On January 6 at 7:51 pm, 19-year-old Zane Penny casually launched his debut music, “Cigarette,” on Instagram. With Penny’s modest following of 204 individuals, the music might have simply slipped into oblivion. As an alternative, the music has over 10,000 streams on Spotify. It is a tremendous accomplishment for a child who simply penned his first music. However Penny is not the sort of particular person to get hung up on the small print. He comes from a technology of confident, trendy youngsters who confound us Millennials, who’re rattled with the existential dread that comes from being extremely educated and woefully underpaid.
So, the place does Penny’s confidence come from, and extra importantly, can it’s bottled up and bought?
In keeping with Penny, it simply comes naturally.
“I suppose my mantra for this type of stuff is that once you’re actually into one thing, and also you simply do not cease doing it, then technically, you may’t fail at it,” he defined. “Like, in case your complete life is a climb, then that is a life well-lived.”
Penny is not alone in his creative pursuits. He’s a part of an underground group of teenage artists known as “Vitus Collective” that has secretly been making waves in Anchorage since 2018.
“Anchorage did not have a platform for youthful artists, so we simply determined to make one ourselves,” mentioned Vitus Collective’s co-creator Machel.
Initially conceptualized as a brick-and-mortar location for younger artists to hang around and create, Vitus Collective obtained its begin with a sequence of concert events held in Kincaid Park’s navy bunker in the summertime of 2019. Full with tickets, video recaps, and employed safety, the concert events attracted upwards of 300 teenagers who got here to look at younger musical artists like TPP Ghost, Braelyn, Smuthers, and Jaiswiz.
The success of the concert events buoyed the collective’s popularity, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than a powerful core of artists got here collectively to assist one another pursue their creative endeavors.
“The primary 12 months that we began doing the exhibits was the summer season after my freshman 12 months in school, and I felt like I had an awakening of kinds throughout that point,” mentioned Vitus Collective member and beatmaker Husse. “I simply had this deep feeling that I needed to do one thing, I needed to make one thing.”
He wasn’t the one one who discovered his inventive stride that summer season. Machel discovered himself digging deeper into his ardour for style, which led him to vary school majors from pc science to style design. Penny, who had been a strictly behind-the-scenes creator, turned impressed to pursue making his personal music after watching his buddies carry out.
“After they had been throwing the exhibits, I used to be the dude that made the recap movies. However seeing all my buddies on stage making the group do enjoyable issues actually pushed me to the purpose of truly pursuing music like I had all the time wished to,” Penny mentioned. “Earlier than that, I wasn’t brave sufficient to place myself on the market like that.”
Shortly after Penny began specializing in music, his shut pal, 16-year-old Charlie Stockard, caught the bug too.
“Actually, one of many first instances he performed guitar was at my home. Then he actually simply began sitting in mattress all day and taking part in guitar nonstop for months,” Penny mentioned, laughing.
If luck really is difficult work assembly alternative, then the timing of Vitus Collective’s inventive awakening could not have been luckier. Months away from college whereas the world handled the repercussions of COVID-19 enabled the artists to discover and hone their new creative mediums.
“A 12 months in the past, I did not have any expertise with music, however I simply experimented and made quite a lot of unhealthy stuff that simply sounded horrible. However then issues began sounding fairly good,” Stockard defined. “I actually imagine that you simply be taught from experimentation, like, it is 100-percent one of the simplest ways to be taught,”
“It is sort of laborious rising up in small cities like [Anchorage], and you must make your individual alternatives,” added Penny.
Though Penny, Stockard, Machel, and Husse are all at first phases of their creative careers, they’re resolute in persevering with to supply camaraderie and collaboration to younger artists.
“I really feel like I’ve discovered my inventive pocket. I do know that sounds actually cliche, however artwork has change into part of me that I can not take away—and I do not wish to take away it. I’ll preserve going, and I can be bringing others with me,” says Machel.
Comply with @VitusCollective on Instagram to maintain tabs on their upcoming occasions and music releases.