QuiVaH rocks the mic

Portland State senior Haven Chance has found a way to pursue to combine the rigors of college with the commitment of a hip-hop group.

QuiVaH, Chance���s group, started as a DJ act playing parties and fraternity houses on the Oregon State University Campus in 1998. The group started as a trio featuring Chance, his brother Quincy and Vegen Galastiantz, also known as V. The name of the group is a combination of their names.

After meeting keyboardist Steven Sasa, they decided to try to turn the unit into a live performance outfit. They added bass player Troy Sicotte and drummer Charles Neal to round out the unit.

���We started off being DJs then we started rapping over old LPs,���� Chance said. ���We hooked up with our keyboardist Steve and ever since we ran into him we knew we had to go live.����

Chance grew up listening to rap pioneers. ���Definitely hip-hop, like the Fat Boys, Wu Tang, Lox, Nas, I listened to all kinds. I���ve pretty much listened to hip-hop ever since.����

The Aloha High School graduate returned to Portland from OSU after three years to finish his degree in liberal studies. Chance is currently a full-time student at PSU.

Starting the act in Corvallis was not a huge challenge. ���We were in a college town, we knew a lot of people, you find out who is having a party and let them know you got two turntables and charge them $300,���� Chance said.

The money came easier for the trio at OSU than it does now slogging it out as a live act.

���The reason we got so much was because of the fraternities. They have the money, so they���re willing to pay,���� Chance said. ���Here we���re trying to get shows and for a live band. It���s different. It���s tough with hip-hop. There are controversial issues. People are kind of scared around here to have hip-hop.����

Chance said that college is a good match with a band. ���You���re around more people, especially people my age. I think it���s a good atmosphere. There is a lot of diversity.����

Chance, who works about 20 hours a week, said that it is similar to trying to work full-time and have a band. ���I sacrifice my school. I could spend way more time studying.����

Each member added to a group adds another layer of difficulty. ���It���s definitely difficult getting six people together at the same time for practice or even for shows,���� Chance said. ���At the end of practice we sit down and try to figure out when everybody is available ���� what time, what day.����

According to Chance other difficulties include the costs of equipment, transportation and recording.

Moving the extensive equipment is part of the jog for groups on the way up. ���The turntables are a big set up. They���re a pain in the ass to move around,���� said Chance.

Relying on the club for most of the amplification can lead to less than desirable results. Chance said, ���There is usually something wrong with the sound. We have yet to find the perfect sound guy.����

���It���s easy to find places to play. It���s not easy to get a set date. We been real lucky. This guy we knew in Corvalis moved up here and got us shows at the Roseland, Berbati���s and Sege���s,���� Chance said.

The group plays every couple of weeks, Chance said, ���Last week we played at the Roseland theater. We played Berbati���s. We played at the Copper Penny and in Eugene. Roseland was the largest crowd we���ve played for. Our next show is at Sege���s May 27.����

���Our music is kind of hard to describe because it doesn���t sound like a lot of other music. If I had to compare it to two groups which I don���t like doing, the two bands I compare it with are Outkast and The Roots.����

From here the band hopes to complete 15 to 20 tracks for a CD. ���We���re saving up for a mixer. Once we get the mixer we can produce professional results,���� Chance said. ���We have a four track demo.���� The four tracks can be found at their Web site, www.east2westproductions.com.