Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival Interviews: Counterfeit Madison

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Early on in the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Nelsonville Music Festival announced its cancellation due to the infectious disease outbreak. In its place, Ohio University School of Media Arts & Studies Director Josh Antonuccio and Nelsonville Music Festival Executive Director Tim Peacock created the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival, an online presentation of the popular festival, which is being produced by Stuart’s Opera House, WOUB Public Media, the Scripps College of Communication and the Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies, in partnership with OU Performing Arts, the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Haden DeRoberts Foundation. Under the direction of Antonuccio, Ohio University students and recent graduates are on location around the region with school faculty Andie Walla and Brian Plow filming performances for the virtual fundraiser supporting Stuart’s Opera House. WOUB producers Adam Rich and Evan Shaw are providing post-production on the project, which will go live on Stuart’s official YouTube page August 21-22.

In addition to gaining critical audio and video production experience, students and recent graduates are also learning the ins and outs of music journalism, promotions, and publicity: interviewing performers and creating a myriad of content related to their unique experience. This interview was conducted by VNMF Publicity/Promotion team Lauren McCain, Weiler Harmon, and Madyson Lewellyn and was produced by WOUB’s Arts and Culture producer Emily Votaw. 

Sharon Udoh
Sharon Udoh of Counterfeit Madison. (Image courtesy of the artist)

Counterfeit Madison is the eclectic musical combination of Sharon Udoh, bassist Adam Hardy, and drummer Seth Daily from Columbus, OH. Udoh, who decided to play her set for VNMF solo, leads the trio with her funky, vaudeville-inspired piano playing and her gut-grabbing gospel runs that give the band their unforgettable sound. Since 2013, the group has released two full-length genre-smashing albums, the most recent being Opposable Thumbs in 2017.

In our interview with Udoh, we discuss music and creativity in the age of COVID and how being a person of color in contemporary America influenced her setlist and decision to play solo for the Virtual Nelsonville Music Festival.