Chicago Beat Blog

Artist Spotlight: Producer Jaro

Artist Spotlight: Producer Jaro

By Breanna Bonslater
photo via Jaro

Jaro is a producer from the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago, IL. His family is originally from Vietnam, but he was born in America. While we talk, he always says something that makes you think about the topic on a more profound level.

His earliest musical influence was the piano, which echoes in his production work, through his use of keys. His uncle taught him how to play the piano when he was around five, and in middle school, Jaro picked up a little guitar. He’s part of a group known as Beach Jesus, and his most recent solo project is an EP entitled Le Bleue. Overall, his beats have an eerie sound, and with his use of keyboard and snare drums, you get an electronic vibe from his music.

Breanna Bonslater: What inspires your...

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Emma McKee: Chicago's Hip-Hop Cross-Stitcher

Emma McKee: Chicago's Hip-Hop Cross-Stitcher

By Anna Mason and Nick Dimas
photo via Bryan Allen Lamb

It’s common knowledge that you must fail a few times to achieve success.

Emma McKee’s failures led her from falling off a skateboard in a Jiffy Lube parking lot,to an elevator encounter with Kanye West.

McKee is full of laughter while she explains spending hours trying to teach herself how to skateboard, though she says there was nothing funny about it. She moved to Chicago three years ago, after getting kicked out of Canada. Since then, an old-fashioned hobby passed down from her British mother has helped McKee become a vital part of Chicago’s vibrant hip-hop scene. She's now known as the Stitch Gawd.

But cross-stitching was never part of McKee’s plans. At one point, she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and be an opera singer. She decided it would be too...

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