Author: msamm

Check out the amazing ChicagoMade SXSW 2015 Recap Reel that was produced by our good friends at Audiotree!


If you joined us in Austin this year, we want to say THANK  YOU for making our second appearance  at SXSW a huge success!


From March 15 – March 18 the ChicagoMade crew was stationed on the trade show floor at the Austin Convention Center promoting Chicago’s creative industries and the artists, entrepreneurs and visionaries who bring these industries to life. From film to fashion, to technology and music the response to Chicago’s presence was overwhelmingly positive.


Chicago Made SXSW 2015Adam Alexander Photography


Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Adam Alexander Photography


The ChicagoMade trade show booth offered meet-and-greet opportunities with “Chicago Ambassadors” — a “who’s who” from Chicago’s technology, music and film industries, along with performances by a variety of Chicago’s musical acts.


Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Adam Alexander Photography


The booth also featured lounge areas and a 12-foot high visual centerpiece produced from original artwork by rising Chicago artist Sam Kirk. Thousands of pictures were taken of the booth and we received a TON of compliments on the design. Check out the process for the artwork that Sam created below.



The ChicagoMade music showcase on Tuesday, March 17 was an epic night of performances by some of Chicago’s most notable rising musicians including: hip-hop artist Vic Mensa, buzzing rock and rollers Twin Peaks, indie-electronica four-piece outfit Gemini Club, pan-Latin American cumbia band Dos Santos Antibeat Orquesta and experimental hip-hop duo Leather Corduroys. The music showcase was hosted by legendary emcee Psalm One aka Hologram Kizzie. Check out what Stereogum had to say about Vic Mensa’s performance.


Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Adam Alexander Photography


Chicago Made SXSW 2015 Adam Alexander Photography


Dynasty Podcasts – a local podcast that spotlights Chicago-based creatives, conducted exclusive interviews with ChicagoMade ambassadors and artists on the ground at SXSW. Look out for the SXSW interview album coming soon!


We’ll see you at SXSW in 2016!

Looking ahead to SXSW 2015, we checked in with the Co-Founder and CEO of Bloodshot Records, Nan Warshaw at the Bloodshot Records headquarters in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago on what it means to be ChicagoMade.


Nan Warshaw co-founded Bloodshot Records in 1994.  Almost two decades and over 200 releases later, Nan continues to slog away at this scrappy indie label in order to work with bands she loves. Through Bloodshot, she is honored to have launched the careers of Ryan Adams, Neko Case, and Justin Townes Earle, and to have had a role model in the exceptionally prolific, hardworking and hard drinking Welsh-Mayor-of-Chicago, Jon Langford (Waco Brothers, Mekons, Pine Valley Cosmonauts, plus 50 more bands), who taught her she need not compromise her DIY punk ethics to work in the bowels of the music business.  Today Nan’s excited to be working new releases by  Murder By Death, Banditos, Cory Branan, and many more.



Meet Nan Warshaw at the ChicagoMade SXSW Trade Show Happy Hour
Austin Convention Center, Booth# 619
Tuesday, March 17th
4PM – 6PM


Follow Bloodshot Records @BSHQ

Entrepreneur, Designer and Co-Founder of Kickstarter , Charles Adler sat down with us ahead of SXSW on why he chooses to live and work in Chicago and what it means to be ChicagoMade.


A consummate nomad, Charles bounced from coast to coast to beyond our shores, and currently makes his home along the central coast in Chicagoland. His travels inform his work as a designer and entrepreneur. Previous to Kickstarter, Charles founded the web imprint Subsystence, originally in 1997 as an online streaming service for under represented DJ’s. In 2002 he revised Subsystence into a web periodical, with the expanded ambition to publish and give voice to under represented painters, photographers, musicians, interactive artists, poets and others.



Follow Charles Adler @Cadler

Legendary Chicago Gospel / Soul music singer and civil rights icon Mavis Staples is preparing to take the spotlight at SXSW 2015 in a new documentary that will chronicle her personal life, career and family group, The Staple Singers.


Featuring powerful live performances and conversations with friends and contemporaries including Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jeff Tweedy, Chuck D, and more, Mavis! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. Through 60 years of performing, crossing musical genres and societal shifts, Mavis has transformed herself along the way but has never forgotten the importance of family. At 75, she’s making the most vital music of her career, and her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever. The film, aptly dubbed “Mavis!,” makes its World Premiere at SXSW 2015 on Sunday, March 15 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas at 11AM.


As SXSW 2015 gets closer, we checked in with web developer and musician, Adrian Holovaty who co-created the Django web framework and made one of the original Google Maps mashups, Adrian also founded EveryBlock, a “news feed for your block” that was eventually acquired by


His current project is Soundslice, a reinvention of sheet music and guitar tablature that’s one of the most advanced HTML5 sites on the web. Adrian gave us his take on what it means to be ChicagoMade.




How did you get your start in music and web development in Chicago?


I was born and raised here. Went away for college and a few jobs, and I came back in 2004.


Where did the idea for Soundslice come from?


It’s always been a hassle for me to learn pieces of music. I’d have iTunes open in one window, a YouTube video open in another window, a PDF printed out with notation — it was a horrible, kludgy system. Soundslice is intended to put everything together seamlessly.


Why do you choose to continue to do business in Chicago over other major cities?


Because I love living here. There’s beautiful architecture, great people, fantastic food, great public transportation negating the need to use a car, a top-notch music scene…all with a reasonable cost of living.


I also like that my friends are in a wide variety of industries. If I lived in San Francisco, I’d only be hanging out with Internet people.


Describe the current climate of creativity in your industry in Chicago.


There’s a nice, friendly community of independent web developers here. The coolest thing happening now is the Cards Against Humanity space, where a whole bunch of interesting people work. There’s also an amazing event and community called ORD Camp that’s a collection of interesting Chicago people.


What does your business do to stay competitive, not only in the local Chicago market, but the global market as well?


We make a great product.


What is your favorite Chicago band?


Joel Paterson and the Modern Sounds. It’s tasty guitar and a super-tight band.


What is your favorite movie that was filmed in Chicago?


The Blues Brothers. I’m never not in the mood to watch it!


Follow Soundslice @Soundslice


Follow Adrian Holovaty @AdrianHolovaty

In advance of SXSW 2015, we caught up with Anna Hovet, Founder of Anna Hovet Designs at her design studio in Chicago’s West Loop on what it means to be Chicago Made.


Anna Hovet is an entrepreneur, fashion designer, illustrator, educator, and social media influencer based in Chicago. Her fashion brands, Anna Hovet (womenswear) and HOVET (menswear), embody a fusion of designer style and streetwear comfort. Categorized as Sport Luxe, the garments are manufactured locally in Chicago and sold online and in several boutiques.


Anna Hovet is one of the most recognized names in Chicago Fashion and has had sponsorship deals with United Airlines, Kraft, and EFFEN Vodka. Her designs can be seen on actress Jennifer Hudson and comedian Hannibal Buress and have been featured in several publications including Lucky Magazine, Chicago Tribune, and RedEye. She has appeared on NBC “1st Look” and was a contestant on the Kenmore Reality Web Series “So You Wanna Be A Designer”.



Follow Anna Hovet @AnnaHovet

Ahead of SXSW 2015, we caught up with Eric Sheinkop, Founder and President of Music Dealers at the main headquarters in downtown Chicago on what it means to be Chicago Made.


Music Dealers is a global music licensing tech company that has disrupted the traditional music industry model to create a new route for artists to break their music. Boasting the world’s largest licensing database of indie musicians, Music Dealers helps leading global brands find credible ways to integrate music into their marketing. Eric has earned multiple industry awards including Billboard Magazine’s “30 Under 30” and “Music Man of the 21st Century” by Crain’s Business. Sheinkop is co-author of Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands, released in 2013. Hit Brands is an essential guide to marketers on how to strategically and effectively use music to drive value for their business.



Meet Eric Sheinkop at the ChicagoMade SXSW Trade Show Happy Hour
Austin Convention Center, Booth# 619
Tuesday, March 17th
4PM – 6PM


Follow Music Dealers @MusicDealers


Follow Eric Sheinkop @Esheinkop

Get your bibs ready and grab your plates because SXSW is serving up a tasty selection of films in 2015! Chicago Chef Curtis Duffy is preparing to take center stage in a new documentary about the beginnings of Grace, which recently received three Michelin stars – the top rating in the Michelin Guide Chicago 2015.


Beyond the glistening surface of the restaurant lies a story about personal strife, professional achievements, and the woes of building a restaurant. The film, aptly dubbed “For Grace,” makes its World Premiere at SXSW 2015 on Friday, March 13 at the Alamo Ritz in Austin, Texas at 9:15PM. The film was directed and produced by Chicago Tribune dining reporter Kevin Pang and Mark Helenowski and features music by Chicago band The Hudson Branch.



Follow “For Grace” @ForGraceFilm


Follow Chef Curtis Duffy @CurtisDuffy


Follow Kevin Pang @Pang


Follow Mark Helenowski @MarkHelenowski

Founder and CEO of Fake Shore Drive, Andrew Barber sat down with us ahead of SXSW at the Fake Shore Drive headquarters on what it means to be ChicagoMade.


Andrew Barber is the owner/creator of Fake Shore Drive, a Chicago-based music website, media and artist management company founded in 2007. Andrew is a freelance music journalist, artist manager, brand and record label consultant and media personality with recent hosting duties on MTV2’s The Week In Jams and 107.5 WGCI’s The Morning Riot.


Andrew’s company, Fake Shore Drive, has been instrumental in the recent rise of Chicago’s hip-hop scene, having helped cultivate the careers of Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa and the many other artists who’ve secured major label record deals over the past few years. Fake Shore Drive has also landed on The Source Magazine’s ‘Digital Power 30’ list four years in a row.



Follow Fake Shore Drive @fakeshoredrive