April 3, 2019

iigo has a sound that sets him apart, but he’s always been somewhat of a loner.

“I was very quiet very shy, just like to myself.”

But that changed when he started rapping at 10 years old. The soft-spoken and reserved Eiigo becomes an entirely different person when performing.

“I’ve always been outcasted. You know when I heard music it was kinda an escape from it.”

Even when rapping about anxiety or depression Eiigo confidently commands the stage with energy and charisma but it’s been a long road.

“There were certain things I was scared to discuss in my music. Now I have a balance of what to say and what not to say, what sounds right and what sounds wrong.  I think it’s just being more honest... What made me relate to rappers the most [was that] they were saying all the things I wanted to say but just couldn’t say at the time.”

Eiigo graduated from the Chicago High School for the Arts with a degree in visual communication. And although he makes his own album artwork, he remains focused on music. Making music has provided Eiigo with a chance to find himself, eventually he wants to enable more marginalized Chicago kids to get into the arts.Eiigo believes that the arts are a valuable resource for marginalized voices.

“I wouldn’t have survived in a normal school. …It’s toxic, everyone pays attention to things that aren’t important...I feel like even now 99% of everybody is an artist … I think it’s a good thing … with social media there are more people using their imagination … I feel like everybody should have a voice to express the way they feel”

For the time being, Eiigo is beginning to stir up a following. Last fall Eiigo Groove performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art at their 21Minus event highlighting emerging artists in Chicago. In December Eiigo opened for Kami and UnoTheActivist at the Vic Theatre. Now, Eiigo’s working on an EP and Chicago should be on the lookout for something special from this talented mind. Eiigo dreams of making an impact but recognizes it won’t happen overnight.

You can find him on Instagram and on Soundcloud

Photos by
Andrew Kaplowitz