WE Fest on MTV (1997)

Back in 1997, the second incarnation of WE Fest was featured on MTV. So was my band at the time Ya-Ne-Zniyoo … well kinda.


My friend Kenyata Sullivan—the founder of WE Fest and member of the band The Majestic Twelve—has been on a bit of a nostalgic trip, posting videos of musical memories. This one of the original WE Fest crew on MTV in 1997 is extra special to me for two reasons.

The first comes from remembering the pride of seeing our friends on MTV. This was special. This gathering of indie spirits invading corporate airwaves with the unheard of philosophy, “If you wake up in the morning and you’re still doing what you love, you win.”

Sure, I may never stop struggling to achieve that goal, but these scenes will always be an inspiration to me. Remembering the early days of WE Fest keeps me going.

My first WE Fest was 1998.

WE Fest on MTV (1997)

My second reason for loving this clip is a purely selfish one. It has to do with Kenyata’s wardrobe, seen in the photo above. That t-shirt with the Russian letters is from my band at the time called Ya-Ne-Zniyoo.

Kenyata sent me a VHS tape (which I still have somewhere) of this footage with a note joking, “Don’t say I never did anything for ya!” Of course the joke was Kenyata has done more for indie music that just about anyone I’ve ever known.

I went around for weeks bragging that my band was on MTV.

Singer Eric Schmitz and I got to perform as Ya-Ne-Zniyoo at the 2000 WE Fest.

Thank you Kenyata for sharing this wonderful memory.

See Also:
WE Fest
The Majestic Twelve
Ya-Ne-Zniyoo


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