Westword Music Showcase

Celebrating 25 Years of the Westword Music Showcase: Trev Rich

Aaron Thackeray
Trev Rich reflects on the Westword Music Showcase.
On June 29, we'll present our 25th Westword Music Showcase. The event has grown dramatically since it was founded in 1995 with just a handful of bands playing around LoDo. In 2019, more than 75 local acts will fill venues throughout the Golden Triangle, while national headliners CHVRCHES, Jai Wolf, JAUZ, Bishop Briggs, Crooked Colours, lovelytheband, the Knocks, the Wrecks and SHAED will play the two main stages.

Many of the artists who have participated in the Showcase have gone on to worldwide success, while others continue to perform for loyal local audiences. And some have cashed in and left music altogether.

For years, Trev Rich has been one of the shining stars of Denver's hip-hop scene. He was signed to Cash Money Records, rapped on the Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, and collaborated with J. Cole on Revenge of the Dreamers III. Through all that, Rich has excelled as a songwriter, mixing humor and pathos in honest lyrics reflecting on life's struggles. We caught up with Rich to get his take on the Westword Music Showcase and Denver's music scene.

Westword: What memories and stories do you have of playing Westword Music Showcase?

Trev Rich: Too many to write out. I’ve been doing the Showcase for years now, every year climbing to a bigger stage, which as a musician is all we can ask for. Last year was the biggest one for me. I was leaving a close friend's funeral to perform and told the family I would dedicate the show to him. When I got there, nobody was around my stage. I was upset. Once we started playing music, it was over: I had a full crowd, and I went in for Rocka. Favorite memory by far.

How has your own band evolved since playing Showcase?

Simply put, when I started doing the Showcase, I was just a rapper. Now I’m so much more. I’ve finally put it all together.

Denver's music scene has changed a lot over the past 25 years. What are your thoughts on its evolution?

The evolution is definitely there. We still have a ways to go, but at this pace, I feel like we could become a hub for music in the next five years. Everybody just has to keep pushing the envelope.

The 25th Westword Music Showcase will sound off in the Golden Triangle on Saturday, June 29. Get tickets and more details at westwordshowcase.com.