Having spent nearly two years on the road touring in support of 88 Keys and Counting, Grieves found himself returning home to a fractured reality. Reeling from turbulence in his career and heartbreak in his personal life mixed with coming down from the high of the support he received on the road Grieves conceptualized Together/Apart, an album that would address the bond music creates between each of us as individuals and as a whole despite the many distances we experience be they geographical or emotional.

The end of 2008 saw Grieves enlisting the help of friend and collaborator Budo to co-produce Together/Apart bringing his signature swiss-army knife, multi-instrumental backdrop to Grieves' hauntingly poignant narrative. The album began taking shape inNew Yorkas the two built off the success 88 Keys and Counting had generated and paired it with the intensity they developed from their live performances. The recording process began to shadow the theme of the album as it saw tracks recorded inColoradoandWashingtonin addition toNew York, infusing it with a mixture of regional influences while still maintaining a cohesive sound. As the album neared completion the title took on a double meaning for Grieves as he explored new subject matter in the absence of trust, refuge in addiction, acceptance and honesty in self-reflection, and trying to find his place in the world without forgetting his roots.

Together/Apart concludes three years of self-discovery that has ultimately lead to Grieves' most emotionally charged and daring album to date.

Sweatshop Union

Sweatshop Union are heavyweights of North Western hip-hop, and have earned a reputation as the hardest working collective in the region. Having performed over five hundred shows internationally, they have changed the perception of what live hip-hop can achieve.

The group's most ambitious record to date and award winning Bill Murray EP, (2011 Western Canadian Music Awards' Hip Hop Recording of the Year) brought a whole new level to their steadily growing underground following. Building on this they will release another two new albums in 2012.


If you've never heard of Abstract, you're in the right place and you're in for a treat. Abstract is a 19 year old rapper currently living in Wyoming, who along with his producer, just put out his first album. Abstract has a very original style accompanied by great, meaningful lyrics. I personally am very excited to watch Abstract continue to expand down the road, especially after his newest release "Outlines (Stay Remix)". This is my new favorite song from Abstract and I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Now instead of me going in-depth telling you who he is, Abstract was kind enough to answer a few of my questions to help you guys get to know him better. Check it out below with our College-of-Music exclusive interview with Abstract!

COM: Where are you from?

Abstract: I'm originally from Northern New Jersey. I now live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Parents moved my sister and I out here when I was in 7th grade, wanting us to grow up at least part of our lives in a very outdoorsy place, my dad is originally from Croatia so he always wanted to get back into the mountains.

COM: How did you start getting into music and rapping?

Abstract: Awhile back I had a bad breakup and it took a big toll on me. I used to freestyle and I realized that writing stuff down and making music could really help me cope with it. I really didn't think about it too much but I realized that I could put those feelings on a track, beats became the only thing that would listen to me in a way. So music really helped me get through a huge bump in my life, and you can still hear references in my lyrics about that even in my newer songs.

COM: How did you hook up with Hendersin?

Abstract: Well him and I are uploaded by alot of the same youtube channels (Shout out: Music4Montage, First Period Music, Music Daily, Feex, Swagy Tracks, NCS ha) and I think one of my twitter fans suggested we do a track together. My producer and I, Craig McAllister, had been working on a track sampling "Locked Out Of Heaven" by Bruno Mars, as we were working on it and with that fans comment in mind I was like, damn, you know who would sound good on this? Henny! so I hit him up on twitter, sent him the first version, and it took a little while to get his verse back but I'm pretty sure this was during the time he was working on No ryme or reason vol 2 so he was pretty busy. Anyway it came out dope and shout out Hendersin, hes a dope guy making some dope music! [Locked Out of Heaven (ft. Hendersin)]

COM: Are you currently working on any projects?

Abstract: Craig McAllister, my producer from Glasgow Scotland, and I just put out my first all original album. (I do have 4 other mix tapes but this is the first with complete all original production) It's 9 tracks ranging from House, Dubstep, boom bap, to acoustic influenced beats all produced by Craig. We aimed to really make "A Life To Live By" one of the most diverse albums out and I really feel we accomplished that. So with that said, I dropped that about a month ago and followed that up with my single "Outlines (Stay Remix)" but I'm really trying to let the album breathe. We really put our all into the album so I feel it deserves a little more time to get its full shine so you may see some singles in the next couple weeks but no immediate plans for another mixtape or EP, though you will see one in the next couple months. You also may see some visuals for tracks off the album like "Do The Math" and "A's Up" next month!

Abstract: Also I'll be moving to Denver or Chicago in September just so I can be in a place where I can start really opening shows and making some bigger moves, so I'm looking for this coming year to be a big year for me!

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