people. When all of a sudden you have so much access to seeing how much of something exists, it’s easy to perceive that as a literal increase, but I don’t think that it is.
There are those people who post without knowledge of the topic, but there are also on these other people on the internet and social medias who DO know what they’re talking about, and we could choose to look at those. ”
What is the last gift you gave someone and why did you choose it?
I give out records often. I think it may be the only kind of gift I give. I usually choose a record because I think the person I’m gifting it to will find their taste widened by it, or that it’ll resonate with them in a certain way.
Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you like to get lunch with?
Alice Coltrane, Keith Haring, Malcolm X
Who inspires you to be better?
My mother & grandmother... as role models for work ethic. My bandmates & collaborators... artistically. My girlfriend... in pretty much every other way.
Have you replaced any foundational ideas or practices in your life lately?
I’m currently trying to replace my inclination to fix everything, which I don’t think is all bad, with being more accepting and trusting in the process of my life more. Replace isn’t even the right word because I already do a bit of that, but I’m trying to hone in on it more for reasons of personal peace.
What is the last movie you watched, and how do you feel about it?
The last movie I watched was “Grave of the Fireflies”. It’s one of, if not the saddest Anime films, I’ve ever seen. It provides an excellent perspective on the people affected by war that aren’t directly involved, and how living in a war period changes people. I would recommend if you’re tryna cry real tears.
“The centerpoint of so many movies or shows or pieces of art, anything that has storyline, is that growing up is always a question of fulfilling purpose. So, you have this idea that you have to be trying to find whatever your individual purpose is supposed to be, which in turn means there’s some kind of role that you’re supposed to fill.
I don’t know if I do, or don’t, believe that everybody has their individual purpose. That’s a difficult thing to decide, but I definitely think that people holding that idea maybe will come across the first role or set of characteristics that they feel like they fit into comfortably, and then feel like ‘this is the thing that I have to continue to do, that I have to continue to act like,’ and settle in. Because without that, you’re faced with a very big uncomfortable unknown.”
Dakota Bristow. I pick Dakota because at the moment he’s my favorite songwriter/composer in the city. I feel that the conversation with him will lead interesting places.
“Playing roles isn’t an inherently negative thing, because you have to do it to some degree to effectively live out the scenarios in your life. But, I think maybe the thing is being able to be fluid with what those roles are and what they entail. Make the roles work for the situation, and don’t change everything about your situation to fit the role.”
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.