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Southwest Ohio hip hop and visual art will be on display Friday at the PNC Arts Annex


Producer and rapper Isai Morales spoke with WYSO’s Evan Miller ahead of his performance this Friday at the PNC Arts Annex in Dayton. Isai helped organize the night of music, called A Beautiful Friday, which will showcase local hip hop musicians and visual artists. In the interview, Isai talks about growing up in Dayton, where his parents owned a restaurant. His family moved to Cincinnati when he was in high school, around the same time he began making music. There, he met other musicians, like Devin Burgess, who have become longtime artistic collaborators and friends.

Isai and Evan spoke about what defines the sound of the Southwest Ohio hip hop scene. “Most of the influence comes from funk and jazz,” Isai said. “From the 70s, 80s era, before it was the G-Funk sound of the West coast.”

Isai also explained to Evan why he started wearing a luchador mask when he performs, something he started during the COVID pandemic. Isai has released five studio albums, which are available for digital streaming. His sixth is set for release in May.

Isai Morales will perform this Friday, March 31st, as part of A Beautiful Friday. The concert is co-presented by Loko Recordings and Dayton Live, and will also feature performances by Devin Burgess, OG Vern, Bad Genes, and ihateyouALX. In addition, the evening will feature an exhibit of paintings and murals by two local visual artists, HakimsArtNStuff and MsLoveXo. Tickets and information are available at DaytonLive.org.

Evan Miller is a percussionist, lover of sound, and is probably buying too many cassette tapes online right now. Evan got his start in radio in 2012 at WWSU at Wright State University, where he was studying percussion performance. He followed through with both endeavors and eventually landed a lucrative dual career playing experimental music at home and abroad, and broadcasting those sounds to unsuspecting listeners Sunday nights on The Outside. Maintaining a connection to normal music, Evan also plays drums in bands around the area, and hosts WYSO's Midday Music show. When not doing something music-related, Evan is most likely listening to podcasts or watching food videos at home with his cat.
Peter Day began working in public radio in the summer of 2019, when he first interned at WYSO. He returned to the position the following summer, and served as the program director for Yale University’s student radio station for the 2020-21 school year. Now he works as an assistant to WYSO music director Juliet Fromholt and provides additional production assistance to senior producer Basim Blunt. Peter is a life-long Yellow Springs resident. In his free time, he likes to play music and walk in the woods.