Many young people can’t wait to finish school and move as far from their hometown as possible. But that’s not Chris Hulvey’s M.O.
The 19-year-old is Brunswick, through and through. He is proud of where he’s from and it’s easy to see. It’s a topic he mixes with another passion — rap music.
Hulvey, which is the name he records under, recently released a single and video titled “Yeah, Yeah,” an upbeat celebration of the port city.
Of course, it was a long road from area talent shows to professionally produced music.
“I started becoming interested in rap music in middle school. I really wasn’t aware of it when I was a kid. It was like a new world I was hearing all of this new music and culture. It, for some reason, resonated with me,” he said.
After rapping in his ninth-grade talent show at Brunswick High School, Hulvey decided that he was going to really try to make a go of music. That, however, didn’t come without some bumps in the road.
“I was terrible at first, but I kept honing my craft and kept letting God show me things in my life to write about. After a while, it started becoming second nature,” he said.
“I started recording down in Jacksonville with a really good engineer. Now I have a team around me that really cares and that’s what helped me get my music to the next level — advice and criticism.”
His breakout song and the accompanying video happened mostly by chance. Hulvey had taken a trip to St. Simons Island to clear his head when he had a stroke of inspiration.
“I went to the island parked my car and the hook just popped in my head. A couple of months later, we took it to the studio. I wrote it but there were some parts that was just second nature,” he said.
The song turned out to be incredibly positive and upbeat. It also conveys his strong since of faith and connection to God.
“I still wanted it to express my faith. I wanted God to be expressed through it but at the same time I wanted it to feel organic and fun ... celebrating the city and my life. I think the video does that really well,” he said.
“It’s a crazy story but the guy who shot it, Josh Lewis, used to be my youth pastor in sixth grade. He became a videographer ... and I had no idea. But he had never done a rap video.”
The result was a contemporary sound with scenes of expansive marsh and water shots, interspersed with key city points like Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon.
“I love Willie’s ... that’s my favorite restaurant so it had to be in there,” Hulvey said with a laugh. “Mary Ross Waterfront Park and the bridge, which is the biggest landmark here. I wanted to show Brunswick and not just talk about it ... but actually see it.”
It was also key for Hulvey to showcase his friends, which are featured heavily in the video.
“That was really important to me,” he said.
It took the group more than three months to bring all of the pieces together but the result was worth the effort. The video is currently wracking up views on YouTube with more than 2,000 so far. And he hopes those who see the video will be inspired.
“I’ve been through a lot and the past can be rough and hard. But it can be turned into something beautiful. I want them to take away the beauty and what’s happening now,” he said.
“You can look back on it and say ‘God got me a long way.’ Also I just want it to be fun. I didn’t overcomplicate it. I want people to have fun with it.”
Moving forward, Hulvey plans to keep at it. He is even planning to move to Atlanta in order to have more opportunities to grow in the music industry.
“I’m always going to come back and rep the city but we’re focused on that ... just taking it further. I’m doing another video and want to do some shows around town,” he said. “I just want to engage the youth ... and the skeptics too.”
Coastal People appears Tuesdays. Contact Lindsey Adkison at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 912-265-8320, ext. 346 to suggest a person for a column.