Made in Idaho: Local musicians embrace valley studio

Madisun Proof is working on a song called "Crossroads."  The original song is on a CD produced at a studio belonging to a company called 208 Music.  Madisun signed on with the local artist development company a year and a half ago. 

"It started as a graduation present, the studio time, and after recording my first tape I became a signed artist and started growing with the other artists here."  

Madisun and those other artists spend Tuesday nights upstairs from the studio on a stage practicing their art and performing for each other. 

208 Music is the brainchild of Michael Ricer.  "Big Mike", as his friends know him, helps Idahoans learn what it takes to become recording artists, from talent development, production and branding to providing this venue where they perform. 

"We help on a case-by-case basis but we give them that foundation a major label would give, but we let them do it independently," Ricer said.  

That includes the 208 School of Hip Hop, and the longest running hip hop show, every Sunday at Fatty's in downtown Boise.  "Big Mike" says it's not necessarily about fortune or fame, it's more about artistic growth, community acceptance and a sense of belonging. 

"We want 'em to show that it's a good thing to chase a dream and it doesn't matter where you come from, that's our end goal." 

Madisun says she's content with being a starving artist for now. 

"I very rarely make money from it.  Most of the hard work that we put into it is for social and personal benefit.  I like being out in the community and growing.  Fingers crossed, but it's not plan a.  We are a family and so it provides that community sense for me.  It's where I belong, you know?" 

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