Q&A with The George-Anne Newspaper

Georgia Southern University's student newspaper The George-Anne sat down with Damez and the NSFW Music Festival coordinators to talk about what can be expected from the event. Check out the article below or read it on The George-Anne!


Hip-hop and R&B music festival to be held at GS

by Julia Fletcher & Ashlee Gilley

Georgia Southern University hosted its first music festival of the spring semester, The True Blue Music Festival, back in March. This weekend, the university will play host to another music festival.

The NSFW Music Festival will take place at the M.C. Anderson Park Amphitheatre next to the RAC tomorrow, April 21 starting at 5 p.m.

This night of music will feature the following R&B, rap and hip-hop artists:

  • Damez
  • Kali Donn
  • 1WAYV
  • Swvnko
  • Rey Morado
  • Lynn Williams
  • Laxx P.
  • Niko Makaveli
  • Nadia Vence

As well, wristbands for the festival will cost $7. Local food trucks will be there to provide food for attendees.

The event was organized primarily by Daniel Ennis, a junior marketing major, and Rickey Jones, a senior fashion merchandising and apparel design major. Ennis discussed some of the planning and intent that went into organizing the festival.

Q: What is the NSFW festival?

A: NSFW stands for "Not Safe For Work"...we wanted to create an environment where students could have fun and release some type of stress that they have from classes, with the semester winding down and stuff like that.

Q: How did you find artists for the festival?

A: There is an organization on campus called Random Acts of Poetry on campus...I reached out to her [the club’s president] to see if she had anybody in her group that was willing to perform. Also, because Rickey is the president of a fashion organization called Visage and I’m also the co-creative director [for Visage]...we had already been approached by other artists at our other [fashion] shows. We wanted to give it a try where we were doing just the artists...instead of just performing as part of a fashion show. [Damez was asked to headline the event and agreed.]

Q: Why did you want to have a festival in Statesboro?

A: We were just trying to figure out how we could leave our mark as students. We realized that if we put in the work and dedication, that we could turn this into a tradition that goes on after we’re gone [from GS]...I feel like, after we do it enough times, we could end up getting school sponsorship, and they’ll make sure that it goes on, and we’ll be able to get bigger, more well-known artists to perform as well as students.

Q: What will DJ Nino be doing there?

A: He’s the house DJ of the event, so he will be doing his own sets as well as starting and stopping the music for the artists that are performing...he’s also filling the time between performances.


Talking with a headlining artist:

Damez, also known as Damien Henderson, a senior multimedia journalism major, will perform at the music festival. Henderson elaborated on his particular style of music and what led him to perform on campus.

Q: Describe your music.

A: I’d probably label it more indie-alternative than hip-hop and R&B...it’s very personal and autobiographical, but I also feel it’s very relatable and very diverse...as far as the different sounds, genres and moods go.

Q: How was it releasing your new album, “The Art of Extravagance” two months ago?

A: It was a really cool experience. I had been working on it for two years before I was finally ready to put it out… in the midst of being a full-time college student, you can imagine how time-consuming that that might be...it was challenging, but it was a goal I set for myself, ever since I was a child, really.

Q: What was the inspiration or what were the inspirations behind your album?

A: It was just life experiences, really...like the death of my brother, my parents’ divorce that I went through in high school...I took a semester off of school back in 2015, and I actually moved to Texas for half a year, and that played a major role as well on the music. [It was] those major life experiences and day-to-day activities as well.

Q: How is it being a journalism major and a musician? In some ways, it seems like you could be on both sides of the news.

A: The experience I had with the newscast, being in front of the camera and having to report..it kind of ties into being in front of the television and an audience that isn’t familiar with you...all of that is indirect practice [to being a musician], if you will.

Q: Have you played shows at the university before?

A: I started doing live shows at home last year in the city of Atlanta, but I never got a chance to do a show down here for the school, and I always wanted to do at least one before I graduated. Since I’m about to graduate in a couple of weeks, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Q: What do you enjoy about performing?

A: It’s just a different experience when you have a level of power and respect on the stage that you can’t get anywhere else...people are watching you, they want to have a good time, and it’s up to you do that [put on a good show]. Whenever I get on stage and have a chance to make someone’s day, or I have a chance to make someone feel good...it’s the best feeling in the world.