False Publication: up and coming band of OPRF students


Credit False Publication

False Publication is an emerging rap and hip hop, student-led music group based at OPRF whose perseverance, dedication, and passion throughout the pandemic are inspiring during a time of fear and uncertainty. The group is made up of five juniors who have all pursued music independently but came together to produce music because of their previous friendship; vocalist Eric Henkes, vocalist Dakota Pepper, producer Devin Smith, producer Jack Dwyer, and producer Patrick Diakite.

On the walls of False Publication’s recording studio (which also functions as Henke’s room) are two guitars, a keyboard and a microphone in the closet. The recording studio uses the keyboard for producing beats, and a microphone to record vocals. The microphone is kept in a small closet to obtain the best quality with the least background noise. He is learning to play both guitars, one being acoustic and the others electric.
False Publication member Dwyer also has an electric guitar that he is trying to learn, which he became interested in after trying the ukulele. He purchased the guitar from a friend.

The group focuses on rap and hip hop music deriving influence from artists such as Kendrick Lamar, JPEG Mafia, Tyler The Creator, and Joji. The group has been making music together for two and a half years. The group takes influence from other artists’ vocals, production, style, and behavior. Dwyer said when referring to Tyler the Creator that “what was so inspiring to me was that he never compromised his art to please anyone, which has definitely inspired us to stick to our own taste and stay true to what we like.”

Henkes said Joji definitely inspired a lot of my singing early on, and I think my style takes a lot from him.” Henkes even made a cover of Joji’s song “Come Through” before its official release. He was able to create the cover because it was leaked onto the internet. The cover was so convincing, people thought it was an official release. His style was very similar to Joji. Henkes said

Henkes and Dwyer created FP because they shared music as a common interest. They discovered that making music together was much more enjoyable and made the process more enjoyable and productive Diakite said “when we are in the studio are attitudes mesh together well, there will be some instances where we joke around and get everybody on track” “ Vocalist Henkes explained that he told beatmaker Dwyer ¨Yo, let’s start making some music because it was a common interest we both had.¨ Since starting, Henkes said the group has gained and lost members, finally finding “their perfect balance” Diakite said One of their greatest strengths that is a result of their close friendship is the ability to critique each other’s work, as well as being able to stay focused. “Our attitudes mesh well together too, Diakite said there will be some instances that we joke around, and there will be one person to ground everybody, and get on track.”

Each member enjoys making music for different reasons. Diakite said he likes “hearing how I can evolve my sound¨ and ¨increasing in skill¨. Diakite’s skill increases because of his consistent dedication and productivity. He told me “I usually take two to three hours out of my day each day to just like messing around on music, producing, trying new beats.”

Henkes said guitar has” been a part of my life for the longest time, I have been playing guitar since I was 4 years old.” Henkes dedicates a large portion of his freetime to music. “ I play about 5 to 6 hours a day. In high school, he picked up beat production as a hobby when he was bored. He said “there have been times I have been so frustrated that I want to quit, but I kept going and that’s what’s important.¨ Dwyer often got frustrated when he could not create beats he liked, or if he got into a creative rut.

Dwyer also told me about why he wanted to quit at times. “Wanting to quit I think stemmed from insecurity about my music, it feels like what I said before; one day you could feel at your lowest point and the next day you could have a creative burst of energy. I think over time I realized that it’s(frustration and failure) just a part of the journey and I need to push through it, but it’s still very disheartening.”

Pepper takes a different more light hearted approach to music production. Pepper said he ¨likes hearing funny noises, especially the ones that I make.¨ Specifically, Pepper told me he “When I make beats, a lot of them are inspired by Homeshake and Childish Gambino.” Pepper likes both of these artists’ productions because of the synth heavy music and psychedelic sound.

Smith said he ¨likes making music with people I enjoy being with.¨Smith said I just felt something when we first worked together, when I worked for them with sound it was like a spark that made me want to keep making music with them.”

The group members also shared their favorite songs. False Publication members believe “Propaganda” is one of their best works and it took all summer to record , although they agree “Sahara” is their best song. They specifically liked the energy and production of “Sahara”

The ambitious group also wants to perform at Homecoming next year and hope school will return to normal in time.
False Publication also plans to pursue their musical careers together past high school. Dwyer told me “We definitely want to keep in contact after high school.” They plan on making music remotely during college.

They have found opportunities to perform in the past and are dreaming big for future events. In the past, the group has performed at FitzGerald’s open mic night in Berwyn and Val’s Halla record store in Oak Park. They played at the store to gain traction as a group. The group also has an ardent base of supporters. All of the group’s biggest supporters are all close family, mothers, fathers, cousins, and brothers are all big supporters of the group. Smith’s mother tells the whole family when they drop a new song. Dwyer’s brother posts all of False Publications’ releases on his social media. Dwyer also admitted that it is a little embarrassing when his family plays his music out loud in front of other more distant family members, but he also greatly appreciates the support.

False Publication passion for making music and sharing it has not been curtailed. They stay safe by playing in masks, and limiting how many people can be in the studio at one time. In such a scary and demotivating time it is vital to stay motivated. Henkes and Dwyer said how music kept them positive once the quarantine began. “I think once quarantine hit music definitely saved my mindset Henkes said, I was falling into a negative mindspace and music helped me out of it.” Dwyer also said “This (group) is genuinely one of the only things that keeps me motivated.”

You can stream False Publication on Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud.