SOOPER Records, an independent Chicago record label, made its debut in June of 2016 due to the efforts of Glenn Curran, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, and Steve Daoud. The idea for the label sparked in 2015 when Curran and Ogbonnaya were working on a project, Man Without A Head. The two realized they worked well together and shared mutual ambitions. “We talked about the prospect of having a common platform to release our music, and the music of our friends and community contemporaries. The more we discussed it, the more excited we became; the more we realized that we are part of a really talented, serious, and hardworking network of artists in Chicago.” explains Curran. In order to get the ball rolling for the more technical aspects, they called in a third party, Daoud, to help with design, branding, and web development.
SOOPER has served as a platform for artists and an accessible resource for supporters for almost a year now, and Curran describes the characteristics he seeks out for someone to join the label and collaborate with the team. “I look for originality, soul, and artistic integrity. It is important for me to listen to something and be able to immediately recognize it as a genuine expression of humanity.” The label also prioritizes local artists above all else. “Those artists were such a huge part of the inspiration to start the label in the first place, and they are central to the identity that we personally associate with SOOPER.” Earlier this past March, Nnamdi & SOOPER released DROOL, an inspired and comprehensive album made on a computer in his bedroom. “Probably in his underwear most of the time,” Curran jokes. “Eating snacks and getting crumbs all over his laptop and stuff. Making all kinds of weird noises.” While its reception has been phenomenal, Ogbonnaya aims to stay focused and motivated. “I think it’s a privilege to have anyone care about anything I do, so I definitely appreciate any love that is sent my way… I think the most important part for me is to keep on creating and challenging myself and others to progress and be better.”
This Sunday, April 30th, at Lincoln Hall, SOOPER is hosting an event to celebrate Ogbonnaya’s DROOL. In the spirit of the occasion, SOOPER Release Spectacular will be a double tape release event for Grill Billyenz’s FREAK and Thrash Kitten’s The Grape Tape. “The show is gonna be dope,” says Ogbonnaya. “It’s all artists I really enjoy… two of my good friends Grill Billyenz and Thrash Kitten are celebrating the release of projects at this show as well. I’ve been seeing them create music for years now and they are always a source of inspiration.” Also performing at the event will be Morimoto, Mother Nature, and MFn Melo. Curran says he hopes the show will be a “how did I not know about that artist until now,” kind of night. “I think that the amazing roster is going to bring together a few different audiences / arts communities from around the city, and I am excited about that.” Along with the eclectic lineup, there’s going to be boozy snow cones (courtesy of Lincoln Hall staff) and Bill Grapes is going to bring the juice. Who is Bill Grapes? What kind of juice will he bring? Stop by Lincoln Hall this Sunday at 7 to find out.
Visit SOOPER’s website: sooperrecords.com
Support performing artists:
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya: nnamdiogbonnaya.bandcamp.com
Big thank you to Glenn Curran & Nnamdi Ogbonnaya for their time and cooperation.