The first day of Spring is Saturday, March 20th – we’re only a couple weeks away!
As many of you know, most of our operations either take place in Wisconsin or California. In Wisconsin, we’ve seen tremendous amounts of snow and chilly temperatures over much of January and February. We’re now averaging 20-40 degree days and the snowdrops are emerging from the ground. The sap in the trees is running and we’ve begun planting seeds indoors. In California, temperatures have averaged in the 60-70s.
There’s a lot of excitement about being out and about (a seedling sprouting from the soil). We continue to encourage you to maintain the best known health practices during this time. Believe us, we really want to be back hosting events, but we also want to make sure that our family is safe. Spring reminds us of renewal and preparation. For some, this time of isolation has been helpful in discerning priorities: family, self-care, maintaining friendships, focusing on your health and art. What has been on your daily task list lately? All that we do helps prepare us for what’s to come!
As a small business we’ve had to stop all in-person events (we average over 100 events a year – a major source of our funding) and redirect our operations due to the pandemic. Instead of hosting events, we’ve chosen to work on a few other priorities:
1) Branding and Identity
We’ve released four different FPM official logo hoodies and t-shirts and have distributed many throughout the country. THANK YOU to those of you who have supported us with a merchandise purchase. If you’d like to get yourself some great gear for the new year, please visit our VIRTUAL STORE.
We’ve also been working on a more consistent approach to our social media presence. We’re looking to bring on at least two interns in the next few months to help us get our name out further and our identity better recognized. On our Facebook and Instagram pages you’ll be seeing multiple posts per week on three themes: Monday Music, Wednesday Words, and Friday Film. Our company is built upon many varieties of music, words of wisdom, and film capturing history. Stay tuned and if you’re not already following our posts, please do!
2) FPM Founder Artistry
All three FPM founders are artists.
This past year has allowed for each of us to dig into our respective art stores and spend time with our creations. It’s been a long time coming, but we have a lot of new work ready to be released in the months ahead. The final proof of our collaborative poetry book, The Founder Anthology, is scheduled to arrive TOMORROW. We plan to do an online reading in April (National Poetry Month) to celebrate the release!
Both Nick Ramsey and J-Scribe the Journeyman have new projects in the works. Nick is working on a solo album entitled Walk In The Sunshine with Chicago producer PIZTRUMENTALS. It features songs with DJ Feed Me, Eric Kickhaver, C-The Realness, Christian Dreyer, Jennifer Fisher, and DJ Romes. Three of these tracks will be released by June 2021. At that time they will be available for streaming, licensing, and purchasing on all digital platforms. Eventually, the full album will be released on vinyl.
Nick has also been working with his band, Nick Ramsey & The Family, on new material. They’ve performed at two events in the past two months: the 3 Year Anniversary Party at Racine Brewing Company and the 29th Annual Thoughts For Food fundraiser for the Racine County Food Bank. Watch Nick Ramsey & The Family’s full Thoughts For Food set HERE and please consider making a donation to the Racine County Food Bank. You will find an additional 11 videos from other local performers on the Thoughts For Food YouTube channel. We encourage you to watch them all!
J-Scribe the Journeyman is working with Bay-Area producer Jermaine Hamilton on a new 10-track album which is untitled at this time. At least two to three of these tracks will be released by June 2021. They will be available for streaming, licensing, and purchasing on all digital platforms.
We now have a Family Power Music SoundCloud page. New tracks will be uploaded consistently. We have two tracks up: “Police” by J-Scribe the Journeyman and “Friends Show Me” by Nick Ramsey.
We’ve completed four recent educational workshops through Milwaukee Public Schools, Kenosha Unified School District, and with Evergreen Academy. Workshops have primarily been led virtually with one in-person teaching. Mostly, we worked with 6-8th graders on creative writing with an emphasis on poetry and songwriting. We enjoy teaching very much and always have a great time.
Here are a few testimonials:
“We worked with Family Power Music for a week-long intensive at Harborside Academy called “Creative Expressions.” The instructor’s relaxed personality and positive energy motivated our students to explore writing talents they may not have known they even had. Our students loved his presence, and so did the cooperating teachers!” Elizabeth Jania (Harborside Academy – Kenosha, WI)
“Working in an under-resourced school, our students lack access to courses that delve into aspects of Language Arts they feel a connection to. Having Family Power Music visit my Ethnic Studies classroom allowed students to practice creative writing skills that were later utilized for research projects. Family Power Music is an awesome ally to educators seeking creative workshops for students!” Angelina Cowan (James Denman Middle School – San Francisco, CA)
“Family Power Music enriched the lives of our middle school students challenged with language development in English. The facilitator engaged students with his own story of the artistic process, complete with relevant artifacts and a refreshing element of humor. Our poets and writers were thoroughly motivated and proud of the work they created. Students were left wanting to do and know more.”
Educator (Milwaukee Public Schools – Milwaukee, WI)
If you’d like to have Family Power Music lead a workshop for your students or gathering, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get something set up!
No Events Are Scheduled For March 2021
Founded in 2010, Family Power Music LLC provides entertainment, management, and educational services as it pertains to the literary and performing arts. Operating in multiple regions, our business model begins at the community level. We work in support of local businesses, non-profit organizations, and artists of all ages. From open mic nights and artist showcases, to creative writing workshops and music festivals, we provide safe environments for people to express their creativity, strengthen their craft, and expand their professional networks.
You can visit our associated sites to learn more about us:
We look forward to seeing you at a future event!
Family Power Music
The seasonal switch is upon us and our clocks have fallen back. The weather is shifting and the plants are adapting much like we are.
Two of our Family Power Music founders (Anthony Makovec and Nick Ramsey) live in southeastern Wisconsin where it’s been in the 30-50s. Our third founder (Joshua Gill-Sutton) lives in northern California where he’s enjoying slightly warmer weather in the 60-80s. Although the temperatures are quite different, we currently share in similar health and economic climates. Both states have shown growing pandemic numbers, small business loss, and major operating restrictions. Words like “isolation” and “quarantine” have become regular vocabulary. Many of us have drastically lessened our time with friends and family and those much needed warm embraces. We miss seeing and being with you all. Please know that we are in this together and will come out stronger in the end.
It is very important to remember that a community’s well-being begins with us, individually and collectively. We need to be giving our bodies meals rich in nutrition, adequate rest, and proper hydration. We need to be exercising on a regular basis physically, mentally, and spiritually in the ways that we’ve found work best for us. When our personal temple is balanced, we can better provide to the outside. As respectful neighbors, we welcome growth through giving in whatever ways we’re able. Smile and acknowledge one another. Share your garden produce and lovingly crafted meals. Have thoughtful conversations and listen more than you talk. Support your local businesses whenever possible. Care for your environment in, around, and far beyond your respective dwellings. These are all good starting points that we try to practice ourselves as artists and business owners.
Last month we added a couple of new products to our webstore:
1) Black and gold color option to our previously released FPM hooded sweatshirts
2) Downloadable J-Scribe single, “Going For Mine” which features Bay Area emcee, OneWerd.
FPM artist J-Scribe
We are continuing to build up our inventory of products and we truly appreciate all the support that our family has given us during this time of so many unknowns.
We love you all and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. We are so very thankful for our family!
Happy autumn! This is a time for many of us to reflect on what and who we’re thankful for, to revisit our yearly goals, and to plan for the colder months ahead. Much like the food we’ve grown and preserved over summer, it’s important to nurture our own personal well-being to ensure we’re ready to flourish in fall, winter, and spring. Lately, our founders have been discussing self-care and how needed it is for us to take time for that. Here’s a beautiful quote our co-founder Joshua Gill-Sutton shared with us at a recent meeting:
“Your human body is a composite of intricate and interwoven biological systems, some of which are designed to focus creative energies. These systems can direct the creative streams of focused attention with far more precision and accuracy than is possible from a disincarnate seat of awareness.”
Here’s one other quote we recently came across:
“If you break things down to very small parts, you find holons (units) which are less complex. Human beings, for all their complexity, are still composed of single cells. Only now, the cells are functioning as eyeballs or livers. And the cells break down into very small basic units like atoms and then there are parts (holons – units) to the atoms…”
In relation, our founders have been steadily working on their personal writings as well as critiquing and providing editorial feedback for each other. Like cells working in cooperation, we build our energies together for a common purpose.
In time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will be releasing the first-ever Family Power Music founder anthology with fifteen poems included from each founder: Anthony “Tone Stanza” Makovec, Nick Ramsey, and Joshua “J-Scribe” Gill-Sutton.
In addition, the founders have been responsible for weekly blog posts on our website (a new feature). Click the links below to look these over:
We’ve also created a couple of artist pages on our website for a few close family members. We are just beginning this new offering and are excited to be working in partnership with our creative family. We began Family Power Music as artists looking to provide welcoming spaces for people to share their creations. We have realized over the years that we are artists empowering artists. Each of our partnered artists have a general page including a photo, their biography, related links, discographies, and videos (if they have them).
We are also warehousing some of these artists’ physical merchandise and selling it on our webstore. We have an agreement in place with these artists to help promote them through our channels as well as move their product. In exchange for these services, we share a revenue split and handle all shipping. We negotiate these terms and agree that we are stronger together than separate. If this sounds interesting to you, please contact us and we can discuss further. We are one big family!
We have no upcoming events in October. We will be resuming some of our regular events as the pandemic guidelines dictate and will be conscious of safety for our friends and family. Every state has different regulations and we operate as a national company. Your safety and health is our top priority!
Founded in 2010, Family Power Music LLC provides entertainment, management, and educational services as it pertains to the literary and performing arts. Operating in multiple regions, our business model begins at the community level. We work in support of local businesses, non-profit organizations and artists of all ages. From open mic nights and artist showcases, to creative writing workshops and music festivals, we provide safe environments for people to express their creativity, strengthen their craft, and expand their professional networks.
You can visit our associated sites to learn more about us:
We look forward to seeing you at a future event!
Orange rinds, banana peels.
Compost the most crucial elements
to benefit the collective.
Magic comes alive in the nitrogen.
Weave threads of intelligence through the fabric of reality.
We are not as dense as we believe.
Our skulls are resonant.
Our blood is water.
Water is life.
Life is eternal.
Fiber optic wires of divine consciousness
when they find a conduit.
We can be living, breathing filaments.
Each and every one of us is a point of perception.
A stained glass prism, shifting the shape of the spectrum.
Creating a symphony of sustained madness
as ivory towers are shattered.
Skin becomes dust,
gathering in unswept corners.
New concepts explode into a supernova glow.
Solar flares in the vacuous mystery.
Burning candles in close proximity.
Can we see it yet?
It’s all the same.
There is not our light and their light.
Light is light.
Technological lenses give us glimpses of heaven.
It’s all brand new, yet it feels like a remembrance.
Hello world, Anthony here. We at Family Power Music have incorporated a blog into our website. This is my first entry. I thought I’d start with the Pandemic, seeing as how it is the phenomenon that has touched the lives of almost everyone around the world in some way. World culture has shifted dramatically in 2020. My whole life, I had looked forward to this year as a benchmark for eschewing in, “The Future”. As a child I had dreams of 2020 holding such awesome things for us in store as flying cars and hover-boards, you know, the stuff of ‘Back to the Future 2’. What we have ended up with is a global pandemic, and a highly polarized society along political and/or religious lines, more or less depending on your coordinates.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t make concession and count the blessings. 2020, compared to say, 1920, or, 1820, or 1720, or even 1620 and so on, has its advancements that indicate we are living far in the future, as juxtaposed to those eras. Technology has advanced exponentially, the effects of which are readily observable in almost every area of our lives, mostly for good. There is a saying, “The more things change..”, and, I may offer despite all this wonderful tech and the benefits it has brought, including the ushering of us into a new era, there are some issues we as a civilized society still grapple with.
Ever present in our macro and micro cultures all across the globe, major conflict remains ever present along religious, political, philosophical, ideological, moral and ethical lines. In 2020, born citizens in the United States are STILL not considered an ethnic group. Nor, being the construct of race to classify human phenotypes still holds water, are U.S. born considered our own race of people. Not sure how many generations must go by before this changes, but so far, we are quite a few generations into being our own distinct culture and society of people, and this issue remains unresolved. As a result, when one takes a look around in America, much conflict may be observed as a result of the perpetuation of this problem. Now rather than continuing into the rabbit hole of my masters thesis, I will digress from that subject.
The COVID has turned our society upside down. Perhaps we all are quite fatigued form enduring the changes that have occurred as a result of this Pandemic. I have quite the life full of responsibility and obligations, family and friends, projects, interests, self care, just like many of us. This Pandemic has disrupted my ability to function and enjoy life enormously. After six months of this, including carrying the virus myself and going through that, I am praying harder than ever this pandemic run it’s course, and pass into the history books.
Some say it will be with us forever and our culture is forever changed and this is the new normal. I do not believe this to be so. Removing the hyperbolic nature of the spirit of those statements, we must remember we are in a pandemic, and it will pass. My Cousin reminded me that the benchmark where things will begin to return to normal is when cases recede below pandemic levels. It was comforting to be reminded of this. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get through this. We are not on some Sisyphusian hamster wheel of new normal the definition of which is social distancing and masks forever, etc. We are in a pandemic, and this will pass. Sending the light, prayers and love to all of us that we have the strength, grace and fortitude to carry on through the remainder of this time, until that miraculous moment comes when we may give great big hugs to loved ones again when we see them.
In July we resumed a few of our events. All events that we’ve been hosting have been outdoors and have followed recommended pandemic gathering guidelines. It has certainly been a different way of operating, but we’re adapting to the “new normal.” The two primary events that we’ve helped organize are the weekly Friday Open Jam nights in Racine, WI at Smoke’d on the Water and the monthly Grassroots Open Mic & Artist Showcase series in Milwaukee, WI at the Story Hill Firehouse.
After much deliberation, we’ve decided to cancel our annual Origins of Hip-Hop event. Please mark your calendars for next year’s date: Saturday, August 21, 2021.
Other than events, we’ve been strengthening our educational pillar with newly developed curriculums. Our current offerings are in the realms of creative writing, hip-hop, event planning, and artist management. Over the years we’ve brought these workshops/presentations to all school levels, correctional facilities, art and public museums, nursing homes, and private parties. If you’d like to work together planning a workshop or presentation, please feel free to reach out any time. Click HERE to read a few testimonials.
We’ve been spending a decent amount of time compiling our first ever Family Power Music founder poetry anthology. We are nearly finished with the final round of edits and will be sending it out to our design partners in the next two weeks. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to release this along with new hooded sweatshirt color options in the first part of autumn. Keep your eyes out for these releases. You can check out our current merchandise on our WEBSTORE. Our summer release of two different t-shirts have been flying off the shelves. Thank you so much for making those purchases.
A new BLOG page has been added to our website and the first blog post was made on July 20th. This post included a music review of a recently released California Bay-Area compilation called “Shelter In Place”. This was written by FPM co-founder, Joshua Gill-Sutton aka J-Scribe. Our three founders will be sharing a variety of blog posts in the weeks, months, and years to come. Check back often, there should be at least one post made a week.
Lastly, our co-founder, Nick Ramsey, will be getting married this month to the lovely Nicole Sweet. We wish them well moving forward into their new life together. We call that Family Power!
From start to finish, the “SHELTER IN PLACE” compilation showcases a diverse array of musical styles and genres, while consistently presenting a natural, homegrown sound on every track. This collection of music by Bay Area artists is the second compilation release from live show promoter, Pocket Buddha. This release represents Pocket Buddha’s effort to help artists he has worked with over the years “cross-pollinate their fan bases.”
The collection is bookended by tracks that deliver powerful messages relevant to today’s socio-political landscape. The first track, “Askari X,” opens with a rumbling jazz bassline, which provides the heartbeat for Keese Sama and Royalty Casti’s call to action regarding police brutality. Their sentiments are echoed by Philharmonik on the closing track, as he describes the true nature of power, with a hint of urgency in his soulful voice. In between these heartfelt and thought-provoking head-nodders, listeners will find an eclectic blend of sounds and messages representing the Bay Area’s independent music scene.
While all of the artists featured on “SHELTER IN PLACE” produce music within clearly defined genres, they all manage to push the boundaries of what listeners expect to hear from those genres. For example, Hip-Hop duo dubldragon.’s “Place Holder,” is a visceral sonic circus, with Skeptik’s cutting lyrics clutched tightly to ominous and relentless production by Dan Gensel of “FullMoonFreakz.” The result is a roller coaster ride that hurtles listeners through soundscapes unique to traditional Hip-Hop. Similarly Fail on Foot’s “Del’s Dungarees” begins as a delightful example of contemporary Indie Rock, with soft vocals sprinkled over big drums and atmospheric guitar. Yet it quickly erupts into a gritty instrumental ballad that is both unpredictable and mesmerizing. “Close to You” by Helltones is a mellow love song backed by crisp drums, with guitar riffs that offer a hint of California Surf Rock.
Given that many of the artists featured on “SHELTER IN PLACE” operate without major label affiliations, it’s not surprising that “Do It Yourself” is a theme that recurs throughout the album. Pouring layers of intricate wordplay over folksy guitar samples, Onewerd delivers an upbeat indie musician anthem with his song, “DIMNLB.” This track is followed by Mike Incite’s “Ground Up,” which is basically an instruction manual for blue collar working musicians, presented in the form of a rap, leaning heavily on construction metaphors. Cyberclops and Edgewise follow this with “Keep on Grindin’,” a boom-bap slapper reminiscent of Golden Era Hip-Hop, providing a wealth of advice and inspiration for working musicians.
With this compilation, Pocket Buddha has curated a collection of music that is current in its relevance and timeless in its aesthetic. All of the artists featured have shared work that is professional in quality, and sincere in its delivery. “SHELTER IN PLACE” is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play.
Listen to the album here: