Play it Loud is a captivating, intimate and sentimental video series from the mind of Chad Mathews, hosted by Adam Hampton. Play it Loud is all about exploring Oklahoma music, and it features two main segments – a live performance and an interview with the artist.
This video series is perfect for fans of good storytelling. The full second season of Play it Loud is now online, and the featured artists will perform at Grand Casino and Resort on Feb. 23.
The creative team behind this project chose artists from around the state, some with jokes to share, some with philosophies to discuss – and all with compelling stories. This season, the artists are Mike Hosty, Lauren Nicole Claire, Travis Linville, and KALO.
While each episode holds an entirely different feeling, an overarching theme remains through them all – there’s some amazing things going on in Oklahoma.
We visited the Grand Casino and Resort to chat with Mathews about Play it Loud and the future of Oklahoma music.
Chad Mathews – the man with the plan
Play it Loud started when Chad Mathews, Marketing Director for the Grand Casino, noticed what was happening in Oklahoma music and wanted to be involved.
“It’s not hard for anybody who’s even remotely close to Oklahoma City to see that stuff is happening,” Mathews said. “We wanted to be a part of the momentum that’s going on in Oklahoma City.
When the project started, Mathews had two stipulations –
- Be venue and genre agnostic
- Focus on Oklahoma musicians
By this, Mathews meant he wanted the interview location to be somewhere that means something to the artists. For instance, KALO, a blues musician from Israel, performed in a Jewish heritage museum.
“It’s not only about the musician,” Mathews said. “It’s about the places around the state where this music is happening and picking up a little bit more of the Oklahoma culture along the way.”
In regards to genre, Mathews said he doesn’t care about what type of music they cover because they want to focus on what’s happening in Oklahoma.
Mathews is a member of Outsiders Productions, and independent film company based out of Oklahoma.
Mathews asked his friend, Adam Hampton, a founding member of Outsiders Productions, to be involved in the project as the writer and director. Hampton’s main job is to interview the artist and narrate each episode.
Mathews said he chose Hampton for the job not only for his on-camera and writing
“When I started doing this, I wanted it to be Anthony Bourdain meets Austin City Limits,” Mathews said.
Each season, they choose a different charity to which they give their concert proceeds. For the season two concert Feb. 23, all proceeds go to Carter Sampson’s Rock Camp for Girls. Mike Hosty, Travis Linville, and KALO will all be performing that night at Grand Casino.
Mathews said the best part of this experience has been getting to know all the personalities of the artists and making some friends.
Stay tuned for updates on their artist picks for season three. Trust us, there will be some good ones in there.
Here’s your season 2 recap
In Episode 1, Hampton visited the Deli in Norman to chat with Mike Hosty, one-man-band, professor, and comedian. Host has been playing regularly at the Deli for years, so it was the perfect place to sit around and joke with the local legend. Hosty wore an “Oklahoma Corn Hole Associates” shirt and shorts, fitting his casual vibe.
Hosty spoke in fake accents, strummed around on his guitar during the interview, and told wacky stories about encounters at the Deli involving scuba knives. When the two of them walked around Norman, Hosty was immediately recognized by local fans. His performance was just as quirky as his interview – playing the kick drum, guitar, and kazoo all at the same time.
Hampton was right when he described Hosty’s music as capturing the “happy moments,” and Hosty was right when he described himself as the witty guitar guru.
“There are two kinds of people in the state of Oklahoma, if you narrow it down right, just two. There are those who have seen the inexplicable talent of Mike Hosty in the Deli in Norman, and those unfortunate souls who haven’t.”Adam Hampton
Lauren Nicole Claire
In Episode 2, Hampton sat down with Lauren Nicole Clare of the Allie Lauren Project to have a deep discussion about art and explore the creative mind.
He called Claire a translator, and the two of them chatted about her family history in music, the origin of her name, coping with change and her classically trained background. Claire’s shyness and perfectionism shined through in her interview and her music, as did her soothing energy.
She discussed her sentimentality and said “the person who doesn’t want to be vulnerable can weave those vulnerable aspects in between the lines” of music.
Her performance was powerful and equally light, and she moved around the stage with elegance.
“She blends genres from artists, painting across the medium of her art, and she jumps lines and avoids and easy typecasting with all the flexibility of a ballerina. She’s a kaleidoscope on stage, unpredictable but complete.”Adam Hampton
In Episode 3, Hampton and country artist Travis Linville chatted about fake IDs, Willie Nelson, and the craft of songwriting.
Linville is listed among the top ten country artists you need to know in Rolling Stone. His music has been compared to Tom Petty, and Hampton said he has a skill of combining love and truth, evoking a sort of nostalgia.
They talked about his roots, the family band he grew up in, his love of vinyl records, and the experience of watching friends become successful in their music. Hampton said he felt like he was talking to a guy who grew up down the road. The conversation felt natural.
“He writes the kind of songs that make you wonder where they came from. They all feel like familiar photographs from someone else’s memory not all that different from your own.”Adam Hampton
In Episode 4, Hampton talked to blues musician Bat Or Kalo (KALO), and one thing stands out – she exudes cool. We’re introduced to Kalo as she sits on a guitar in a Jewish temple tomboyish with short, curly, dark hair, wearing a vest, singing blues tunes on her guitar. And then, as Hampton chats with her about why music matters, guarding the good in the world, and finding creativity in songwriting, she just gets cooler.
In discussing her start of music, Kalo said it began with the smell of a guitar.
“You don’t understand what you see, a piece of wood and a couple strings but it presented itself for me like a lot of creativity,” Kalo said. “It opened a door.”
Hampton described her music as “electric,” and her personality as “rough around the edges.” With moments of raw honesty, Kalo was deep and existential. She compared songwriting to finding an edge of a treasure and searching for the rest, and she spend much of the interview dissecting the songwriting process and the creative mind.
She said some artists say the door to their creativity is through misery. To her, it’s about the lightness; it’s about finding the good and discovering the hope and creativity we had as children, about staying up in the air.
She swore and then apologized for swearing and talked about the sentimentality of the radio. Like Hampton said, she’s rough around the edges.
“She’s lived some songs, man.”Adam Hampton