Andy Keith has been making idiosyncratic electronic music in Savannah under the moniker smalltalk since 2016. Keith had never made any kind of music until he discovered the music software Ableton Live while he was studying game design at SCAD. His newfound passion led Keith to drop out of school to pursue creating music exclusively. Smalltalk’s latest hip-hop beats inspired album “i met jesus; she called me sweetie” came out last March, and he recently finished a tour up the east coast to New York City.

Having to figure out how to create his music and plan live events has given Keith a greater appreciation for the community of artists and musicians that hustle at the fringes the creative scene. To bring this upstart community together, Keith is putting on the DIY Fest Ambient Show and Local Art Showcase at Sulfur Studios.

 

“The inspiration comes from all the amazing people I’ve met that have been kind enough to open up a whole new world to me through music,” explained Keith. “It was through smalltalk that I was able to discover the house music scene where people would kindly open up the doors of their own homes to let strangers come in and perform and engage with locals and traveling bands. It was through these special kind of people that I was able to discover the importance of having a community of friends and acquaintances, and this event is definitely my best way of trying to give back to the community and all the people who were kind enough to help me out both as a musician when I was starting out, but also spread the DIY community larger and hopefully bring people who want to share art, goods, and community together.”

The fest will feature six musicians including smalltalk, Rainé Rainé, mks34ch, Ian McCarthy, Leviticus Appleton, and Shane Nitram performing music outside of their usual approaches.

“Everyone will be creating different ambient(-ish) sets around the same theme of Halloween (spooky!) to create a very unique and impromptu night’” said Keith. “I’m really excited to see what everyone comes up with — including myself!”

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There will also be ten art vendors on site selling their wares including Beartooth Collective, SolFlair, Boojuice Pins, Ghost Kids, and Civvies.

There is a Halloween theme for the show and everyone is encouraged to get into the spirit of the season. “Savannah has always been a very Halloween city,” said Keith. “The city has very old school nature to it with its architecture and design that definitely lends itself to be a festive participant of spooks and freaks and geeks. All are invited to dress up and bring their best mask!”

For Keith, who was not fond of the institutional style of higher learning, DIY is a way to return to the basics of hard work and experimentation. “To me, you don’t have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to be ‘taught art’,” said Keith. “I think you need to just work really, really, really hard at your craft and stay focused...DIY is dirty, filthy, and raw—and in my opinion—the foundation of true art.”