Louis CZA the Black Greek God’s beating heart is deeply experimental.
The young multidisciplinary artist has carved out a space in Calgary’s music and arts community through his intense desire to reimagine his community through his own means, to blossom the means of DIY artistic production into something that knows no generic or stylistic boundaries.
“I’m very experimental,” he begins, tucked away in a corner of Calgary’s charming, infinitely Instagrammable, Japanese jazz bar-inspired I Love You Coffee Shop, which Louis has adopted as a kind of artistic home base.
“I did start off making music in hip hop, but I feel like, at a certain point, everyone expected me to keep making music in hip hop. But, if you respect an artist or creative, you know they’re not going to make the same stuff over and over again.”
To wit, a recent performance in December at the Palomino started off with some lo-fi chill-wave and synth-wave vibes before inviting friends up from the audience for a set-ending blast of punk and black metal-inspired crashers. At another recent avant garde show, at I Love You Coffee Shop, he performed his first piece live body art inspired by Viennese Actionism.
“I think of myself more as an intellectual or a scientist, so what I create depends how I’m feeling,” he says.
Not content with merely looking inwards to create, Louis CZA the Black Greek God has also made it his mission to give a helping hand to other rising youth artists in Calgary, mentoring them and developing spaces with like-minded friends to encourage new expression and development.
“It’s always been about trying to push forward in the scene,” he says. “I work with a lot of young people in the community because a lot of the older people are more stuck in their ways. I try to create new avenues for young people to get in there.
“When we started, we didn’t have a lot of people showing us what to do or how to do it. I feel like if we did, we would have progressed a lot faster. So, we’re very young at heart, young people, we’re always energetic and stoked on creativity. Eventually we want to have a centre in the future, in 10 or 20 years, where young people can go too. It’ll be like Professor Xavier’s School for Creativity.”
Catch Louis CZA the Black Greek God at Tubby Dog on February 27.