At each month’s meeting of CreativeMornings/Charlotte, local creatives are given HUG micro-grants of $250. HUG stands for “Helpful, Unfettered Gifts.” Creatives can apply for HUGs for for-profit or non-profit projects underway in the Queen City. HUGs can be used for everything from boosting social media posts to buying materials to booking event or rehearsal space. Charlotte Is Creative has committed to distributing 250 HUGs to celebrate Charlotte’s 250th anniversary. Here’s what happened with two of them. **
Local musician, Greg Cox, received a HUG in August to help with a launch party for an album he’d spent years creating. The next month, Emily Sage used her HUG to help promote CLT Loft Sessions. Emily and Greg met at their respective events and decided to collaborate on a song — “The Other Side” — which they performed at the CreativeMornings event on 12/7. Their team-up has inspired a spin-off of the HUG micro-grants called “Side-HUGs,” which are open to HUG grantees applying for a joint-project.
We caught up with Greg and Emily after their sold-out performance at the CLT Loft Sessions the night after CreativeMornings.
BISCUIT: How long have you been playing music in Charlotte?
GREG: I’ve been playing music here for almost 3 years now.
EMILY: I’ve been playing music in Charlotte since the beginning of 2018, just after moving here from Nashville. But, I really got my feet wet when I started the CLT Loft Sessions concert series with my manager, Sara Colée.
BISCUIT: How did you meet?
GREG: Various concerts in Charlotte from outside artist like PJ Morton and Third story.
EMILY: Greg and I met at a couple different concerts around the city and really got to know each other at Greg’s album listening party in August at the BLK MRKT. He came to one of my concerts soon after and that’s when we started talking about a collaboration.
BISCUIT: What made you team up?
GREG: We wanted to create something to share our love for Charlotte. It ended up being “The Other Side.”
EMILY: We really liked each other’s vibes. Our creative approach and style are very different but seemed like they would complement each other in an interesting way.
BISCUIT: What’s your duet about?
GREG: To me, “The Other Side” is a metaphoric place that represents the middle ground of peace, reconciliation and inclusiveness that Charlotte can get to. It’s romanticized in the song, but that represents the longing that all groups have in wanting to be in that place.
EMILY: Our duet is about making the effort to welcome someone else into your life by going the extra mile to be a part of their life and listen to their story. Our song is about what it means to really love. It’s about unraveling the pride and prejudices in ourselves so we are no longer bound and so that we can freely love and respect the individual, without looking for anything in return and regardless of how different someone is from us.
BISCUIT: What’s next for you — together and/or individually?
GREG: Lots more collaboration via events, music and business ventures.
EMILY: I’m releasing my first single from the new album on Jan 25 — “Nearer To You” — and could not be more excited! And, Greg and I have a show together February 1, 2018, and we will definitely be doing more songs together.
BISCUIT: How do you feel about being the inspiration for Side HUGs?
GREG: It’s really an honor to inspire something that can literally launch people in Charlotte to collaborate together. That’s my entire goal. It’s an honor.
EMILY: I am so honored that we were the inspiration behind Side-HUGs! Hopefully, it will encourage many more collaborations because that’s what will make Charlotte really thrive— more artists working together, supporting each other and tying together different parts of Charlotte fortifying this web.
Still hungry? Take a few more bites.
Click the image to listen to “The Other Side.”
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