Photo caption: Nikkis Wives rocking out (picture by:Taryn Robinson)
By: Taryn Robinson, Sam Goe, Lillie Hardy, Harrison Ivins, Ireland Waddle
Drake Bell’s presence at our school didn’t go unnoticed, and the artists accompanying him didn’t either. East Hamilton had a huge music festival right before fall break, a massive event that took up the last part of the school day, and featured talented performers that were full of energy, and the intention to spread a message about the arts. This festival was put on by a company called HighSchoolNation Arts, a company that travels around to different high schools playing concerts for the students in an effort to promote arts education in schools.The company travels with a bunch of up and coming artists and one big headliner, the headliner for this tour was Drake Bell, and some Eye of the Storm staff members had the pleasure and privilege of being able to go backstage to meet and interview some of the amazing talents that performed.
One person that seemed to be quite popular with the Eastham Fam is a 17 year old girl from California by the name of Kerri Medders. Kerri is a solo artist who is originally from Houston, TX but moved to L.A. at 10 and got involved with HighSchoolNation when, as she tells it, “I had produced my EP, Lot 17, and I went on a website called sonicbids, which is like a festival platform for gigs, and I ended up submitting my music on sonicbids and then they opened it up and asked if I wanted to perform on their lineup.” HighSchoolNation is Kerri’s first big tour however, before joining them, she played gigs at places like House of Blues, different coffee shops, and other places in L.A. to spread her music. Something else that Kerri commented on was the role of female artists in society for other young women when she said, “I’m a huge advocate of girls supporting girls is my big thing because, I feel like we’re one of those groups that if we come together and do what we do well together we could conquer the world.” After this, Kerri was asked about who inspires her when it comes to her music which she responded to by telling a story from her childhood about how she would always ask her parents to take her to places like Hard Rock Cafe or Fuddruckers where they had walls filled with all the greats from Rock N’ Roll history just so she could go and stare at all the artists that inspire and know that she’ll be up there, right next to them, someday. Kerri not only does music though, she also acts and is currently in a show called Seal Team on CBS as well as a new Netflix series coming out in 2018 called Alexa and Katie. If you want to follow Kerri online all of social media is under her name, Kerri Medders.
Evan Cole was another artist that we got to speak to at the event. Evan is a 17 year old junior in high school from St. Louis who plays soulful pop music and started to do contemporary music on the piano at age 14. Evan told us that he is actually going to a high school, not online or homeschool, and doing the tour at the same time and when asked how he handles that he stated, “It’s very tough but, there’s this thing called blackboard online and it’s a calendar where you can see all your homework and you can just get it done on the road and i have to submit it online so it’s a little more difficult than being in a classroom.” Evan also spoke to us about the support he has had from his parents with everything he has done ever since he started to do musical theatre at age 7 to getting involved in contemporary music at 14 to now. When he first started to perform music he would street perform in his hometown at places like the Cardinal's stadium before and after games as well as being a part of his schools all boys accapella group, playing at local bars, taverns, and festivals then got involved with HighSchoolNation after submitting an application and getting chosen out thousands of other people. Some of the artists that Evan is a fan of and that inspire him are Gavin Degraw, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, as well as just watching other artists in general and seeing them do what they do and being inspired by their songs.If you want to follow Evan on social media, his instagram is Evan Cole Music and his snapchat is evancole53.
Another act that a lot of people liked was a group from Canada called Nikki’s Wives and we were able to speak with their drummer, Nate Baylor. Although Nikki’s wives have only been together for about two years, they’ve already created a base for their fame. Their pop rock style is definitely a good sound to the ears, and their energy on the stage is almost as wild as they are. Their merch includes the bible verse Deuteronomy 17:17 is a play on the name “ Nikki’s Wives”, because the verse says, “Thou shall not have multiple wives”. Another interesting fact about them is that Nikki (lead vocals) always wears black to represent the groom, and Nate (the drummer) and Dylan (Guitarist) wear white to represent the Bride. Before HighSchoolNation they went on tour with Ceelo Green, and they have tour dates coming up.
The music festival was a huge success school-wide, and while many positive things were said about the performers, the performers themselves also had very nice things to say about the East Hamilton student body as well. Drake Bell himself said that we were a great audience and that he was surprised by the maturity of the students--a huge compliment to us all.
We found a way to make this awesome event happen, and that is due to the kindness of administration. Please make sure that you thank them every chance you get, because it’s because of them that we were all able to experience something as awesome as this.
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