In the beginning, #swinghop was just a vintage glint in the eye of Devin “Gatsby” James as he approached Barry Quigley and Justin Alexander of JCA Beats Productions about combining the old school sounds of the swing era with hip-hop. The idea of a pin-up model showcase struck Gatsby as a way to get his old/new sound out to the masses that would be widely acceptable (and visually pleasing to the eye).
Devin went to work asking pin-up models on Facebook if they would mind lending him some of their images to be used as the visuals for this new #swinghop sound. Models like Scarlette Saintclair and The Vintage Doll have been featured in every picture showcase thus far, and have been integral in getting this new type of music out to a larger audience. 13 models contributed images in the very first installment simply titled “Pin-Up ‘Preciation”:
*Greta Macabre can be seen here as the video’s display model*
So, swing-hop now has a sound…and a visual element. The past is now the present, and the 30s-40s have come back anew. The next step for Gatsby was to create a spin-off of the rockabilly style so common in the pin-up culture. So Barry, Justin, and Devin got to work on making the 2nd installment of the Pin-Up ‘Preciation series called “Rockabilly Silly.” Here, the model count jumped from 13 to 25 as Devin looked to really delve into the culture and start getting himself more familiar with the community as a whole. Models such as The Pirate Doll, Lenore Caine, Ana Perduv, Felina Vie, and the hyper-realistic pin-up art of Nathalie Rattner can be seen in this installment:
*Rockabellaboots can be seen as the video’s display model*
The world of pin-up is now becoming more vast and intricate for Devin, as he looks to create his biggest model showcase yet with installment #3 showcasing 32 models. The boys decided to call this one “Flapper Muzik,” and the reference for this track was picked by Barry Quigley. Quigley approached Gatsby about using “Piddily Patter Patter” by Nappy Brown as the reference music, and needing a reason to get back to swing, Gatsby agreed to let the beat crew go to work. This installment debuted the popular UK alternative/pin-up model Ria Fend, as her post of the video directly to Facebook helped get the series to its highest single video view count at over 30k. Gatsby combined overseas and stateside models featuring pin-ups such as Ava Couture, Goldie Bardot, Millie Michelle, Kitty Rockabilly, Trixie Laroux, Sugar Rush and Shevi De Lux. Swing-hop is starting to become something known in the pin-up world at this point, and is being welcomed with open arms by the pin-up community…
*Brody Bombshell can be seen as the video’s display model*
“Pin-Up 4 – Gatsby B. Good” was the installment that the trio decided to bend classic rock, and give their sound a bit of Chuck Berry. Ria Fend became the poster girl for the video, and is now considered to be an integral part of the series due to her posting and sharing efforts throughout #3, and beyond. The Colorado connection was made during #4 when Billie Buchanan mentioned that Gatsby should seek out Delicious Ruckus, and put her in the video. Little did he know that D-Ruck had already been featured in Pin Up: The Movie, and had passed on the swing-hop sound to Kathleen Ryan (director) to consider for the film after 4 had dropped on YouTube. Other Pin-Ups for Charity models such as June Palmer, and The Feisty Cupcake made appearances in the video, along with GG Montoya, Ebony Inferno, Grace Glamour, Vivacious Vixen, Miss Melody, Stephie Danger, and Sonya May:
Before 2015, Pin-Up ‘Preciation installments had only happened once a year. However, having seen the growing popularity, and the opportunities arising through them, Gatsby and the JCA Boys decided to take it to the next level. During Pin-Up 4, the actions of both Ria Fend sharing the Facebook video with Pin Up: The Movie, and Delicous Ruckus showing Kathleen the swing-hop sound, led to the opportunity of creating “Calendar Girls” for the documentary. More background on the process of composing for the film can be seen under the Pin Up: The Movie post. Pin-Up 5 became the first edition that wasn’t a moving slideshow of still images, and thus gave the series a new dynamic.
“Pin-Up 6 – Girls Like That” will be the first live action version featuring Northwest pin-up models Kitty Mansfield and Ruby Rydell, as well as Colorado pin-ups Dapper Dan Doll, Lady Allure, Vicki Doll, and Vanda Miss Paradise. The video is currently being edited by the one and only Kathleen Ryan, and should be coming out sooner than later. The Pin-Up ‘Preciation series is going from print to in-person, and keeps on going up as the years progress.
From the concept of #swinghop, to creating a completely original sound, to being accepted into the pin-up community and being part of a movie about pin-ups, I’d say JCA Beats and Gatsby are onto something that may just become a thing of the…future? Let’s see what the future holds for this all new sound among a sub-culture that’s becoming a cultural phenomena around the world.