Don’t Sleep Pt. 6:
Marko Stat$, Swill, Jose Franco, Yomi, Seer
Don’t Sleep is back. Our feature on some of the best local talent in Chicago has always showcased talented musicians on the rise, but the five artists on this list are some of our favorites to date. With a range of interesting sounds, Don’t Sleep Pt. 6 should have some music for everyone’s taste. From a skilled harpist to some oldies style sounds to some classic hip hop music, there really is an eclectic mix of music coming from this group and we’re excited to introduce you to some more of Chicago’s hidden gems. Get in tune with Marko Stat$, Swill, Jose Franco, Yomi, and Seer below.
Marko Stat$ is one of those artists that just seems to have found their sound. I was first introduced to Stat$ through his video for Jubliation which made it clear how talented the young MC was and led me to check out his tape BEE-4 I FLY AWAY which is full of great music front to back. His melodic flow and ability to pick catchy, upbeat production mean he creates some great summertime music and reminds me a little bit of Daye Jack. Even though he only has one project under his belt, things are already looking up for Marko Stat$.
Before Seer dropped his tape Secret 2 My Strut, I had only heard of him through his production work with Decent Gang. After I heard S2MS though, it became clear that he has more potential than just being a beatsmith. The project has become one of my favorites since it dropped and shows Seer’s ability to blend genres such as oldies, hip hop, and soul into some very unique and melodic music. His track Fixated in particular is a great example of this eclectic sound and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it recently. His sound has been a breath of fresh air among a lot of music that has just been sounding the same.
Another Decent Gang member, Jose Franco has been showing that he has more than enough talent to make a name for himself. After releasing music somewhat sporadically, he dropped his tape the Back From Across The Border EP and made a big impact. Even though it’s only three songs, it showcases Franco’s skills and highlights his excellent flows, ear for production, and ability to create a cohesive, deliberate project. At this point everything on Franco’s SoundCloud hits the mark and I’m looking forward to hearing another project from him.
When it comes to artists who just stand out, Yomi is at the top of the list. She incorporates the harp beautifully into all her music, bringing a refreshing and unique sound that is still very focused and allows her skill to breath. Her latest project, #THATHARPIST is a great example of her work and is really the tape that got me introduced to Yomi. The soft, calming music on #THATHARPIST is a good way to just relax and it showcases Yomi’s talent as a vocalist and songwriter as well as a harpist. The authentic, personal sounds she has been releasing will definitely keep me on the lookout for any new material she releases.
Swill is another artist whose music is immediately ear catching. Atmospheric, catchy, melodic tunes are the standard for Swill and songs like Jade and s’light are solid examples of the sound he has cultivated. Even though his songs are very melodic and focus on his vocals, this burgeoning MC doesn’t sacrifice substance for catchiness. His songs often have personal messages that fit the vibe the music he puts out and it’s clear everything he drops is thorough and thought through.