Energetic stage presence and island influence attracts fans from all demographics including Good Times Programming. GTP brought rising Hawaiian pop/hip-hop artist Corey Pieper to campus March 14.
Also known as C-Piepz, the 22-year-old artist continues to gain followers outside his Milwaukee base, and his Phoenix Club performance solidified some new fans.
Erin Sunisa, senior vocal and theater performance major, played a role in booking Pieper for GTP. Sunisa thought having Pieper perform on campus would be a good change of pace.
“GTP always tries to bring a variety of acts to the campus, and rap/hip hop was something that hasn’t been done recently,” Sunisa said. “Corey Pieper is an up-and-coming artist, and we wanted UWGB to get a different taste of music.”
“From Milwaukee 2 the Islands,” a slogan often used by Pieper, represents his Hawaiian roots and Milwaukee where he was born and raised, both greatly influencing his lyrics. A friendly competition during his freshmen year in high school triggered Pieper to pursue a career in music. The competition was between rap group Global Warming and one Pieper started with a friend called UniQness. Pieper said there was not only a following of the two groups at their own school but surrounding schools showed interest as well. The two groups had a rap battle at the school talent show that year, setting an attendance record with the number of fans. The moment the set was finished, the crowd exploded with screams and applause.
“I remember thinking to myself while looking out at everyone, ‘Man, I could really picture myself doing this for a living,’” Pieper said.
Family, friends and fans’ demand for music, t-shirts and other merchandise pushed Pieper to the next level of his career.
“The more I started to pursue music, the more people started noticing and recognizing me at parties and public places,” Pieper said. “It was a good feeling, so I decided to stick with it.”
As a young, rising artist, Pieper faces challenges that require him to stay focused. His family, friends and girlfriend have been his support system since day one.
“Even when they don’t necessarily agree with certain things, they always stand behind me and are there if I ever need anything,” Pieper said.
Pieper appreciated the love and support Green Bay fans showed.
“I had a blast performing at UWGB,” Pieper said. “Everyone was extremely nice from the moment we got there until the moment we left.”
As his career continues to grow, new material is in the works. Not only does he hope to return to UWGB, but he also wants to bring in a bigger crowd the next time around.
Alex Drath, future UWGB student, attended the show and was beyond impressed with Pieper. Drath said Pieper’s communication with the audience and his energy made the show a success.
“Corey Pieper is a positive and inspirational artist and person,” Drath said. “He has such an amazing talent.”
Overall, attendance showed that the Hawaiian rap artist was well received at UWGB.
“A lot of people came and danced and stayed to chat with Corey. It was a lot of fun,” Sunisa said.