“Just because I grew up in the South doesn’t mean I had a horse.”
The emergence of The Slaps has lead to a large Chicago fanbase and their spot in the Chicago indie rock music scene. At a Slaps show, expect to see DePaul undergraduates, cuffed pants (as seen on Kelly), cigarettes and plenty of dancing. Their doo-wop love songs easily ignite a crowd of anti-socialites into a frenzied fit of movement.
The Slaps are not his first experience in a band, as he and Bell performed together in Littlechap during their high school years in Lexington. The band broke up shortly after the two moved to Chicago.
“Littlechap was the beginning for me and Ramsey,” Kelly said. “It kind of got us ready for what we wanted to do with The Slaps, but it’s easier in Chicago than in Lexington.”
Kelly said that while Lexington had a small yet active music scene, it was nearly impossible to move up and network within the community. Simply, there wasn’t enough people in the scene to get much recognition outside of the city.
He described his upbringing as more expressive than farmlife allows. Growing up in a family of artists and musicians, music was always in the cards for him as it was natural to play from a young age.
“I remember when I first went to Rand’s house, there were guitars and artwork piled around the house,” Bell said. “Books were everywhere, ones on Chuck Berry and guys like that. I could tell this was a cultured family from the start.”
Bell further described Kelly as an old soul trapped in a little boy’s body. Talking to him is “one of those experiences you only get from so many people.” Bell’s words had authority, as Kelly easily stuck out in that coffee shop. He lights up a room, with his boyish smile and bright blonde hair. The words that came out of his mouth, though brief, were articulate and eccentric. Whether it was the actual words that were eccentric or the brightest of his eye, it was unclear but interesting.