Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


Don't Underestimate Smokey J

by Zack Katz

You might not yet be hip to local hip-hop act Smokey J, but you might also be kicking yourself while retracing her tracks after hearing the rapper-producer’s veteran sound. The Kenosha/Eau Claire native is covering ground with her freshly released mixtape The Prelude. Smokey came up with the legwork of air-tight, rolling production on her 13-track tape, released on May 25, but it’s fortified by a strong cast of other area producers and rappers – with some familiar names like Mr. Pizzy. Listeners can find a spread of influences on The Prelude: a mix of anything from sprawling jazz to left-field Coheed and Cambria samples complimenting her breathless, Southern-reminiscent flow. As a followup to her May digital drop, Smokey J has a physical mixtape release party on Saturday, Aug. 15, at the House of Rock. Beyond creating music, the multi-talent is making a splash with her music video production label, SpaceFlight films. To hear Smokey J’s tape before her release party, check out www.smokeyjmusic.com.


Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.