I first hung out with Rochester Native and Columbus based producer Maggz aka Jon Rogers at SXSW because he and Bustown mainstay, Zero Star were performing at the Project Blowed Showcase in Austin. It’s always bonding when you hang out with someone from Columbus out of town. The first thing I was noticed about Maggz is, he takes his art seriously. He explained me his value system this past weekend, “I create music for life. A lot of people look at music like a movie or a video game. For me it's like 'naw, this is my art. Meticulous. This is color.” Maggz recently released a low-end thumping, jazz instrumental album “(Complex)ions: Mauve” that has been getting some love on the underground hip hop blogosphere. “Mauve” reception has been built off the momentum from his 2012 fall release “Fragments of Mind” on Feelin’ Music, a label owned by Swiss beat maker Chief. Feelin’ Music releases downtempo, Dilla-influenced hip hop from artist such as Chief and Moka Only. Maggz started off his relationship with the label just from a fan standpoint. “Another buddy of mine in Rochester was just posting stuff on Facebook, videos from Moka Only. I listened to his music and was like, this is really good. I went and downloaded that album, bought the download and listened to it over and over again. I realized how good it was, how quality his music was. I started listening to all his stuff.” Maggz found an a capella from the label and got on the Feelin’ Music radar by tweeting a remix of that a capella at them. When the label was preparing to release the Moka Only & Chief album, “Crickets” they asked Maggz to enter a remix contest. Maggz won the contest with his reworking of “Messin Around” in late 2011. Maggz said that is the moment he went from being a fan to a peer, “We really started to communicate more. And do more work. So that opened the door for me getting on the Feelin' Music record label; working with them. Getting more exposure in Europe and overseas.” Maggz next Feelin' Music project will be his contributions to Moka Only’s annual, “Martian XMAS” release. Moka Only has been doing the “Martian XMAS” project since 2004. If you need a refresher or an introduction, Moka Only is a Western Canadian underground icon who was down with indie-rap Canucks, Swollen Members in the late 90’s. Maggz is forming a group with Moka Ony, and Mr. Brady called The Torchlight Commission. If you are familiar with Maggz previous work with Zero Star and the Tri-Lateral Commission, you will notice the Feelin’ Music material is a lot more mellow and refined compared to his early raw hip hop efforts. He said working with Moka & Co. helped him hone his new direction. “It's allowed me to be more comfortable,” he says. “Because I was not really getting heard, I wasn't comfortable. 'Let me try something else. Let me do this.' I've been all over the place the past couple of years. Just looking for acceptance in a way. Musically. Not from artists. But as a musician. Networking with those dudes. And the fact they accept me and appreciate what I do has allowed me to be more comfortable and be more creative. Really tap into what I am doing. It's like reassurance.” This year Maggz went back to SXSW and also has been a regular at Chicago’s Push Beats Showcase. Friday Maggz will unveil his new project with R & B singer Renee Dion, during an opening slot at the Eric Roberson show. “I never worked with a singer,” he says. “It made me step outside my box. I had to learn how to play piano to do this project. I am happy with it. Working on this project helped me learn about music. Notes and chords and leads.” Maggz long-term goal is simple, “I want to create timeless stuff.” Maggz and Renee Dion will open for Eric Roberson Friday December 6th, At the Xclusive Club 1921 Channingway Center Drive, Columbus, OH 43232