My Five: Whitney Middleton Gruber


Hi guys!

After a long, dreary winter, I thought it would be great to do some exploring. Personally, I love getting recommendations from my friends and fellow fashionistas, which is why I am starting this feature called My Five. My Five will show you what top tastemakers, fellow students, and Chicago locals love in this city. Where to shop, where to eat, what to explore.

For my first feature, I asked Whitney Gruber to give us her top five spots in Chicago. Social media and marketing maven, fashion goddess, and one of the coolest girls I know, Whitney has the job a girl could only dream of, essentially helping set trends in Chicago by being the Marketing Coordinator at Chicago’s raddest fashion business, eDrop-Off. Whitney’s Instagram and Twitter are more than worthy of a follow, providing plenty of style inspiration for spring and summer. Now, I’ll stop raving about how chic Gruber is, and let her get down to it.

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Hey StreetStyleChi readers! I’m Whitney Middleton Gruber, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago’s best luxury consignment biz, eDrop-Off. To say my job is fun is an understatement! I spend my days researching the latest trends & designers, developing content for our blog & social media, & most recently, curating special sales once a month for our website. Digging through incredible designer merchandise & developing editorial content is a dream come true for me. Literally, I would dream about it while stuck in a cubical at my first job in project management in the financial industry. I quit that job on a whim 2 years ago & never looked back. If you have a true passion & talent for something, the opportunities will come. That’s how I landed at EDO & I couldn’t be more grateful to be here – it changed my life! Speaking of life changers – I also spend 2 weekends a year at New York Fashion Week working in the backstage trenches as a dresser. It’s rather grueling, but the energy is incredible, & I get to experience the collections up close before they hit the runway. Needless to say, fashion isn’t just my industry, it’s my #1 passion!

My five whitney


My top five picks:

Tilly – My absolute favorite vintage store in Chicago! It’s a hidden gem tucked away in the North Center neighborhood. I’m very picky about vintage stores, as many don’t have much to offer over the fantastic thrift shops here, but this one is beyond amazing. Susan, the owner, knows her stuff – she can name the decade of any piece & has a knowledge of fashion history I could listen to for hours! Prices are fair & negotiable, product is rare & well curated. GO THERE NOW!

Pizza Art Cafe – My neighbors might hunt me down for sharing this secret spot with the masses, but oh well! It’s a BYOB legit Italian joint, with massive portions of the most delicious food. Here’s exactly what to order: Start with the Lasagne Art & Caprese salad with Pesto, then get a bowl of the Pasta Pomodoro with spaghetti noodles to share. Don’t forget to bring plenty of Chianti!
Merz Apothecary – Merz has an outpost in the Palmer House Hilton, but skip that one & head straight to the main location in the heart of Lincoln Square. It’s a gorgeous little shop that transports you back in time! They have incredible products – I stock up on Mistral Pink Champagne soap every time I stop in. They also offer holistic remedies for everyday ailments, Diptyque candles, Mason Pearson hairbrushes & so much more!
Deca Bar – The Ritz Carleton might be on the Mag Mile, but it feels like a world away. High above the tourist masses, Deca Bar offers a welcome reprieve from the chaos below! There’s nothing better than sitting in one of their high back princess chairs sipping a Velvet Ribbons & soaking up the light & luxury. Plus, and this is very important, the ladies room might be the best place for a #BathroomSelfie in the city.
The Back Room – There’s nothing quite like an evening of live music in an underground jazz club, am I right? The Back Room’s cozy dark interior makes it all the more magical. Seriously talented music acts combined with the best Manhattans in Chicago (I’ve done the research) make it an easy favorite for me. So, just how do you get there? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. xoxo




Photo Credit: Natalie Krick

For The Sake Of Fashion: Crowd Coverage

For The Sake Of Fashion: Runway

Photos: the AMAZING Kohl Murdock for

Transition your…skin? How to Get Healthy Skin For Spring

Lily Arendt | April 17th 2013

Living my entire life in cities that have the coldest winters (Green Bay and Chicago), I’ve discovered how the bitter cold can cause unattractive dryness to a person’s face. Now that we’re moving towards springtime in Chicago, it’s time to refresh our faces for healthy skin! Here are some face products I use daily (that won’t break the bank) and highly recommend.

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The first product is the Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer. This moisturizer is for very sensitive skin. I always hesitate when buying new face products because unwanted oils or fragrances commonly cause breakouts. Luckily, Olay’s moisturizer is fragrance free, oil-free and has an added SPF of 15! I apply this every day after I get out of the shower, and sometimes before bed if my face is feeling dry from an afternoon workout.

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The next facial moisturizer is the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. I have never used this cream, but my older sister has and she absolutely loves it. I would call this product heavy duty, because one of its main purposes besides moisturizing is diminishing wrinkles. I know that that may not be a main concern with college students, but it’s never too early to start preventative care! My sister would recommend the fragrance free version of this product because the original has a strange smell.

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Now on to eye creams. I looked into buying an eye cream because 1) I wanted to reduce redness and puffiness and 2) I wanted to give my under eyes some TLC due to the amount of time I spend taking my makeup off every night. The first eye cream

I love is the RareMinerals Active Triple Treatment Eye Cream. This product is oil free, fragrance free and dermatologist tested. I found this product when shopping at a BareEssentials outlit store and since I use Bareminerals as my main face makeup, I wanted to try it out! This product is known for reducing puffiness and restoring firmness. In order to get full results I apply it in the morning and before bed.

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Another eye cream that I use is the Olay Regenerist Eye Regenerating Cream. I use this product less than the RareMinerals eye cream but that’s because this has a touch of concealer for basic under eye coverage. If I feel that my under-eye bags are more visible than usual, I put this on before I put on the rest of my makeup for the day.

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And the last, but probably most important, product for springtime is the Blistex Medicated Lip Balms with SPF 15. I know how easy it is to forget about your lips when you’re headed to the beach or are spending more time outside as the weather gets nicer, but your lips need special attention! Any lip balm with SPF is great, but this is my favorite. Keep it with you and reapply throughout the day! There are many flavors of Blistex, so go out and pick up your favorite.  My favorite flavor is mint!

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*No products in this post were gifted.

Look for Less: Alexa Chung

Jodie Lyons| April 9th 2013

I think we can all agree that at one point or another, we have all wanted to be Alexa Chung. From her gorgeous hair and bone structure to her fabulous career, she’s definitely an inspiration of mine. While I can’t help you magically transform yourself into this lovely Brit, I can help you imitate her expensive style for a lot less!

Alexa has an incredibly versatile and unique look, and as spring is finally beginning to show itself here in the Chi, I think we’re all itching to shop for a new, fresh wardrobe (my kind of spring cleaning!) These two looks are perfect for our windy city, as it’s unfortunately still a little too cold for short sleeves, but just warm enough to bare some skin.

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Spring is one of the most exciting seasons for me because I finally get to bring color back into my life!

Heathered Dolman Top $14.80

Essential Watercolor Shorts $15.80

BDG Suede Kitten Heel $49.00

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Get your money’s worth for your winter clothes and don’t pack them away quite yet! Alexa’s look here is perfect for transitioning some of your darker fall and winter pieces into spring.

Coincidence & Chance Knit Circle Mini Skirt $49

 ASOS MATCH Leather Brogues $74.81

Collared Floral Print Pullover $19.80

If you’re feeling daring, the spring is a great time to try out a fresh new hairstyle! Chop off that long hair and go for something updated and chic that will keep you cool in the warm weather. Get Alexa’s look by asking for collarbone length with long

layers and a full fringe/bang. Add some mousse before blowdrying, rough it up a bit with some texturizing gel and you’re ready to rock Alexa’s famous locks!



Nike…is a Girl’s Best Friend?

NTC Lincoln Park | April 8th 2013

Photos by Joseph Kerins

As a DePaul student, I frequent the street Armitage quite often. Between going there to stop at my favorite boutiques and visiting Glazed and Infused more times then I would like to admit, I discovered my new favorite place to not only shop, but to get whipped into shape. NTC Lincoln Park, which is a Nike shop, but also a Nike Training Club, opened a few short months ago on my favorite street, and I haven’t stopped going since.

Now, you might find yourself asking what a Nike Training Club is, just like I was when I first heard the name. NTC Lincoln Park is a community to train with, which personally I love because I prefer training in a group. They offer complimentary workout classes and also have a run club. I cannot stress how nice the women at NTC Lincoln Park are, so if you’re around, you should pop in and say hi. While I probably cannot answer all of your questions about NTC Lincoln Park, they can. For about a month now, I’ve been wanting to take up running, but am slightly terrified at the thought of starting. Unfortunately for myself, I now do not have an excuse because NTC offers a DePaul Fun Run which is every Thursday at 6:30PM. I’m going to start this coming Thursday, the 11th, so if you want to come laugh at me gasping in air for one-three miles, this is your time!

While I do profile many stores and places around Chicago, this is one that I truly love and am 100% behind. I can honestly say that NTC Lincoln Park has one of the nicest groups of women I’ve met in a long time. They aren’t there to try to sell you something, they genuinely want to get to know you. It’s like having a super fit group of friends that all dress in awesome Nike outfits. Speaking of awesome Nike outfits…the Nike swag that is in store features work out clothes, and also old school Nike style…think high tops and graphic sweatshirts that can be incorporated into your already existing wardrobe.

My favorite class at NTC has to be the yoga class at 5PM on Sundays. This is why I asked Erica (who you should definitely say hi to if you stop in) if StreetStyleChi could have a private yoga class with our readers. Luckily for us, she agreed. If you want a good workout, then you should join myself and the StreetStyleChi team on April 23rd, at 6:30PM for a fun yoga session that will last about an hour. We can linger after and chat as I lust after all of the high top wedges. Tweet me ( ) or email me ( ) or slip a note under my door (probably not your best idea) and let me know if I will see you there! The class has 25 spots so be speedy!

(click for slideshow) 

Follow NTC Lincoln Park on Twitter: NTC Lincoln Park Twitter

And Facebook: NTC Lincoln Park Facebook

Website: NTC Lincoln Park Website

Fashion…and Food, with Jena Gambaccini


Joseph and I sat down with someone we really admire a few weeks ago, Jena of ChiCity Fashion. Not only did she give us valuable advice about the real world…but now we know what restaurants to check out in Chicago. Success.

ALEX: So what did you study in school?

 JENA: Marketing. I just knew that I wanted to do some kind of fashion marketing or apparel merchandising. I never wanted to do design because I knew that I’m creative, but I’ve never been good at art or sewing or anything like that. But I wanted to pick my school based on the school, not a specific program. I didn’t want to go to a specialty school I guess. I don’t even know why I went to Miami of Ohio, it’s so not me. Marketing was just the closest thing I could find that fit my interest in fashion.

ALEX: Did you start your blog in college, or after you graduated?

 JENA: Yes, I started it at the very end of first semester of my senior year. I was just bored and totally over the night life at school. I actually started on Twitter. I made a Twitter to keep up with celebrities and found that I really enjoyed the fashion presence on Twitter, like the magazines and designers. I didn’t tweet anything for a few months and then I finally got up the courage to tweet style tips and random things I would find. Then I got a little bit of a following and people would tweet me and ask me if I had a blog, but I didn’t know a lot about it at the time. I knew I definitely didn’t just want to do a personal style blog like “oh come take pictures of me.” At Miami that just wasn’t a thing. Someone had suggested WordPress to me, so I checked it out and made one and I didn’t  tell anyone about it because for the first three months I was so embarrassed about it. I didn’t even tell my boyfriend and we’ve been together for almost five years. Then, I got invited to a show at fashion week so I was like “Is this real?” I thought it was a joke, but I was like “Let’s just try it,” so that’s when I had to tell people. So it was cool, but one of my friends met me and came with me so it was really fun.

ALEX: That’s a crazy experience! I can only imagine.

 JENA: Yeah I still didn’t feel comfortable telling people about it unless they asked me about it, up until maybe around when I started working at eDrop-Off. They were the first ones who really embraced it and wanted to do stuff with me, and it made me feel a little bit more comfortable about it. And now it’s my job!

ALEX: Can’t be embarrassed about it anymore!

JENA: So that…long story short…more long then how that happened.

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ALEX: How was the transition from working in fashion, to just being a blogger? Was it difficult?

 JENA: Well lately I’ve just been having a lot of meetings, where people I’ve either worked with before but haven’t met yet just want to meet me in person, or companies want to present me with a new idea or some people kind of just want my opinion. There’s lots of different reasons to have meetings, believe me. I was kind of nervous about the transition at first like “Oh am I going to be sitting at home all the time?” But I’m not at all, which is great. I also have more time to kind of make my blog better. I used a free template for my site until I decided to make ChiCityFashion my full time job. Now I’m working on a mobile site so I’m just always looking for ways to improve. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately.

ALEX: I love your layout already, it’s super easy to navigate which is a nice change from other sites. Where do you see it going from here?

 JENA: I’m really bad at answering those questions. I kind of just wing everything. I don’t just want to be a blogger forever. It’s great for right now, but I don’t think it’s going to be a sustainable career forever, so I’m still trying to figure out what my next move will be. I like being on my own, my parents are entrepreneurs .I’ve always wanted to own my own business, I’m just trying to figure out exactly what I want to do. I also really love food, so sometimes I’m just like I love fashion, but there’s a lot of crap that comes with it and I don’t like dealing with that, but I’m sure that’s how the food industry is too. Lately I’ve just been really interested in it.

 ALEX: Food is always good. Do you think you’ll go into styling?

JENA: When I graduated college I really wanted to be a stylist, but that was at the time that everyone wanted to be a stylist, or “was” a stylist. Once something gets saturated I just move on. I like the idea of it, but I like to do it on a personal level. Anything from “I need help getting ready for an event,” to “I just need a whole new wardrobe.” I would much rather do that then go be responsible for a $100,000 worth of clothes and then pull all this stuff, and in the end, only one look is used. I love the idea of it, but I’m not passionate to do that part. Does that make sense?

ALEX: Yeah, that sounds really overwhelming and kind of scary.

 JENA: The thing that I did with FORD Chicago was perfect because I directed it and assistant styled.

ALEX: What does that mean?

JENA: I came up with the concept, I chose the models, the locations, and all that stuff. My friends Michael is a stylist, so he styled and I went with him on the pulls, but he actually did the pulling. So then when it came down to it, he dressed the models and I just helped out. It was the perfect situation. I remember when he was pulling things he showed me these pants and I was like “those are so ugly!” But he came back and was like “We have to use them!” and I was like “Really??” They were like…these snake print and yellow wide leg pants…and this green jacket…and it sounds crazy, but it looks so cool! It’s stuff like that, where I would never have thought to put that together. I’m more realistic on what I would put together. When it comes to photography, it doesn’t really matter.

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ALEX: You have to have a different eye. It’s so different. For people looking to get into fashion, or really anything I guess, what advice would you give them?

 JENA: it’s so cliché…but don’t give up. If you truly want to do something, put all you have into it, and it will happen. There is no reason that it shouldn’t if you give it your all. I mean, I still don’t even know what I’m doing! People email me that question all the time. I feel bad, because everything I did was kind of by accident, so I can’t really give advice on how it happened. I know someone who is very passionate about being in fashion somehow, but his parents don’t agree with that. There are a lot of parents out there who want their kid to be a lawyer or whatever. He just doesn’t care though and he’s such a hustler and does whatever he can to make it work. I know that whatever he decides to do, he’s going to be great at it, because of his work ethic. Also, do your research. A lot of people think they like fashion, just because they like shopping, and that’s how I was when I was younger. But once I did my research, I was genuinely interested in it. I feel like a lot of people just say that they work in fashion or start a blog and expect to become a blogger super star, and it doesn’t work that way. I just write what I want and some people like it. You have to be authentic with it. I don’t try to hide anything.

ALEX: You can tell when someone’s writing just to be popular. We see a lot of that lately. It’s kinda weird. There was a blog that popped up a few months ago that would literally copy my posts.

JENA: That’s so stupid! Did you end it?

JOSEPH: Yeah. We also had an issue with the DePaulia asking to use our street style photos for their newspaper and we were immediately like…no. They wound up not even running the story.

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ALEX: Have you ever had an issue with people copying your site? How did you deal with it?

 JENA: There’s smaller instances, but more with my personal style. The only big issue I’ve had with my site, and I don’t even understand how this happened, but it was called “” and they were copying everything. The same day, for about two weeks, they copied my photos, tags…everything. It was still in first person…so weird. So I found this person and I stalked them.

JOSEPH: Did they have a following?

JENA: No. Nothing. They had no social media sites. At first, I thought it was a virus. I emailed them at first, but they didn’t do anything, so I had my attorney send a letter and they took it down right away. That was the only direct instance. With blogging in general, there’s going to be a lot of times when people copy you, and it won’t be as direct as that. But I know, and it just makes me be even more creative and come up with new things.


ALEX: If you could look back and give yourself advice just starting out in your career, or in college, what would you say?

JENA: I guess it would be, know what you’re worth. I underestimated myself, especially in the beginning. I got screwed over so many times, and it’s hard for me to be assertive. At the end of the day, it’s really just me and what I write, and it’s hard to put a price on that. But, I’ve had people promise me things or I’m supposed to get paid for things, and then they don’t pay me. So, it’s really just about being more assertive and knowing what you’re worth. And that’s with any job. It’s so easy to get taken advantage of. When I got out of college, I had so many unpaid internships, so that too. Don’t do it for too long. Some people do it for over a year, and then they get pissed. But at the same time, you can quit whenever you want. So don’t let people take advantage of you either.

JOSEPH: [Gesturing to the wall of designer items] Do any of these have stories?

JENA: They all have stories.

JOSEPH: Can we hear some?


 JENA: Those are probably my favorite story, the black and white wedges. Proenza Schouler is my favorite designer and that was the collection that truly made me fall in love with them. It was Spring 2010. I’m very motivated when it comes to getting things. If I have my eye on something, I have to get it. I was stalking the shoes, and it was before they had a store so it was super hard to track things down. I fell in love with a different version of these that were on the runway. They wound up not making the runway version into production. I was on the Out-Net one day and saw those at 70% off and they only had my size so I got them and I love them.

ALEX: I’m obsessed with the PS1 medium in the “crowd” print.

JENA: The crowd print! I was at the store, and what they’ve been doing, which I like, is the materials they’ve been using lately is amazing quality. Their finale dress was a crowd print perforated dress, which I’m sure is just astronomical, but they also do a different version of the print on just a silk dress. I’ll show you. Most of the things in here are my favorite things. And all of my handbags.

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ALEX: What’s the story behind your custom PS1?

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JENA: I am so careful with it. It was after the earthquake in Japan, and the designers in the CFDA all donated something. It was super close to my birthday, and I wound up getting it for like half the price of what it was, and I was going to New York anyway. So I went to their office and I got to meet with Jack and Lazaro, and I was dying. I got to shop the sample sale by myself. It was so cool. It was awesome because they let me use any material I wanted except alligator or croc, so I chose python. It’s a custom color. My initials are on a plaque inside. It’s crazy.

Alex: How long did it take them to get it to you?

 JENA: I made it in July, and I don’t think I got it until December. They had to stop their whole production to do it. They had never made a custom PS1 before.

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ALEX: What’s your favorite trend this season? I’ve been seeing a lot of pastels.

 JENA: I actually really like black and white. It’s technically a trend, but I don’t know if I would consider it a trend. I would say peplum is more of a trend. I love it because it’s still neutral to wear other colors and I can add pops of accessories and bright lipstick. It’s shaking things up from wearing all black, and there’s a million ways you can do it. It never gets old.

ALEX: Alright, so I have a few final questions. Where can we find you shopping in Chicago? 

JENA: I prefer Blake and Ikram for higher end shopping. I personally prefer Ikram because everything you see in the store is so beautiful…and their cafe is so good. Sofia Boutique has been my go to store since forever. They use to be in an office building on Clark and Division and I use to go there on my breaks when I would come home from college. I love the stuff that they buy. I also really like Edith Hart. All the places on Damen Ave. are pretty good.

ALEX: And because you love food, I have to ask what your favorite restaurants are right now.

JENA: I hate when people ask me that because it’s so hard to choose! I told you about Eleven City Diner. It makes me so happy. It’s very casual, on 11th and Wabash. It’s super good comfort food. Spacca Napoli out in Ravenswood is my favorite pizza place. The guy who owns it is certified to make Neapolitan style pizza. They make their own cheese, and it’s so simple but the ingredients are incredible. The one I always get literally just has mozzarella, arugula, and basil, but it’s the best pizza. To go with friends, pretty much anything on Randolph St. Like Nellcote, and Au Cheval. Floriole on Webster is also a big go to of mine. I’ve also been to Antique Taco a whole bunch of times, and that’s probably my favorite Mexican food in Chicago. For sushi, I love Arami. It’s hard to find really good sushi here.

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ALEX: Any last words for us?

JENA: I had to learn how to negotiate and figure out what I’m worth and just price out certain things and it’s hard. Just try to get everything in writing. I got screwed over so many times because I didn’t have it in writing. I’ve had to learn who I want to work with, and who I don’t want to work with and how I want to do things. Think about the things you want to take on and if it’s worth it. In the beginning, I took on everything. As annoying as it was, I’ve learned so much doing this.

ALEX: People don’t realize that being a blogger is journalism and being an entrepreneur.

JENA: One problem that i’ve noticed, is that a lot of companies don’t know how to work with bloggers. I’m always approached by a PR company, it’s rarely directly with the brand. The bigger companies already know exactly what they want. A lot of people don’t understand how a blogger functions and  I get that because it’s very new and unique. Everything in blogging and social media for a business is so new and people just don’t know what to do with it.

Photos By Joseph Kerins

22 Under 22: Nick Keenan


A few weeks ago, I sat down with Junior Nick Keenan. You may know him as Ennui, because…well…that’s why he’s on this list. A self described “electronic Producer that makes music for fun sometimes,” he’s a lot more than that. Check out his interview and fall in love with his beats…and sense of style. I’m happy to say that I got a chance to become friends with him before he blew up.

Where: DePaul’s Art Museum (which inspires a lot of Ennui’s music.) 

When: February 28th 2013

ALEX: Okay, so how did you get your start in music?

NICK: Alright, so, the first thing that people usually mess up, is how to pronounce my name, which is Ennui (en-we) which means boredom, or like “in spite of boredom.” And that’s how it all started.

ALEX: How did you come up with that?

NICK: I heard my pretentious WRD Professor use it one time, I don’t know, I just connected with it. I sat down one day and was like “Shit, I haven’t used Garageband since I was like…12” and I loved music, so I sat and opened up Garageband for fun, and just started making little mixes, and trying to make my own beats, which was in November of 2011. I had just gone to my first electronic show, and I went home that night, and started making music. A couple months later, my friend Mike gave me this program called “Ableton” and the rest was history.


ALEX: So how do you go about producing a song?

NICK: Well with production, it’s just this constant cycle of making five or six songs, and then two months later, hating everything you’ve made. When you’re starting out, everything you’ve made you’re all like “wow this is so good” because you don’t actually know where you’re at compared to a pro producer. I started out by releasing a free EP called the “So Fucking Real EP” which was so damn stupid.

ALEX: Nothing is truly stupid, it probably helped you learn a ton.

NICK: Well yeah, exactly. It’s a constant learning process. I think that even any of the big guys in the industry will tell you that they’re still learning even though we view them as “perfection” when it comes to music production. But when I put out my first EP, it got basically no attention. Then I worked with a Chicago lyricist who actually graduated from DePaul, Sey. After we put a track together, it was my first time showing up on music blogs and I was super stoked and I was like “Oh my God, I’m famous now!” Even then though I was only getting 300 or 400 hits on my songs. It wasn’t until I came out with a song called “Release Me” and I got some attention from a small independent label and they put out an EP through us, and I suppose that was my start. In May, I finished the EP, and it came out through Itunes, Amazon…basically all the major distribution sites. Being under their management was a great learning experience, because it was a time when I needed constant encouragement. I had just started developing an ear [for music] and I could hear the difference between my music and big artists, which can be kind of discouraging.

ALEX: I get that. Makes sense.

NICK: So now, February of 2013, I’m putting out stuff for free, and I only have four or five songs out on the website, with like 10,000 hits per song, and people on Youtube are uploading videos of their own and using my audio and getting tons of hits and it’s just so cool that people want to listen to my music and they like it. I’m finally producing stuff that’s on it’s way to becoming pro.

ALEX: That has to be a good feeling. So do you take inspiration from the larger artists? I feel like if you did, you would start to sound like them, but you’re very original with your mixes.

NICK: As for my inspiration, I listen to a bunch of Indie music, acoustic music, and folk music. People might be surprised by that. It is dangerous listening to music you really like and then producing music as well. I’ve seen so many kids listening to the big names, and then they wind up sounding just like them. Then they don’t understand why they aren’t succeeding, but it’s because it’s already been done. Most of my favorite artists are from Chicago, one of them being Mister Lies. He’s amazing, very chill. Stratus is also amazing, and being at a show and hearing his stuff is beyond anything. So, I guess my originality comes from the fact that I can appreciate music of any genre.

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ALEX: How do you balance all of this with school? You’re a Junior, right?

NICK: Yes, I’m a Junior, a Bio major, and I’m minoring in Econ. I work at Starbucks on the weekends, so the trade off is that I just get no sleep. Some of my best stuff comes from staying up from 12-4 in the morning, and I’m not good at balancing it yet, to be honest.

ALEX: So time management?

NICK: Yeah…I need to figure that out. I need to finish my degrees in school, and then I’ll just focus on my music. I won’t make the mistake of dropping out of college to just pursue music. That only works out once in a blue moon.

ALEX: Do you think being in electronic music now is different then it was a while back?

NICK: Being a producer now is a very exciting time, especially with the resurgence of electronic music. I feel like when we were younger, all we used to hear was rap. It’s cool to be going into this industry at the time it’s booming.

ALEX: When did you decide to start taking music seriously, as a career? Music and biology are pretty different.

NICK: Only recently did I decide to start taking music seriously. I love science, and I had this plan to go to PA school and do the healthcare profession but I finally realized that my love for music was just superseding everything that I liked about science. I’ve always loved music, and it was right in front of me, and I just didn’t realize it until this year. I love exploring sound. I feel like an idiot realizing it now.


ALEX: At least you realized it now.

NICK: True. Something else I really wanted to talk about, was the whole genre thing. People call everything that is made on a computer electronic music, which is not true. I hate confining genres, because, shit, it’s just sound and sound is vibration. When it comes to my own music, I don’t want to classify it as dubstep. I know dubstep has it’s stigma, like a dial up tone, but my music sounds nothing like that. I guess it could be melodic dubstep or luvstep, but I really just want people to call it “music” or “sound.”

ALEX: So do you think it’s true when artists say ” I don’t care what anyone thinks, I just do this for me?”

NICK: I don’t care what people have to say about my music, because if I put something out and I like it, I couldn’t care less if you like it. Fuck, even if I got one person that would just put on my music going to the gym or walking to class, I would feel accomplished as an artist. My biggest inspiration is John Cage. He wrote a song called 4’33′” where the orchestra was just instructed to sit still for four minutes and 33 seconds. The whole idea, is that you’re going to experience sound, whether the orchestra is playing or not. Also, a song that you’re hearing, is never going to be the same as anyone else. People hear things differently, and a song is always going to be performed differently, every time. So I love the idea, that even silence, is sound and music.


ALEX: Who got you interested in music in the first place?

NICK: My older sister. I’ve come to realize that everything I’ve done, is usually because of my older sister.

ALEX: So when will you feel like you’ve become successful in the music industry?

NICK: God, success is such a weird word in the music industry, really in any form of art. It won’t be sitting in your mansion in LA when you’ve made millions of dollars, although it would be nice, the moment when you think you’ll be successful will be so different then the actually reality of it, at least for me.


NICK: I feel really bad for people who don’t listen to music. Like…that sucks. Your life must be so boring. It makes me sad.

ALEX: I don’t get it either.

NICK: On the same note of success, if you’re trying to get into music because you want to be rich and famous, you shouldn’t do it. Stay true to yourself. I do this because I love doing it. I’m currently making a huge life decision in saying that I’m not going to go into the very thing I’ve been studying now for three years. All because I love music. Making music for me, is happiness.


ALEX: So, any other parting words for us? Any words for aspiring producers?

NICK: If you’ve never made music before, go through a two or three month phase where you just truly listen for the sounds in music. Any and all kinds of music. Even if you hate it, find something that you can appreciate about any song. Diversify yourself to gain inspiration. When you first start, it’s not going to be good. Everyday is a learning process. Don’t expect anything to happen overnight, or even a year. Don’t get down when it comes to frustration. Have a mentor. Mine was Bobby Horan, super cool dude. Keep your head up, that’s all I can say.

ALEX: Finally, where can we find you hanging out around campus?

NICK: Most likely in the 4th floor group study room of the Library when I’m not making music….or Devil Dawgs.


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Photo Credit: Joseph Kerins

StreetStyleChi Presents The For The Sake of Fashion Show

This past Saturday night, I had the pleasure of hosting a fashion show with Joseph and the entire StreetStyleChi team. I cannot express how much this show meant to me, and the fact that I consider it one of my greatest accomplishments thus far. Since December, Joseph and I spent numerous nights planning this show, sending frantic emails at 3a.m., and running all over the city to pick up looks and meet with designers. The final week was spent either glued to our computers answering emails, or in studios and boutiques pulling clothes or picking up swag.

The day of the show, I was a hot mess…minus the hot. I was incredibly nervous setting up the venue, but somehow everything turned out just fine. Most of the StreetStyleChi team was there throughout the day helping Joseph and I, along with Sig Ep. Once people started arriving, I finally started to calm down. We wound up having to open the doors to the show early because there were so many people lined up outside.

I just want to thank everyone who participated or volunteered at the show. This show would not have been possible without all of the overwhelming support. Now, we must start planning next year, which will be bigger and badder. This was only just the beginning.

I had so many fabulous photos, that this will be a two part post. Keep an eye out for the second post soon.


Photo Credit: Yuya Ohashi

*All photos are copyrighted under StreetStyleChi and Yuya Ohashi. Permission must be asked to use these photos in forms other then on this website or the photographers personal use.