Unique is a band that is anything but ordinary.
A Christian group made up of four talented men—sophomores Jeriah Dunk, Demargo Friedl, Aaron Nash and freshman Alex Habeger—brings a new and uplifting perspective to the world of rap music.
The four met and started the group at Northwestern, although they each started making some sort of music or writing at a young age.
For Friedl, it started with song writing.
“I started writing poetry when I was younger, which turned into writing songs,” Friedl said.
The writing continues to help the band today. In fact, the group’s name came from a song Friedl wrote last year, entitled “Unique.”
Nash got started not with the poetry of rap, but because of the fun and the friendship surrounding rap for him.
“People in my neighborhood were rapping, and so I started rapping with friends,” Nash said. “It was for fun at first, but then I realized I wanted to reach out to people.”
Dunk’s background of growing up listening to Christian rap helped influence the band’s style as well.
“I was in orchestra in middle school and high school, and I listened to Christian rap. I used both of those areas to start producing beats,” Dunk said. “My rapping started in sophomore year of high school, and I decided I wanted to use my abilities for something more important. When I got to NW, it got a lot better.”
Habeger, the youngest member of the group, began writing Christian rap lyrics when he was a still in high school as well.
“I used to listen to secular rap when I was young,” Herbeger said. “In eighth grade, I started listening to Christian rap and stuck with that all through high school. I started writing Christian rap in my sophomore year of high school, and now God has led me to these guys here at NW.”
The four members of the group have similar inspirations and musicians they look up to. They are quick to point out that Jesus is their main inspiration, but they also look up to artists like Lecrae, Trip Lee, 116 Clique, Flame and many other musicians.
Two of their main goals are to put a lot of Christian influence into their songs and to show they are on the same level as their audience.
“We don’t want to sound like we’re way up here, and you’re way down there,” Dunk said. “We talk about ourselves and our own flaws before we talk about someone else’s. We don’t want to sound ignorant.”
Friedl agreed with Dunk.
“We aren’t judging, and we know we aren’t greater than anyone else,” Friedl said.
Unique performed at the Old Factory last year, which was a big show for them. They have also performed at the ethnic fair put on by NW’s I-Club.
Right now, the guys are working on making their own album. They are recording a couple times a week in the VPH studio basement, sometimes working late into the night and early into the next morning.
“Sometimes we are up until 3 or 4 in the morning recording or writing,” Nash said. “God just starts working, and we forget about the time.”
Unique is currently working on a song entitled “Puff Puff Pass.” The group thinks it might end up being controversial because people might twist the meaning, but it has a strong message that Unique is really trying to focus on this year.
“The song’s basically about how we don’t need weed and drugs because we got God,” Friedl said.
Along with “Puff Puff Pass,” Unique is also working on other songs for their upcoming album called “Younique.”
Even when the guys aren’t writing or recording their songs, there is still always a sense of family and brotherhood among them, which they say is the most rewarding part about being in Unique.
They can talk to each other about more than just music, and they can see the Holy Spirit work through each other.
“I like the feeling of family I get from being in the group,” Habeger said. “I grew up in a small town and was the only guy that listened to Christian rap. It’s good to have others that do the same here, and I’ve been so blessed to meet these guys.”
Although there is no expected date for the release of the album, NW students and their other fans can wait for it with eager anticipation.