State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Category - Music

An interview with Chewi and his first mix-tape details

chewi penn state


Just that kid from MD rocking the Natty Boh and Ravens, Chewi spits heartfelt lyrics that could be cataloged in a Hip Hop library. His rhymes don’t solely focus on puffin’ dro and slappin’ hoes, although it does make a good number of appearances. Instead, Chewi fosters a more mature form of expression that addresses race and wealth. The “keeping it real” vibe oozes from his recently released mix-tape, “Chew On It.” The entire discography can be downloaded at RapidShare [!download|178cg|455945080||128473] for free.

Production on the album was done courteously of Oren Spiegel and his West Halls dorm room. The undeniably catchy hooks and ground shaking beats only add to @ChewTunes’ melodic flow. The entire is mainstream enough to have something for everybody but dirty enough to attract die hard hip hop fans.

The Penn State sophomore started making waves a few months back with his fierce appearances at local house shows at La Casa Blanca. Now with a couple of sets under his belt and his mix-tape making waves across the student community, Chewi is posing himself as an up-and-coming household name. With tracks hot out of the oven, “Chew On It” side steps amateur status and goes straight to a four course meal. Caution, it’s hot!

A new track is set to be released on 4/20, just in time to pass around at smoke sessions. Stay posted!

Twitter: @ChewTunes

Written by: Evan Spacey Ponter


When did you start getting into making music?

  • Music has always been a part of my life. Started learning piano at like 3 but stopped it. I played the sax in middle school and high school, and even picked up the guitar around 14. I’ve been experimenting for a long time but finally started rapping at 18, so I guess you could say I’m pretty new at it.

Your first Mixtape, ‘Chew On It’ officially dropped on April 5th. How long did it take to put the whole thing together?

  • The mix tape took about two months of work from me and Oren. It would start with him giving me a beat, or me giving him a hook and  we’d just build a song from the ground up around one or the other. I’m really glad we got it out in time for summer.

As a whole the Mixtape has a pretty unique sound. Where do you draw you’re influences from?

  • My favorites have always been Kanye and Kid Cuddi, but I’m doing my own thing, I don’t try to copy anyone else’s sound. I just try to come up with my own stuff so I try not to pull from too much other stuff. My life is my influence.

Do you focus on making songs that you think will get other peoples attention, or do you focus on what you want to hear out of it?

  • Mostly my song lyrics from what I’m thinking at the time, everything else comes along to complete the package. The punch lines and the hooks are all for fun, but the goal is to write a good song, not just something that I think will get me heard.

As a new player on the Penn State music scene, what’s your take on it?

  • I feel like my opinion isn’t too weighted because I’m just getting out there, but I think it would benefit from more support from other kids. Like any college campus, there’s a lot of creativity, people just have to give it a chance. Obviously there’s going to be a lot of people going to see Wiz tonight, but you don’t have to go see whose on the billboard, it can be in your own back yard.

Any big plans for next year?

  • Nothing too specific, but definitely working on some shows for summer, and more recordings for next year. Hopefully we’ll have a music video going soon and maybe a new Mixtape  in the fall.

Interviewed by: Christopher Stephenson

The Had Knots release their EP & upcoming show!

The show is charging $5 at the door, which will cover admission and a copy of the The Had Knots EP, “Sidewalk Chalk”! They will be playing with Free Rollercoaster and Eric Faust & Mike D. Mulligan.


The Had Knots East View

The Had Knots release their EP ‘Sidewalk Chalk’

The Had Knots formed in State College in the Fall of 2010. Made up of nine members the band plays a mix of indie-pop-rock n’ roll music. The two members Evan Whildin and Rob Currie started playing together freshman year and began recording their EP ‘Sidewalk Chalk’ over the summer of 2010. As school went back into session the two friends recruited other players to form the band “The Had Knots”.

As the semester ended the band returned to the studio and recorded more tracks over Christmas break at Fuzztone Records in Springfeild, PA. The band finally finished recording over spring break and are now ready to release their EP. The EP will be available as a hard copy or on itunes.

The ‘Sidewalk Chalk’ EP will be released April 28th. The band is hosting an EP release party/concert on the 28th and will be accompanied by other local bands.

To listen to The Had Knots go to their Facebook page:

For more information about the EP release party click here:


Mac Miller – Best Day Ever Mixtape

mac miller best day ever

Recently Mac Miller was here at Penn State University in Spring 2011 playing with Primary Element at the Mezzanine. He has released his mixtape, “Best Day Ever”, which is free to download.  He also has a sick music video called, “Knock Knock” that can be seen on which you should vote for!


The Kalob Griffin Band releases self-titled EP

Kalob griffin band penn state



March 28 2011 – Folk rock quintet The Kalob Griffin Band is enthused to announce the release of its highly anticipated self-titled EP, released this week and now available on iTunes ( This is the first EP for the Americana rockers, who are currently touring the east coast and plan to return to their home of State College, Pa. for a performance at Café 210 West on Saturday, April 2. The Kalob Griffin Band, or KGB as it is known to its loyal fans, is famous for pioneering to expand the local music scene in State College and became a staple to original performances in the area. After leaving State College in May, the band has since been on tour opening for Bobby Long and Michael Franti & Spearhead.

The Kalob Griffin Band began perfecting its debut EP when it completed its lineup in December 2010 to include Kalob Griffin on lead vocals/rhythm guitar, Rob Dwyer on lead guitar/mandolin/banjo, John Hildenbrand on keys, Derek Biddle on bass/backup vocals, and Eric Lawry on drums/backup vocals. The band has since spent countless hours with local legend Marc Frigo, who produced the EP. The six-track disc, which includes fan favorites “Whiskey My Love” and “Honeymooners,” is only a preview to the band’s full-length album, which is expected to hit digital release this summer.

Having played to crowds of thousands and becoming a familiar face to attendees of both WXPN Music Festival in Philadelphia, Pa. and Mile High Festival in Denver, Co., the Kalob Griffin Band provides its audience with a raw power and energy that goes unmatched. The band’s performance on BalconyTV ( has had over 1300 views to date.

“We chose six of our songs that best represented our musical diversity and honest lyrics,” says lead singer Griffin. “After playing these tracks live for the past year, the songs have sunk into their own individual elements, while seemingly having a cohesive feel. We are really happy with how the recordings turned out and look forward to releasing our first full-length album.”

For more information and upcoming shows for The Kalob Griffin Band, check out:!/pages/The-Kalob-Griffin-Band/181399394825 (Launching April 2011)!/event.php?eid=198693000163235

An interview with Atlas Soundtrack

An interview with Atlas Soundtrack presented my yours truly. Atlas has done a ton of shows and will even be opening up for Lupe Fiasco. Check out their new album, “The Garden”.


atlas soundtrack

Check out this featured track:
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Q.How did you guys all meet/ decide to start making music together?
We all went to State College Area High School, class of 2002. Moments passed. We lived our separate lives. When I (Drew) came back from Full Sail University in Orlando, Fl in 2007, I was looking for a musical outlet. Josh and I had always spoke of starting a band. I contacted Matt, our guitarist/ vocalist and eventually locked in a bass player. Finally we had all the pieces to the puzzle. We jammed and the music started flowing.


From the beginning we set out to produce an original style of music. We made sure that no restrictions were placed and let each member blend in their own style. The product was hip-hop/ reggae/ rock.

Spring 2008, we entered into a band battle at Cafe 210. With barely five original songs in completion, we won with a unanimous decision. From that point on we were the Sunday night band for the month of April. Immediately we sought after the mission to create as much original material as we could. By the end of summer 2008 we had amassed an archive of original material capable of filling a full night of entertainment. During that time we added auxiliary members (Kyle(percussion/ turntables) and Mani(emcee)) to round out the sound.

Since then we have dropped Mani and replaced Kenny with Mick, our current bass player.

Q. How long have you guys been working on the songs for this album?

We are constantly creating new material. The songs on the current album were created over the course of two years. In selecting the songs for the album, we chose the songs that most felt like our vibe at the time. The songs selected just so happened to fit into the concept of “The Garden”. “The Garden” representing the environment that we as human beings live in. The garden is a bed for growth and prosperity, but based on the conditions provided, it determines how life will manifest.

Q. Whats behind the name Atlas Soundtrack?

The name “Atlas Soundtrack” evolved with the music. Originally, we called ourselves “The Biz”. This didn’t catch for the fact that the name was already in heavy use and it didn’t really represent the music that was being created. Eventually, at the end of a jam session, Matt suggested the name “Atlas Playlist”, a name he and his boy conjured while camping. It immediately evoked a certain quality. We switched “Playlist” for “Soundtrack” and we were in business. The name represented us and the music we were creating.

Q.What are some Pros and Cons of being an up and coming band in State College/ Penn State?

Being an all-original, hip-hop/ reggae/ rock band, we face allot of cons. With the respect of friends, family, and true music heads, we’ve been able to secure a steady following. Unfortuantely, State College/ Penn State is geared towards cover bands. Atlas is operating in an environment that caters to popular music. Our music is unknown and therefore unpopular. It takes listeners about two shows to adapt to what we’re putting out.
It’s refreshing to audience members in search of something new, but too far away from those that desire a live juke-box.
On the flipside, we have been able to captivate folks in search of new original music. Being a college town, there is a hot-bed of students searching for the next wave of music. It’s safe to say that we provide the most original live music performance available in the area.

Q. You guys officially placed in the Movin On Battle of the Bands, how does it feel to know you’ll be sharing the stage with Lupe Fiasco and O.A.R?

We our grateful to the Penn State community for garnering us the privilege of performing at this years Movin’ On concert. Being that we all have graduated or our completing a degree at PSU, we’re particularly excited to perform for our student body.
My (Drew) objective is to hold a conversation with Lupe about how he develops his musical concepts for songs.
It’s an honor and certainly a privilege to share the stage with such an elite cast.

Q. What do you forsee happening for Atlas Soundtrack for the rest of 2011, any big plans?

We our releasing our first official LP on March 26th. We expect this to be the launch pad for some serious performances nationwide. We have gone live with
There is a PSU college circuit tour in the works and we our expanding. Pittsburgh, DMV, Mid-West, and all down the East Coast are all on the agenda for this year.