The whole country is fascinated with Atlanta’s booming music scene fueled by hip hop rappers and trap beats, but the city has more to offer than what meets the eye via reality TV shows and music videos. First Taste ATL recently hosted “Skye’s Wonderland,” giving us a glimpse of Atlanta’s underground music, creatives and fashion culture.
The posh affair was held at QUAD and featured an exclusive set design created by Marina Skye. Le Toots and Ashley Marrietta, correspondent of Allhiphop.com, served as the emcee for the event and kept everyone entertained the entire evening while mingling and networking. In addition, guests were able to watch performances by some of Atlanta’s most beloved indie artists including SPZRKT, Brittany Bosco, Talong, Tuki Carter, Two-9 plus sounds by the legendary DJ Speaker Foxxx and DJ Mike Nasty
First Taste ATL co-founder Stephen Keshi let us in on his vision for the company, why Atlanta’s fashion and creatives scene is underrated and his upcoming project “Metro Boomin & Friends: Want Some More” happening at Quad on September 16.
How did First Taste ATL come about?
The journey began April 2014 for myself and my business partner Don Carter. We had attended so many events in Atlanta that all had the same concept. Most events came across as one dimensional and catered to the same type of audience and played the same type of music, which was usually hip hop. We wanted to put together events that were welcoming to audiences from a variety of backgrounds. This is a place where all people can unite. We also wanted to set the bar higher for the attire people wear when going out, so we created the slogan “Dress Competitively.” This was a way for people to come out and express themselves creatively and show their individual style. On the music side, we wanted to break out new artists and give them exposure. We love having performers that are passionate and have their own sound. One of the reasons why we created First Taste ATL was to motivate people to do more creative things in the city.
Where does your style come from?
I was born in Belgium and later moved to France. My dad was a professional soccer player, so I have traveled a lot. I am of Nigerien descent and also spend a lot of time in the Bay Area of California. I was fortunate to see many different forms of fashion that helped in molding my fashion forward thinking. Style is an important part of character because it’s an expression of self.
How did you develop the theme for this event?
Skye’s Wonderland is a celebration of set designer Marina Skye’s work. It’s kind of like a coming out party for her. My business partner and I met her a few years back and wanted to give her a creative platform to showcase what she does. She is extremely talented and, in my opinion, one of the best set designer’s Atlanta has to offer. She is doing big things at such a young age, so watch out for her in the future. For this event, she put together four exotic themed rooms inspired by a tropical atmosphere. We also have an amazing team that assists behind-the-scenes for our events. Michel-le Davis is our fashion director and general manager. Starlet Wheatley is our amazing event planner and Spencer Charles is our company photographer. Community outreach is also very important to us, so we have Miko Igrubia as our director to handle those endeavors. We are a small family that makes big moves.
Are you surprised at First Taste ATL’s rapid progression?
Yes. I always knew the movement would grow into something huge, but I didn’t expect for it to happen this quickly. This is only the third event we have put together. Our first event we did had about 300 attendees and two events later our numbers have tripled. I think our guests really appreciate the organic vibe our events offer. I hope a few years down the line we can expand the brand and put on events in other major cities.
For more information on Stephen Keshi and the First Taste ATL movement, please visit www.firsttasteatl.carbonmade.com