Scoutmob swung by our offices and interviewed Deisha to talk about the things that make her tick.
Meet Deisha Oliver-Millar, Musician and President of Bang! Arts Management
According to her great aunts (who happen to be nuns), Deisha means “gift from God.” And let's just say we agree with the nuns' translation. With her infectious laughter, freakishly adorable smile, her hella sweet backrubs (by request only) and her ability to literally light up the entire city, she really is a heavenly gift. Most Atlantans know her as a veteran of the art and culture scene and/or resident comic reliever around town. She's all that... a mommy, connector of people and ideas, and of course a bag of chips. Get to know the lovely Deisha and what the bang is all about:
SCOUT: Hello, Ms. Deisha. How might people know you?
DEISHA: I have been a cellist with many a band, notably Tiger! Tiger!. These days, I am more for hire now and again. I got to play on the recent Soulphonics single, “Heartlite,” and had a glorious time last year recording with The Selmanaires. The other 80 hours a week, I operate an arts management and promotions company called Bang!(I really, really like exclamation points!)
SCOUT: And we're a fan of exclaimed sound effects. So, tell me about Bang! Arts and what you guys do:
DEISHA: Bang! celebrates artists and arts groups as well as small businesses in the Atlanta area. We consult and implement marketing and branding strategies as well as hosting in-house graphic design, web programming, copy writing, public relations and event planning.
In its collaborative approach to client relations, Bang! Arts hopes to also educate its clients on new marketing and media, so that they can get the good word out on the streets, get people out of their homes and enjoying the rich and diverse landscape that the Atlanta arts and business communities have to offer.
Our clients list and what we have done for them is pretty varied … but here is our current list:
Twain’s Billiards and Tap. Leigh Kirkland Art, BangArts.com, Shathouse Rats,MINT,Villain Family, Catch 23, Tiger! Tiger!, Soulphonics and Ruby Velle .
SCOUT: Dang, Bang! Represent! Got some favorite local acts?
DEISHA: Favorites? Sh*tballs, that’s hard. As far as music goes, I only work with peeps I like and who seem to think I’m not too much of a jerkface to hang out with. Currently Soulphonics and Ruby Velle, Blair Crimmins and The Hookers, Tiger!Tiger!, Shathouse Rats, Book of Colors, Holly Golightly (totally don't represent her - but love her just the same). I mean there is so much talent here it is pretty fascinating. I want to play cello and squawk with every band.
SCOUT: Local Atlantans that inspire you?
DEISHA: Sadie Upchurch (aka Sadie Hawkins) is my performing partner in Flight of Swallows and she is just the bee's knees. And then there are so many people doing great things to unite the arts scene – MINT (they have an exciting program they are about to announce for emerging artists), PurgeATL, an online source for all things celebratory of Atlanta culture, all the peeps that are making The Goat Farm a vibrant beacon of collaborative art making and performance showing: these things/people/places make me all warm and happy on the inside.
SCOUT: And you definitely contribute to the warm happiness in town. What are you favorite music venues in Atlanta?
DEISHA: That is a toss up. It depends on what is playing – sort of like changing the channels on your radio, man – so I can honestly say The Earl, say The Star Bar, 529, say Variety Playhouse…depending on my mood and bat channel will depend on how I spend my monetary love for that evening.
SCOUT: I’ve seen you at (almost) all of those places. Where in Atlanta do you go to let your mind acquire new ideas?
DEISHA: If there is a crowd of people (gallery openings, music shows, general out and about-ness) I like to get into random situations and random conversations with people. I make a lot of friends that way.
SCOUT: Where do you go to unwind with a good drink and good company?
DEISHA: Twain’s Billiards and Tap. Laid Back, best pour in town, and everyone is pretty darn great there.
SCOUT: Stellar gathering place with excellent brewskies. You're pretty curious yourself, but what's you favorite “curious find” in Atlanta?
DEISHA: The back patio at MINT is now my new favorite chill spot. It is right on the Beltline. And since it has been gorgeous out there as of late – I have been able to work outside and watch the random people that walk past. It has been quite a hoot.
SCOUT: Man, you are just totally one of the cool kids. Is there something people wouldn’t expect about you
DEISHA: Again with the circus stuff, I am taking lyra classes with Sadie Upchurch. It hurts and is the most wonderful kind of hurt outside of childbirth I have experienced in a long, long time. Oh and I really, really love old cars (in particular old Mercedes with the 1960’s body style) and the smell of gasoline.
SCOUT: Mmm... you’re just a foxy little thing. You’ve been around the Atlanta scene through a lot of change—what has improved the most in Atlanta? Where do you see Atlanta going in the future?
DEISHA: The Food and the choices for Food. Good god, there is so much good stuff out there my taste buds go into overdrive. I love that there is a push (that is here to stay) for farm-to-table philiosophies; I would like to see that expand further, keeping our economy local, supporting the people that make up all of our diverse communities.