Biography

Emerging from Richmond, the Cap City of Virginia, Eugene James "Slika"  was influenced by music at an early age. Hanging on the heels of his father's footsteps, Slika used to travel to various gospel concerts throughout VA. His uncle, Thomas Eldridge, was a founding member of "do-wop" group The Jarmels with hit song (a Little Bit Of Soap). Slika's oldest sister, was in her own singing group, Slika was always in and out of the studio with her; taking in all the musical knowledge. He took his cue from the stirring gospel quartets, his uncle's fame and his sister's love for singing. He decided to take a step towards making music... a much-loved hobby.

Like most teenagers growing up and watching music videos, Slika took to the smooth footing of various hip-hop dancers and began dancing in high school talent shows. Along with his newfound talent, he began establishing his own rapping style. Some of his main influences at the time included, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap and Slick Rick. Beating on desks and freestylin' at George Wythe HS, Slika and few of his friends decided to get together to start a group, calling themselves the P.R.O.G.R.A.M - Professional Reformers Organized to Gain Respect & Maturity. Out of this crew of entertainers, Slika and his best friend, Marlon Cox (Marlon Cee) decided to set out and explore their talents together. Thus, forming the duo Dirty Soulz.

From the auditoriums of high school talent shows and various showcases, the next stop for Dirty Soulz was the Big Apple. They started recording their first album in 1993 under the EastWest record label. While touring with hometown artist, D'Angelo, they grasped a firm footing on how the music business is operated. with all that was going on at the time, Slika decided to take a step back from the music scene to gather his thoughts. He began a journey to create his own sound.

As the years passed, Slika's interest in production progressed. Inspired by various family members, Buck Nelson and Solo Recordings, reminding him of his group, Slika created his own company - Swingin' Bridge Productions. The name was derived from a family fishing hole in Cumberland, VA, with numerous, fascinating stories. He took bits and pieces from those stories, personifying his ancestors and nature, to embark upon a new untapped sound. He turned to what he knew best at this time - himself. He began writing, producing his solo project, "Grass Roots", a prolific hip-hop album that speaks of everyday life situations. The project was also referred by some as 'country fried boom bap'.

This accomplishment of his debut album reassured Slika that wonderful things were sure to come in his musical future - his production company, projects and proteges... just to name a few. Slika credits his early musical interests, as well as diverse influence of genres to the success of his optimistic career.

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