Michael Cooley, known professionally as Hollow Creeper, manages the music collective known as Steady Hyperactive out of Winston-Salem, his hometown. The group, besides Cooley, is composed of Paragon Don (Donovan Beatty), Samurai Yola (Tony Davis), OG Spliff (Clifford Owens), Afrogoat (Darius Glenn), Devy Quills (Devin Singleton), Phazegod (Tevin Bouthit) and Flower in Bloom (Joy McNeil). Cooley began producing beats when he was 11, but now focuses on music business and management. The group will have a live performance at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro tonight, May 30.
What is Steady Hyperactive and what inspired it?
Steady Hype is a collective of artists and a platform for the city where they can make music, videos, have fun… and have an artists-owned platform where we can be ourselves in our own space. That’s where the idea of it came from, being able to have a place where artists create and release music without being restricted by the same ideas that a more corporate business might have. We make our own decisions; we come to a common consensus on who’s going to promote what and when so that we don’t step on each other’s toes. I, as the manager and founder, don’t force anyone to do anything — I come in with some business reasoning but I’m not some dictator.
How did y’all meet each other?
Me and Paragon Don, the oldest member of Steady besides myself, have been friends since high school. He started rapping in 2013 but when I was making a project called Valid Maverick, he started on that project and began to take rapping more seriously. I met OG Spliff after I moved to my first apartment in 2016. I found him on Soundcloud, I liked it and towards the end of the song I heard him say “336.”… After that I sent him a message, telling him that I make beats. We linked up in person and talked about Steady, about how we’re trying build up the community and come together as artists. Samurai Yola was kind of the same way, I messaged him after I heard [his music] on Soundcloud and we went to a show together. I knew Phazegod in middle school and years later we reconnected through Facebook. I met Devy Quills and Afrogoat through Yola, actually, and it all turned into a big circle. We met Flower in Bloom at the UNCG Millennial Showcase auditions back in March. She supported us and she felt hesitant to audition but we encouraged her to give it a shot. When we heard her sing we thought, Cool, we’ll have to rock with her.
How does Steady Hype act as a platform for artists?
When it first started, the original idea came when I was in my room, making my first mixtape back in 2013… and I created Steady Hype as a label. As time went on, I realized I had an important role behind the scenes of the music, especially in the Triad. Instead of just being a label, [Steady Hype] needs to be a platform for people who aren’t signed or affiliated with us…. We always try to have non-members of Steady Hype perform with us when we have shows. We want to put on more than just a small group because there’s so much talent in this area.
What’s in store for the future of Steady Hyperactive?
We are working on another big show for later this year, hopefully. We’re gonna be making a lot more music videos, at least a couple a month. We want to stay much more regular with the content and keep up the momentum. I’ll be working closely with Flower in Bloom, the newest artist [of Steady], in June to help her with an upcoming EP.
Listen to some tracks at steadyhyper.com