You may have read about rapper and College of Charleston student Julian Harrell, in the Oct. 2014 issue of The Yard, but quite a lot has changed in the past year and a half. No longer a solo artist, Harrell and five Charleston based musicians got together in late 2015 and formed Update Collective. The group consists of Harrell, Cody Dixon, also a junior at the College who is a rapper and sound engineer, drummer Oleg Terentiev, producer and guitarist Jimmy Jeter, rapper Edmond Ivory and Teante Simmons who is a rapper and sound engineer.
Harrell knew everyone individually and made the introductions to form Update Collective. Harrell’s vision was to have “guys from different backgrounds come together for pretty much the same reason: music.” The idea behind establishing the group was to create and present music in a way that each member felt was not currently in existence. Harrell explained, “instead of going to a show and watching hip hop artists yell over pre-recorded beats, we offer the luxury of having all our sound generated on the spot.” Simply put, Harrell said Update Collective aims to provide an “updated way to hear and engage with music,” which they plan to do by “bending the aspects of live performance as much as possible.”
The diverse skill sets and talents that each artist brings to Update Collective allows the group not to stick to just one genre. Harrell explained that part of the group’s appeal is their ability to switch interchangeably between sounds during shows, they go from “a rock feeling, to an electronic vibe, to a bass hitting rap song.”
Working and creating music with six people can prove to be challenging at times, given six different perspectives and opinions. Harrell said it is important to the group that they are all honest with each other and share their opinions; if they held their thoughts back it “would do nothing but hurt [us] and whatever project we’re working on.” Harrell added, “It is very important that we all respect everybody’s creative genius whether we agree or disagree.” When they are creating new music, inspiration comes in all directions. Harrell explained ideas come from “a situation, conversation, an idea a person came into the collective with, just joking around throwing out random ideas, or even someone saying a particular phrase, literally anything.” He added that often their best “out-of-the-box ideas come from very side tracked conversations.”
While Update Collective is relatively new to the Charleston music scene, that has not stopped the group from setting their sights high. Harrell believes Update Collective has the power to change the music scene, he said “as we grow as musicians and people, so will the county of Charleston and vice versa.” The group does not plan to stay stagnant for a second. Harrell said, “the only constant is constant change and that’s what I’m hoping we can embody in our journey as a group of people who like music. And we welcome anyone, fans and artists of all types, to come change this world as we know it with us.”
Listen to Update Collective at soundcloud.com/update-music-