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Herb Sundays 33: Trevor McFedries
Getting out of your head with the Friends With Benefits founder and Brud co-founder. "Hopefully these take you on a journey. Love to you all." Art by Cina.
Here’s Trevor on HS33: "My Sundays are usually spent dissociating and wandering. Sometimes I drive. Other times I walk or ride my bike. But I usually just wander and think, I'll flip through records I want to hear and sometimes they inspire me to dig into records I enjoyed in my youth. Hopefully these take you on a journey. Love to you all."
Instead of trying to synthesize Trevor’s bio, I’ll let artist Jordan Wolfson do the honors. Here’s the intro to his recent discussion with Trevor for Interview Magazine:
Trevor McFedries is a baller. A DJ, entrepreneur, and aspiring basketball star, the 36-year-old Los Angeles native is also the CEO of Dapper Collectives, a role he assumed when the NFT startup Dapper Labs acquired his artificial intelligence–focused media company Brud. As one of its founders, McFedries gave life to Lil’ Miquela, the uncannily cool virtual influencer who served as patient zero for his philosophy of community-based storytelling (Brud plans to put Miquela’s fate in the hands of her followers). Now, as the internet moves towards a decentralized future—Web 3.0—McFedries sits firmly on its bleeding edge. In 2020, he launched Friends With Benefits (FWB), a private online community for blockchain enthusiasts and artists, where membership fees come in the form of digital tokens, and networking takes place on Discord channels. The goal? To create a digital utopia whose denizens can own—and monetize—their creative output. To help us make sense of his vision, the artist Jordan Wolfson, who knows a thing or two about creation in the age of the internet, spoke to McFedries about what the World Wide Web might look like when it’s for everyone, by everyone.
Trevor was interesting to me as a Herb in that he’s a music person (we’ll get there next) who has infiltrated some different zones and I wanted to chart a line back to the music. It’s a forensic Herb investigation of sorts. I’m interested in how “capital C” Culture leads Technology and his story is as good as any. Whether you are (or I am) into crypto and computer-generated influencers or not isn’t super interesting to me (or him I’d assume), I’m more curious about folks who are trying new things.
“Before creating Brud and FWB, Trevor was known professionally as Yung Skeeter and worked as a DJ, producer, and director for acts including Ke$ha, Azealia Banks, and Katy Perry. McFedries has performed at music festivals Lollapalooza and Coachella. He currently serves on the board at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and Rhizome (New Museum, NYC).”
Some of Trevor’s Skeeter (or DJ Skeet Skeet) era pics are making the rounds in indie sleaze trend pieces, or the internet’s reminiscing on late ‘00s and early ‘10s style which includes the oeuvre of Skeeter (plastic glasses, neon tees, etc.) and the bloghouse-soaked parties of the era. There’s even a new book on the moment in time.
I searched my email for if Trevor and I intersected at all in his peak DJ days. I didn’t find any convos but I was added to a few of his BCC: promo emails between 2009-2011 including this amber-encased gem:
Wanted to get homies the mastered version of this ___________ Remix I did. The OG came out on the new Ed Banger comp and has been getting a great response so heres 808y percussive as fug remix.
Hope you're well.
DJ Skeet Skeet
While I was on a different musical tip at the time and we were running in different lanes, our artist shared bills with him at CMJ, our PR was sending him digital promos it seems (which he opened, I just checked), and he even blogged about our Ghostly Discovery iPhone app (a top 10 free app!) and our first Ghostly Swim compilation with Adult Swim. Heady times.
My experience with Web3 so far is that it’s drawing out some of the most interesting people I’ve met in the last 25 years, people whose ideas sit between industries. Trevor has gone on to invent some pioneering concepts. Even if they don’t immediately sit with you snugly, they are bellwethers of a cultural future that is happening already and going to throw off sparks in your scene.
Trevor’s mix shows his true spirit. An instant HS classic from a young Bonnie Raitt flows into the beguiling ambient work of Gia Margaret and Vanessa Amara (on the Posh Isolation label). Things get loud (I think a first for White Zombie on these playlists) and then a stunning hip-hop coda. Unexpected, uncomfortable, totally Herb.
Also, in light of this week’s events, Trevor “would just encourage ppl to contribute to the cause here”: