BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo’s own Free Music Party, a five-piece hip-hop group which released its first album, “777,” last year, will be playing the main stage at Town Ballroom on March 25.
The group has on two previous occasions performed on the Oxford Pennant Stage at the front of the venue, but will now be transitioning the main stage, which holds over double the capacity and has played host to music legends such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Miles Davis, as well as contemporary acts such as Mac Miller, All Time Low, and Childish Gambino.
“After our last two Town Ballroom visits, our whole plan and coordination with them was basically like, ‘Next summer, we need that main stage,'” manager Kay Prix said. “So that’s kind of what we kept building towards.”
Prix said Free Music Party went to Ellicottville at the start of the year to start working on their new album and gameplan for the year.
“Our trajectory and their trajectory were kind of hitting a point where ‘this summer’ instead became ‘March,'” he said. “It just kind of worked better for everybody’s schedules.”
Prix reached out to Town Ballroom and said the plan turned into a concept, which slowly grew from there.
“Ticket sales have been amazing, music arrangement’s been amazing, our set design, our merch, it’s all just coming together,” he said. “I found out first, but we were all in the house together, so I kind of was just like, ‘We’re going to do Town Ballroom main stage in March.'”
DJ Apollo, the group’s DJ, recalled the feeling of finding out they’d be making the move to the main stage.
“It was crazy to hear that we were going to be doing the main stage Town Ballroom. In high school, you’d hear big acts like Tyler, the Creator, one of my biggest inspirations. And I couldn’t go to that show because I was in high school,” he said. “As soon as I heard about (the March 25 show), that’s exactly what was in my mind, I was like, ‘Yeah!’ It is such a big thing for us to do this and I feel like it just needed to happen for us. It felt like it was meant to be.”
“It’s kind of surreal, for sure. I think it’s a venue that all of us have gone to, just as fans, and seen some of our favorite artists — legends — touch that stage,” producer Kevin Spears said. “So for a bunch of local kids — and some guy from Pittsburgh — to touch that stage, fully independent and putting in the work that we did, means the world.”
Prix shared a similar sentiment.
“When you think about venues, there’s really not too much above that stage, both in terms of capacity and historic value,” Prix said. “It’s essentially the peak of where you can get being independent.”
In addition to music, the group always brings a theme to each of their shows. Without revealing too much, rapper Eddy Blanco teased “a woodsy theme with mellow vibes” as well as new music on the way.
Mailli and DJ Little Italy will be opening for the group. Spears also teased some additional surprise guests and new music.
Instrumentalist and sound engineer Joe Callahan spoke about the group’s latest single, “Heartbreak Hangover,” which he said was more poppy, upbeat, and sing-able.
“We went to JC Penney and did a photoshoot for it, which is just classic,” he said. “Everyone gets their JC Penney’s photoshoot at one point. We got a lot of fun content out of that.”
Additionally, Blanco and Spears just put out a project, an EP titled “14208,” which Spears said is some of the pair’s best work.
“I think both the single we put out as Free Music Party and Eddy and I’s project is some of the most mature and well-done music that we’ve made so far and it’s only getting better,” he said. “We’re finishing up our next album as we speak and it’s a pretty impressive blend of sounds.”
Doors are at 8 p.m. and presale tickets are available at this link for $15. To learn more about FMP, click here.
Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.