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Local Band in Focus 

Jonny Vance

Meet the Artist: Jonny Vance raps, plays piano and drums, and provides the beats to his songs. A pair of hype men also join him onstage.

Turn That Frown Upside Down: Vance started out with four other rappers in N.O.N.E. (No One Nicer Exists) before "egos clashed and the group quickly disintegrated," he says. He then went solo, channeling "the bluesy, emo, rebellious spirit that I felt inside." He's since worked up a simmering batch of emo-rap, hip-hop rock, and bummer beatscapes. "My songs are about depression, how life sucks, crying into a bottle of liquor, and killing myself," he says.

There Will Be Blood: Vance says his "microphone is a kaleidoscope filled with gun powder. I pour my pain into it. What comes out is controlled chaos. It will move you, and Cleveland needs that."

Message in a Bottle: Vance's stage act was perfected at a Grog Shop show with Mac Miller a while back. "With the capacity crowd, the intensity was like Mentos in a Pepsi bottle," says Vance. "I learned how to bottle my energy that night, so now I can perform at that level every show without losing intensity or my voice. Plus, I got wasted and woke up on the roof of a parking garage. Good-ass night."

Why You Should Hear Him: Vance isn't afraid to put styles under the knife in his rap laboratory. Pop, blues, jazz, break-beat, electronic, and even emo get spliced, stretched, warped, and fitted to fabulously weird hip-hop hybrids.

Where You Can Hear Him: jonnyvance.com

Where You Can See Him: At the Cove in Geneva on July 28. – Keith Gribbins

More by Keith Gribbins


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