BEVERLY FRESH is a contemporary artist and musician based in Detroit and Chicago. He has broken several Guinness Book World Records; including breaking the most eggs on his head and compiling the tallest stack of rap tapes.
His background combines graphic design, music, drawing, video, installation and performance art. His recent research efforts include the publication of “PANCAKES!” documentation of performance from the “OUTSKIRTS” series in Emergency Index 2012, Published by the Bros. Lumiere for Ugly Duckling Press, New York.
Beverly has exhibited and performed throughout the United States and internationally, including China, Japan, Peru, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Germany. Recent notable exhibitions and performances include, MR MDWST – A REAL GOOD TIME (2015), a solo exhibition at the Cranbrook Museum of Art and A Study in Midwestern Appropriation, curated by Michelle Grabner at the Hyde Park Art Center (2014). He is the co-founder of sUPERIORbelly, a multi-media art and design collective and record label based in Detroit, Michigan and cofounder of WILD AMERICAN DOGS (2013), an interdisciplinary art duo focused on producing experimental feature films and performance.
He has a BFA in Graphic Design/Interactive Media from the College for Creative Studies and an MFA from the 2D Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he was the 2009 recipient of the Daimler AG Emerging Artist Award. He is an Assistant Professor and Area Head of Graphic Art at DePaul University in Chicago, IL.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I am BEVERLY FRESH and what I do doo is perform, make art, music, graphic design, experimental film, write, direct, and teach. I am the co-founder of sUPERIORbelly art collective and record label and co-founder of WILD AMERICAN DOGS a cReAtIVe partnership making films, performances and websites.
How did your interest in music begin? My dad has a big record collection and was always playing music when I was little.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? This fall I had a solo exhibition in Berlin at the Pavilion am Milchhof and I had another solo exhibition (MR. MDWST – A REAL GOOD TIME) at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Michigan that ran through March 22nd.
The WILD AMERICAN DOGS first feature film “Bathtub Songs and Other Extracurricular Activities” will be doing the film festival circuit throughout the year, and our short film “OLD GEORGE” will premiere at Ehtnografilm Festival in Paris April 8th.
April 15, along with Greg Scott, I will present “Inside of the Night – The Crooner, The Bingo Caller and You,” at the “Sound and the Sample” event at Cortelyou Commons, DePaul University, in Chicago at 7pm.
What kinds of things are influencing your music right now? Since my last album the majority of my new songs are all informed by the OUTSKIRTS tour I have been doing throughout small rural towns in the Midwest. The songs are all influenced by people, places and events that I come across.
Top 3 favorite or most visited websites and why?
1) masterprophetnoel.com, I teach a class at DePaul called “The Art of the Hustle” with Greg Scott (member of WAD) and Master Prophet’s website is an endless archive of good shit.
2) irvingtonfleamarket.com, The website for one of my favorite flea markets, it has some great copy and good design.
3) ebay.com, I like looking up rare rap tapes that I cant afford.
If you were a drink, what drink would you be? Choc-Ola, the best chocolate drank ever, str8 outta Indiana.
What other musicians/bands are you interested in right now? Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Suga Free, Hank III, Moistboyz, Michael Franks, Harry Smith’s Folk Anthology, the George Mitchell collection of field recordings, John Northwright, Hall and Oates, Charlie Feathers, Hasil Adkins, BATHTUB SONGS soundtrack, Tevin Campbell, New Edition, Keith Sweat, old Kid Rock, Spice 1, Esham, Natas, Holy Modal Rounders, Brotha Lynch Hung, Nervous Norvus, Napoleon XIV, Jimmy Cousins, Cast King.
Who would you ideally like to collaborate with? Top 5 would be Daryl Hall, Michael Franks, Steve Weber, Van Morrison, Kid Rock.
What’s your absolute favorite place in the city/the world to be? Flint, Michigan is my favorite place in the world.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your music? One of the most memorable shows was back in Detroit, where for some reason I got booked to open for two really big dub step guys. It was sold out and there were over 1,000 people there. I did a few songs and it was going good. Then I went into an acapella about murder and after that the crowd was totally divided. Massive fights broke out between people that liked me and people that hated me. People were throwing tons of trash on stage. My DJ was fighting off the dub step guys who were trying to shut our sound off, my hype man got in a fight with a guy that hit him with a bottle on stage and while they were going at it he forgot his mic was on and was talking shit over the track. I was just plowing through looking out into a sea of total chaos, it was really an amazing thing to see but also scary because I realized if I would have provoked them further a total riot would have went down and more people could have gotten hurt or killed.