It’s that time of year again when all of our local favorites are on the move, elevating the playing field and checking off all of their goals. Vincent Van Great is no exception.
CopyWrite Magazine caught up with him backstage at Summerfest after his performance as the opening act for Tory Lanez on the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage, this past Thursday to see how things have been developing since our last sit down at Summer Solstice in 2017.
After a massive set with his band Ninja Sauce and some other talented artist from MKE (Dana Coppafeel, Jay Anderson, Blizz McFly, & Yo-dot), Vincent Van Great was eager to retreat into his dressing room away from the crowd and all the action. “I’m hungry, [and] I need to eat,” he said crashing onto the couch.
CW: “Big Stage! Summerfest! A Great set! How are you feeling yo’?”
VVG: “I’m feeling really good. Excellent to say the least.” The look on his face of exhaustion was carried out with the satisfaction of completion.
CW: “Was it what you expected?”
VVG: “It actually was exactly what I expected. I know the type of audience that Tory Lanez brings so I added some extra groovy and smooth songs to my set instead of doing something way more hip-hop.”
Though Great seemed a little iffy on the crowd's thoughts, we noticed quite a few heads bobbing and catching the beat, enjoying the vibe. Festival crowds can be spazmatic when awaiting headliners but this bunch didn't seem to mind at all. (ON THE RECORD! LOL.)
This is his second year playing as a major opener at Summerfest. Last year he played the Johnson Control stage before the epic performance of BJ the Chicago Kid.
VVG: “They keep putting me with these R&B type of guys even though I do a lot of hip-hop.”
CW: “Do you think that's because of the live band?” (If you have not yet seen his performances with Ninja Sauce, you are missing out.)
VVG: “Well it's cool either way. But it's definitely about to usher me into this new sound that I am coming up with. Which leads me into me and Dana’s new project.”
Vincent Van Great will be dropping a new project later this summer entitled, ‘A Tape Called Fresh,’ co-starring Dana Coppafeel. The concept pushes the throwback cassette style, with an A side & B side tracklist. The A-side featuring the more hard-hitting Hip-hop sounds that their day-one fans enjoy where the B side will host more groovy melodic, “girly records.”
VVG: “Haha, you know the songs with a more R&B feel, that are vibey. The B side of the project will really cue everyone into the lane I’m entering in, so listen to that project and peep the B-side. But I mean it's all fire.”
We believe it. Great has been working on his craft for a while now, and all the progress that we have noted has been the elevation into bigger and better things. Production, delivery, and even performance style have morphed but still are very much his own sound.
CW: “We have known you for a long time. It's obvious that you are getting plenty of traction locally and it’s expanding into industry. Are you ready for it?”
VVG: “I have been working a long time for this and sometimes you don't get to sit back and really realize what you have accomplished. Because for me I’m still peddling…”
CW: “Like literally peddling on a Bublr bike. Haaaaa!”
VVG: He starting laughing hard. “There you go babbbyyyyy! Shout to Bublr Bikes!”
Vincent Van Great rode his custom VVG Bublr Bike on stage since they are proud sponsors of his Summerfest set!
VVG: “There will be several other Vincent Van Great bikes in different Bublr Bike locations, so if you see a VVG bike; pick that one!”
Shameless plugs are life! It is undebatable that Great is making moves. Where summer is alive in well these major sets are just apart of the action with many more showcases to come around the midwest.
VVG: “I’m headed out July 20th to Des Moines, Iowa. So if you’re out those ways come check me out. I know everyone reads CopyWrite, so they will get the message.” (He’s right, especially those in the midwest we get a lot of love). “Then the following weekend I’m in Minneapolis, Minnesota. August I will be back here for Hip-Hop Week MKE and September you can catch me at Bayview Bash, so I’m definitely around for the festival season. Oh and Kansas City Indie Fest, as well.”
So with all the Great moves comes even Greater sacrifice. With his new opportunities of industry stardom at several levels on the line, he has been splitting his time off the road between L.A. and Milwaukee, cultivating dual homes.
VVG: “It’s split between the two because I’m working with Lana Turner (Comedian & wife of late comedian Ralphie May) now, as her Music Director for her new show, ‘Perfect 10’. So I will be back and forth from here to there trying to dot some I’s and cross some T’s on that coast.”
As you can see some of your local faves are not so local anymore but the love is the same, calling out his favorite (yes, we said favorite) magazine to share his 2018 Summerfest set. His passion and artistry shined through as he directed his band into each song, creating interest and making sure the crowd knew is exactly who he is. “I go by the name Vincent Van Great!”He said it five times y’all, make sure it sticks.
CW: “Is there anything else you want the people to know?”
VVG: “I love CopyWrite. Thank you, ladies, & your team for always helping me out and having my back. Y’all keep killing it.”
And as always, we love you back!
#SupportTheLocal opening acts this year at Summerfest. They will be worth your time!
Check out the digital version of this article here.