This year marks the 10 year anniversary of Emergence Media. Emergence was founded by Invincible/ill Weaver, Wesley Taylor, and Mike Medow as an experiment in cooperative economics-based music and media. In founding Emergence, we asked ourselves the question: what would a fair trade, cooperative economics model look like in the context of music, media, and cultural work?
Some of the principles of our work include:
• Artist creative control
• Artists ownership of masters and publishing
• Fair payment rates and/or bartering system for musicians, engineers, and all others involved in the product life cycle
• Listener and community investment through buying merchandise and/or donating to support artist development and viability
• Artist involvement with grassroots community building
• Community inclusive touring and shows that include additional all ages performances, talks or workshops, merchandise and show entrees sold at an affordable price and/or sliding scale rates to be accessible to listeners from various incomes
• Prioritize buying supplies and services from non-chain, preferably cooperatively run, independent businesses and organizations
• Environmentally sound packaging and manufacturing
Since our founding we have launched numerous music and media projects including Invincible’s debut album ShapeShifters, Complex Movements’ multimedia installation Beware of the Dandelions, and the They/Them apparel and interview series. We have been able to share our business model with other artists aligned with our values and have continued to create a foundation for the support of all the creative projects within Emergence. Check out some of the highlights from the past 10 years below.
ShapeShifters was Invincible’s critically acclaimed debut album, and the first release from Emergence. The project weaved together social justice commentary with high caliber lyrics over anthemic Detroit hip-hop tracks. You can buy the vinyl 12” single here, and the digital lp on most digital outlets.
Beware of the Dandelions Soundtrack EP
Music is the cornerstone of the hybrid immersive installation-based performance work of Complex Movements. The Beware of the Dandelions Soundtrack EP was released digitally and on vinyl as an artifact of the multimedia science fiction project. It features a versatile range of experimental cinematic sound design by Waajeed and songwriting by ill Weaver/Invincible, from the classical inspired “Apple Orchards”, Detroit techno steeped “Rouge (Maji’s Theme)”, and “Wage Love”, the house influenced dedication to Charity Hicks and Sheddy Rollins. Buy the album here.
Locusts Music Video
This was the first of many Emergence projects which applied a community participatory process to songwriting and mediamaking, and provided a platform for uplifting community stories about timely social justice issues. The video presented Detroit perspectives on the still relevant issues of corporate development and displacement. Locusts features Finale and was directed by Joe Namy.
Beware of the Dandelions Short Film
After touring with Beware of the Dandelions in Seattle and Dallas, Complex Movements presented the project in Detroit in October, 2016. The schedule included 20 performances, 4 installation viewings, and 10 community events. This film, directed by The Right Brothers, shares highlights from the Detroit residency.
“I Do Mind Dying”
Co-curated and hosted with Miz Korona and Tunde Olaniran, I Do Mind Dying brought together Detroit and Flint musicians from across genres for a live mixtape dedicated to ancestors, and honoring Detroiters and Flint residents continuing to resist ongoing injustices in both cities. Artists included members of the Renaissance High School drumline, Flint soul artist and tapdance virtuoso Brinae Ali, and legendary Detroit bluesman Joe L, whose lyric inspired the event title.
Emergence co-founders ill/Invincible and Wes Taylor developed a line of apparel for Emergence called “THEY / THEM”, a creative strategy for signaling the wearer’s self-identification with the gender nonconforming pronouns in an affirming and aesthetically bold way. ill published a personal statement about the project: “They: Statement of Nonconformity”, and has conducted a series of interviews with other inspiring individuals who use “they/them” pronouns. Read more about the project here and purchase a “They/Them” hoodie, tee, or tank for yourself or someone you care about here.
To celebrate our 10 year anniversary, we are launching a sale on the Emergence online store. A wide range of backstock items are now discounted 50% off. From Beware of the Dandelions tote bags to They/Them hoodies, there is a great selection to choose from. All apparel, posters, (and some record covers) are designed and printed by Emergence co-founder Wes Taylor in-house at Emergence Print Shop (often in conjunction with our studio mate One Custom City).
You want good music (and media/art/installations/workshops/apparel/events)?
You gotta support it.