Goon des Garcons created a traveling music series that brought young rappers and punk musicians to Little Rock venues. (Lamont Crawford)

Hometown helped rising rapper Goon Des Garcons learn to innovate

Arkansas rapper Goon des Garcons started recording songs and videos at 12 years old. As he got older, he realized that Little Rock lacked venues that supported budding rappers.

In his late teens, he started a traveling music series called Fire Room, working with club owners, asking them to allow him and other young rappers and punk musicians to perform shows for all ages. Young rappers and punk rockers signed up to play. 

The first Fire Room gig sold 80 tickets at the 300-capacity club inside Vino’s Brewpub in Little Rock. The second sold 120 at the same location. The largest Fire Room event logged 280 people at 600-capacity the Rev Room, also in Little Rock. 

“It was a steady growing thing. Toward the end of 2017. The thing just built. We didn’t have a scene (before that) … the kids and the youth,” he said. “I think the youngest people were like 11 or 12. And then it could range to late 30s and 40s.”

He’s now 26, recently moved to Los Angeles and is working on a new album. His management said late last month that an announcement of his signing with the Def Jam Recordings label was imminent. His insight into the Little Rock music scene comes from a performer’s perspective. 

What are the fans like in Little Rock?
They’re appreciative. You appreciate it when it’s brought to you (and you don’t have to travel). Every artist I’ve talked to say they love to play Arkansas. 

Where are you now with your career?
I just plan to keep it going. My sights aren’t on a certain thing. I’m just getting started, so I have a lot I want to do. Right now, I’m gearing up and about to release two new projects for Def Jam. Growing up in Arkansas, I had to learn how to get those venue relationships. You had to also learn to do your own merchandise and videos. It’s been such a valuable skill that I’ve brought to L.A. with me. 

What advice do you have for venue operators when working with talent?
Be understanding and be willing to look outside of yourself at the bigger picture. (They) get into a routine of it’s another night, it’s another night. But to the performer, it’s a big night for us. 

What’s a dream venue for you?
When it’s time for me to go back to Arkansas in a couple years, I would love to go back and do Verizon Arena. Little Rock doesn’t have that many venues. It’s either 400 people or 800 people. And then the next range you can go to is the arena, which is 20,000 people. 


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