Riding The New Wave

Arkansas musician hopes to make a connection


There's no way to be completely sure what you're going to get at a 607 show. Rapping, yes, but from there, Adrian Tillman -- the Little Rock performer known as 607 -- doesn't bend to genre conventions. He can promise, though, to give 100 percent on stage and bring a good time those ready to have one.

"You see a grown man with some designer boots on and some mesh gloves and some sclera contact lenses in his eyes -- that don't make sense to people as a black man from Arkansas," he says of his stage presence. "But when you feel it -- when you feel my energy, when you feel me on stage, I make sense. Because it's genuine."



with Bazi Owenz, QuarterPiece & $ME

WHEN — 9 p.m. Saturday

WHERE — Stage Eighteen in Fayetteville

COST — $10

INFO — stage18live.com iam607.com

A fixture on the Little Rock music scene, Tillman has also traveled the globe letting his experiences with other cultures influence his music. But for his new album "New Wave Arkansas" -- his 44th (yes, 44th) release in two decades -- Tillman returns to his Arkansas roots to showcase the "new wave" happening in the hip-hop of his home state.

"The last album was a concept album, it was a dark theme. It's called 'Traptized' -- being baptized in trap culture -- letting yourself get into something that you know is not good for you," he explains. "I think it was a solid album, but you don't wake up in the morning to listen to that album; you have to be in the mood to listen to it. I wanted a more accessible album this time around, a little more fun, just to let fans know I could switch it up."

Accessibility, and relatability, Tillman says, are the ultimate goals in all his music. At the surface, his beats offer a fun or energetic or funky soundscape for the listener who wants to remain a casual participant. But for those who appreciate something deeper from the music they take in, Tillman fills his lyrics and stories with layers and meaning.

"I think it's my responsibility to let people like me know that we exist. It's easy to feel like you're by yourself in the world. [To feel like] is there anybody out there like me? Is there anybody out there thinking about the stuff I'm thinking about?" Tillman shares. "I don't want to get a million people's attention who I can't relate to and get their attention a second time. I would rather get a small group of people's attention and then I really connect with them. That's more important to me."

-- Jocelyn Murphy


NAN What's Up on 09/29/2017

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