Grand Rapids, Michigan is a town known for great beer and an entrenched and established local music scene, dominated by veterans with sizable fan bases and audiences; however matters of scale can’t be ignored. Despite the fortunate and generally welcoming atmosphere of the local scene, fans and listeners are at a premium in a town of its size, making the task of breaking into that scene potentially much more difficult for upstart artists. Enter LOUIS, a Grand Rapids native with a national approach.
Riding the success of his single “The Strip” (now clocking in at over 350,000 views on YouTube), LOUIS is poised to begin a nationwide tour spreading his particular brand of crossover neo-soul/R&B/Hip-Hop fusion to the masses. That’s not always an easy sell across genre’s that pride themselves on purity, but LOUIS’ ability to shift gears seamlessly between singing and rapping opens a very accessible door to open minded listeners more concerned with songcraft than genre definitions.
Perhaps lost in the mix of genre-bending is that LOUIS likely functions primarily in the Pop music spectrum, whether by intention or default. Long haired, baby-faced with catchy hooks and a heavy lyrical focus on women and relationships, his crossover potential is obvious. In many ways he feels tailor-made for radio dials and Pandora links, and the success of his single ‘The Strip” bears that feeling out. Clearly not satisfied by vapid lyrics however, LOUIS aspires to a more personal and intimate songwriting style.
Furthering that feeling that he seeks a more genuine presence than that of simply a pop artist is his seeming commitment to live performance. His upcoming 2016 tour dates will be announced shortly, but currently he continues to hone his craft at open mics and smaller regional tours. Work ethic can say a lot about where an artists intentions lie, and it’s clear that this is more than a cash-out and fame grab for LOUIS.
With a broad and varied skill set LOUIS potentially represents a new kind of sound and vibe from Grand Rapids.