My friend and fellow central Texas performer Alison Papion has been on a wonderful upward trajectory that has been a joy to see from an objective viewpoint. After years building her name, stage presence and abilities with stints in the Grid Squid Entertainment collective and the live band StereoFiend, Papion took a break to pursue modeling opportunities and handle personal aspects of her life. 2021, however, finds her returning to the world of music with Dazed N Confused, the titular lead single from an upcoming solo project she plans to release. After hearing her sing over mostly hip-hop beats and funk-inspired live jams, it’s refreshing to hear her fall into a more traditionally modern R&B sound, and if the lead single is any indication of what’s to come from the full project, then I will definitely be waiting with excitement. Check out the single on iTunes, Apple Music or Spotify, and keep track of her for news on the release of the full project.
‘The main concept behind this project is returning to a place or state of mind that’s special to you. I had a ton of fun writing these songs and coming up with cheesy nature based song titles. Thanks for listening.’
Check out SymmaTree and mf. tired‘s hard work, share it around, and cop it if you have $5.
The work ethic of Grid Squid Entertainment is extremely admirable, as the group has continued over the years to grow as a team, as solo artists, and even in small collective pockets between themselves or with the involvement of those outside the core. The latter designation is where StereoFiend lands, which features Grid Squid members SymmaTree and Joy, with the live backing of bassist Mike Deosdade, guitarist Tristan Bulgrin, drummer Mike Lenoir and keyboardist Joshua D. McGoldrick. The group has been making noise in the central Texas area for the past half a decade or so, and after the 2016 release of Urge & Grit and the subsequent years of live shows, the growth in all aspects resonates perfectly with Concerns & Doubts. SymmaTree‘s signature flow and voice sit deeply in the pocket, Joy‘s confidence as a vocalist continues to grow, and the musicians are given room to express their talent. Take a dive into this project and get to know the group better, donate if you can, and share this one around with your friends.
The homie SymmaTree has been handling his hip-hop path the old fashioned way these days : hit the road and blaze a trail for yourself, no matter the cost. Most people realize the obvious benefit of this choice, which is the growth of your fanbase and the ability to spread your impact, but one of the bonus benefits of this approach is expanding your peer circle. Somewhere along the path, SymmaTree hooked up with Big Lo out of Florida, and the two like-minded individuals started trading show opportunities back and forth. This continued connection eventually led to the recent release of The Divine Comedy, a three song collection written by SymmaTree and produced by Big Lo. For such a short project, the topics and approach weigh heavy and are extremely thought-provoking, and the production gives everything a gravitas worthy of undivided attention. Definitely a great appetizer for what will hopefully be a continued collaboration, and hopefully one that leads to a full-length project sooner than later. Check it out, cop it, and donate a few bucks if you’ve got it.
This past weekend, I took part in The Wild Rumpus 48, a monthly event curated by Grid Squid Entertainment that is currently held at Kiva Lounge & Bar in San Marcos. The homie Virgil Wolfe was in attendance, and after rocking a spur of the moment set, he was gracious enough to capture my performance of Just To Be Clear, the last single I’ve released from most recent collaborative effort with Lo Phi, Uncanny Valley. I almost got through the whole thing, but a slight (hilarious) distraction in the audience caused me to take a freestyling detour to wrap things up. Definitely happy this one was captured, however, as it’s been a while since I’ve seen myself on stage.
SymmaTree is the embodiment of the hard work it takes to grow as an artist. Not only is he constantly writing and looking for opportunities to work with others, the time he spends traveling to play shows affords him the chance to expand his circle of collaborators. During an Amarillo stop, SymmaTree had the pleasure of meeting Rupert the Duke, and a spark (pun intended) was created that led to the eventual creation of Strike the Match, an EP focusing on the passion and drive it takes to better yourself, your creations and your position in life. The production matches the intensity of SymmaTree‘s instantly recognizable voice, and guest appearances from AK1, Joy and CA the Commoner provide the right balance of vocal variety. Hopefully, the duo can follow up one day with a full length, but until then, be sure to share this one around, and cop it if you have a few bucks.
SymmaTree of Grid Squid Records is a man on a mission. Over the course of the last two years, I’ve personally witnessed him work a full-time job while performing and touring regularly, at times crossing multiple state lines over the course of long weekends. Over that same span of time (a bit longer, actually), SymmaTree amassed a collection of loose tracks that begin with Eren Yeager. While finishing up the production and waiting for features on his Frozen Leaves EP, Symmatree revisited the tracks, and eventually, the groundwork was laid for Second Star to the Right. He’s been hyping this one up for a minute, and after hearing the project, I can fully understand why. The album is a free download, so there’s no reason not to cop it and share it around so that others can do the same.
My main man SymmaTree of Grid Squid Entertainment stays making tracks by touring and playing shows all over the midwest, southwest and southeast regions of the United States. During a recent road stint in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he made a stop by the RaRaRoom Radio podcast, hosted by O.G. Willikers, where he and guests talk shop about the creative process and experience. Having know SymmaTree for so long, it’s eye-opening to hear him talk so personally and openly about the time he’s invested in the game, the strides he’s made as an artist and leader of a crew, and his reflections on his songwriting and performance process. If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued by one of his performances or songs, this is the podcast for you, as it is sure to enrich your future encounters and experiences with SymmaTree. Give the podcast a like, a comment and a share, and never forget to support your local creatives.
There’s problems, and then there’s good problems. A problem is when you have every intention of creating music, but you lack the motivation or the opportunities to do so. A good problem is when your motivation and opportunities are so abundant, that sometimes your musical output goes overlooked by even those who stay checking for it. The latter would be the case in regards to the homeboy SymmaTree. Dude stays busy both representing for Grid Squid Entertainment and StereoFiend, so when I came across a post about a project he was in called DEFY’d, I was surprised that I completely missed the boat on it. nothing for your birthday is the solid first effort from a band, an amalgamation of members from Call Me King and Dancing with Gepetto, as well as the previously mentioned SymmaTree and additional vocalist M.E. Farrell. It would be easy to classify this project as rock/rap [see the very self-aware (my ears matter) interlude], but that would be doing this collaboration a disservice, as there is something definitely brewing here. I’ve heard the song Fingertips previously, but it does a nice job of rounding out this debut offering. I am looking forward to hearing more from DEFY’d, believe that.
The best thing about any good crew is the ability to not feel rushed in whatever your solo process may be. Any crew worth their weight stays active and productive, so you never get rusty on the songwriting or the performing. This allows you to really find your way as a solo performer, and it makes it that much more impressive when your solo work is released. Joy of Grid Squid Entertainment would be the most recent example of this process bringing forth good things. I recently saw her perform her debut single, Tainted Love, live at Martian Arts & Music Festival, and I must say that it definitely stood out. The official single is now out, and hopefully a full length will not be far behind. Keep you ears and eyes open for that, and give Tainted Love a listen and a share.