The lives we live often change trajectory as we age. Growing up, I played sports for the better part of my life, but by the end of my high school career I started chasing my creative dreams. Entering college, it was another grind, a new hustle. The seemingly constant change in direction and focus are stress inducing, it's unavoidable. Not all stress is bad for you though, and good stress is the M.O. of our latest Home Team feature. Over the weekend I had a conversation about life's lemons with habitual multi-tasker Gxxd Stress (pronounced Good), and he takes being positive, staying busy and having fun very seriously.
A Chicago DJ/producer/designer transplant by way of St. Louis is making ripples locally in an array of art forms, Stress sees no limitations in his future. He's been producing music as early age eight, initially coming to Chicago to attend school and like many new to Chicago in pursuit of a music career, Stress saw Columbia College as a viable start. Gxxd Stress has since made a life for himself with FL Studios a set of turntables and his eye for design, now becoming a familiar face (or rather familiar mask) most recently making multiple appearances on fellow Drip Gang member Deem’s latest project “Things Money Can’t Buy."
Choosing not to conform to a specific style, idea or genre tends to play a large role in Gxxd Stress’ music, his Soundcloud exudes future bass and house influences, but also packs a range of trap-like vibrations. On the track "GXXDBYE" by Chicago’s ColdWind collective Stress shows listeners a darker side of his instrumental catalog using horror film chord progressions sprinkled over deep basslines.
While music is major part of Stress' persona, his creativity isn't bound to any one medium. I first got wind of Gxxd Stress from a flyer he designed a while back. In the center, was a brown skinned rendition of Captain Underpants with a grill sporting Stress’ trademark neon green ski mask, little did I know how versatile he was.
Fashion and design have always been an important aspect of Stress' aesthetic. Joining us at the Haight Brand office in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood to talk and shoot some photos, Stress had on a pastel pink hoodie with a limewire interface across the chest, a piece Stress designed himself. Within it was a playlist of some of his favorite tracks. We'll get to see more of Stress’ Gxxd Life brand in the near future.
From limewire inspired hoodies, customized condoms, and dreams of DJing an orgy, Stress looks to cover any and all forms of artistic expression on life's journey, lemon's or not. After DJing at the Bungowiz festival in New York not long ago, Stress has also recently secured a resident DJ position at Evil Olive every Saturday night, and if you’re in Austin, Texas for SXSW he’ll be spinning tracks for Iridium’s showcase March 16th. If you ever have the pleasure of running into our friend Gxxd Stress, make sure you ask him about the "secret sauce."
With the Chicago music community churning out one nationally recognized artist after another, it takes a little extra effort to stand out among the crowd. Although competition is fierce, Stress’ shows signs of resilience. Gxxd Stress’ passion for craft lives on a spiritual frequency. The journey often seems like the hard part, but that isn’t true for Stress. He’s good, he’s not so worried how to get there, with a free spirit such as GXXD Stress, getting there is best part.