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 "FREEDOM"
Town of Birth: Kathmandu, Nepal
“Music is for the people, right? But you forget a lot of times as a listener what the artist is going though. We don’t really listen, and a lot of times, people don’t really CARE… Like Them Changes by Thundercat, it’s a really groovy song, but it’s a really, really sad, depressing song. Pumped Up Kicks is a song about school shootings, but I’ve seen people party in clubs to that song. Those songs have very unusual ways of using SOUND to reflect on the feeling of the environment. I feel like the lyrics carry a completely different underlying message, but if you can sneak that in there subliminally and maybe start a conversation, I think you’re doing your job as an artist. You don’t want to tell people that life is all bubbly, ‘cause it’s not, but you don’t want to make them think that everything is awful either. You want to tell people that if something bad is happening, EMBRACE that, don’t chase it away or run from it. I think that’s where we start to go kind of crazy - when we put on this show, we try to block those emotions or feelings.”
Being one of my closest friends, he knows how passionate I am about music and hopefully I offered some good perspective to the book.
“I think if you’re between, like 18 and 27, you were really there in that perfect cut off where you still grew up running outside and you had an old timey perspective. You know, playing with rocks, playing in the dirt, climbing trees. But then all of a SUDDEN, you were climbing a tree one day and the next you were the first in line as a technology trainee. And I really think that kind of gave us that nostalgia. We do remember the outdoor days, but then we know what it feels like to have all this technology. My younger brother is 14 now, and that’s a completely different person from the person I was when I was 14, running around and getting in that old school trouble.”
Oleg Terentiev has gained a unique perspective on American culture in his 23 years of life. Up until the 5th grade, he lived Nepal, Russia, and France, and has lived in the United States for the second half of his life. Although he was young, the different perspectives he witnessed and experienced left their mark, and allowed him to recognize that there are different ways of approaching things and none are necessarily superior.
This openness has carried on into his adult life, permitting him to think deeper about the world around him. He can find inspiration in unlikely places, and is not afraid to engage with it.
This inspiration has led him to the R&B band Little Bird, where Oleg plays the drums. Although the band has dreams of making it big, they are committed to putting in the work necessary to make it happen, rather than banking on becoming an overnight viral sensation. They bring their music to new cities, connect with new audiences, and take the time to really talk with people at their shows, and they have already won the Charleston City Paper’s R&B/Soul Act of the year award because of it.
“Talking to strangers has GONE out of style.
It’s weird now, to sit down next to somebody at a coffee shop, but that was a classic movie scene back in the day. ‘Excuse me, is someone sitting here?’ ‘No.’ Boom, conversation strikes. But now it’s: ‘Excuse me, is someone sitting here?’ ‘No, um,’ you look around, maybe try and come up with a BS excuse about someone coming back or something, and then we’re back in our phones, or back in our headphones. Growing up in that transition time, I think a lot of us have caught ourselves in those moments because we have that privilege of remembering, ‘Wait a minute, this is awkward. Maybe we should talk, maybe we should get off our phones.’ And it’s HARD for even us to do, but we still get that kick every once in a while.”
What word is a lot of fun to say?
Where's one place you'd like to go that you haven't been
What songs do you feel compelled to sing along to, even if you don't know the words?
Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen
Do you believe yourself to be truly free?
Yes, because I’ve given up trying to control everything on my life.
How do you wish to be remembered?
Hopefully for impacting the world in a positive way.
What lyrics do you remember that started an important conversation in your life?
“Flat line / You fooled us for the last time / Flat line, flat line / There's no superior blood line” B.oB. (Song about the earth being flat.)
I have to comment because to me this shows the failure that is our education system, but paradoxically I appreciate the fact that this has a bigger point to it; which is question everything and the quest for knowledge is what drives our species. So in a way thanks B.o.B.
“It SCARES everybody!
Whether it’s what we do for the 6-8 hours that we’re asleep - are you in another world, just living your other life and then you come back to this one for 8 hours every day? What’s inside black holes? What do we do after death? And the world just starts cramming information in and telling you like, ‘don’t worry about these things, worry about the other things that’re more important,’ and then other people decide what’s important and what’s not important for you.
That unknown part I think really screws people over. It’s TERRIFYING because IT IS unknown.”
Danielle Howle. Danielle is one of the wisest, experienced and inspirational people I have ever met. I felt that she would be a great perspective to add to the book.
“I collaborate best WHEN I am trying to connect with people on an actual level, getting to know what’s happening in their heads and combining that with my own ways of outputting things through art, whether that’s music or visual. If I can hear them talk and help them put those thoughts together through music, I think that is going to sum up the sound that we’re looking for the best. I sit down with all of this information and all of these different sounds and FEELINGS that I’ve gained and I create this one thing based off of the overlapping pattern that I notice or the overlapping theme.
Everyone’s got their own backstory and it adds up to how you sound, at the end of the day.”
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.