Music — Building a hip-hop scene


DJ Dax opts for the simpler life but keeps up the beats


By Richie Victorino

Matt Dumond has performed at clubs in New York City and Miami under the name DJ Dax for years. But, having a daughter made Dax see his hometown of Manchester differently than when he grew up here.

The big cities didn’t offer the right environment for his baby and the Queen City’s cost of living was more attractive (well, comparatively).

Coming home may take Dax out of two of the largest musical hotbeds in the country, but he’s determined not to lose a beat.

He was considering either Providence or Manchester for his move, but was surprised how much the Queen City has grown while he was away.

“It’s a bustling urban environment,” he said. “I think it’s got a lot of potential.”

And he’s not the only one focused on bringing live hip-hop to the forefront of the Southern New Hampshire music culture.

“There’s more DJs around here than actual emcees,” said Jeannette Elgner of Silver Tongue Entertainment, which manages local hip-hop artist Furyus. “I think [New Hampshire] is actually craving to see live acts, not just dance music.”

Elgner, and hip-hop performers, are taking matters into their hands, and are attempting to poke through the mainstream of local music. They’re asking clubs to do freestyle shows, they’re making friends with local bands and pushing to perform mixed-genre shows (think Anthrax and Public Enemy).

“You have to create your own events, really,” Elgner said

Furyus (Markivus A. Nious) has befriended local rock band Session, which performs frequently on the local scene. He’s jumped on stage with them a few times, such as at Scorz in Nashua, and invited them to perform with him at his CD release party at Milly’s Tavern in Manchester in August for his album Still Standing.

Dax has been meeting with Iceman (Curt Felder) of Concord about arranging a gig at the Concord Grille sometime this summer.

Elgner is pushing places like the Underground and Empire Lounge in Manchester to showcase artists like Furyus, LB from Manchester and Iceman. Dania’s in Nashua is also showcasing live hip-hop. On July 7, Furyus and several other performers will hit the stage at Empire Lounge. Toward the end of the night there willll be a freestyle session.

“It’s not a battle, but a freestyle,” Elgner said. “This gives people in the audience and the performers the chance to show off their lyrical chops. It’s a similar format to the weekly Hip-hop Anonymous event at Harper’s Ferry in Boston.”

Freestyle is an avenue Elgner would like to see more of. She’d also like to see more hip-hop artists perform with local rock bands, which Furyus is doing with Session.

“I like to mix genres,” she said. “It gives people the opportunity to see new stuff.”

The relationship people assume between hip-hop and violence may also slow down what people like Elgner are trying to do.

“But I think that’s coming to a head,” Elgner said. Furyus, for example, is a “conscience hip-hop artist,” similar to major recording artist Common.

“I want people to find resolution or peace of mind into what I say,” Furyus said. “Music can uplift and it can also demean people. I want to speak to the positive side of hip-hop and music as a whole.”

Upcoming hip-hop shows:

July 7 —  Empire Lounge, feat. Furyus, Killa Keat and LB and a freestyle session.

July 14  —  Milly’s Tavern,  hip-hop and metal - feat. Furyus, Iceman, My Life Crisis and more.

August 19 —  Milly’s Tavern - Furyus’ CD release party feat. Session, Iceman and more.

For more information on the local hip-hop scene check out:

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