“I can protest however I like”: Idaho’s Street Fever Is All About Disrupting Reality

Street Fever © Cdigi_
Street Fever © Cdigi_
Idaho native Street Fever (whose true identity remains anonymous) opens up about his turbulent past, his daring approach to art, protest and self-expression, his upcoming album ‘Absolution’ and his song “Sinner” – a fiery, feverish call for inner strength and poetic freedom.
Stream: “Sinner” – Street Fever




I think poetic terrorism is merely just a representation of how I feel inside. I’m never afraid to push because there’s nothing. There’s no boundary I won’t cross as long as it doesn’t interfere with my values as a human being.

Street Fever has battled unthinkable challenges in life.

He was held in a Thai prison, dealt with multiple mental health breakdowns, drug detox… and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Now, through brave exhibitions that some may call unconventional, he shakes up the norm. His song “Sinner” is the ideal representation of that strength personified. Instantly audience are drawn into the artist’s bold, industrial sound. As the single’s piercing, electric quality pulsates through the ears, we feel, within that power, all the pain and frustration he has felt.

Sinner - Street Fever
Sinner – Street Fever

As a mixed-media performance artist who chooses to remain anonymous, there is considerable mystery and wonder in Street Fever’s work. Highly influenced by hardcore, heavy rap and techno, Street Fever’s ferocious passion pulls you down an intense journey. Each release exudes an eerie, spine-chilling sonic and this latest track does the same.

It is okay to feel afraid and anxious, but it is important to push through that fear. Both “Sinner” and Street Fever’s latest release, “Fate,” are great reminders of that.

Street Fever © Cdigi_
Street Fever © Cdigi_

The dark visuals of “Sinner” display the artist’s commanding, provocative protests.

Whether it is destroying a canvas at The Detroit Art Institute or standing atop an altar, waiving a cross, profound meaning can be derived from everything he does. There is something to be said about enacting your freedom of expression in such unique ways; it inspires others to examine their own live. Although Street Fever can take things to extremes, his valiant, self-assured acts show us that we too can step out of our comfort zone.

“I think it’s important to disrupt the norm and go out and do things at places that are sacred or protected,” Street Fever shares. “It isn’t a game. I’m no martyr. I’m not trying to harm myself, but people have got a stake.”

Atwood Magazine spoke with the artist earlier this year about reclaiming power, developing his sound, and much more. Read our interview below, and check out Street Fever’s songs “Sinner” and “Fate,” both of which are out now and available on all streaming platforms.

Street Fever’s debut album Absolution is set to release April 2, 2024.

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:: connect with Street Fever here ::
Street Fever © Cdigi_
Street Fever © Cdigi_



A CONVERSATION WITH STREET FEVER

Sinner - Street Fever

Atwood Magazine: Street Fever is a really cool moniker. What led you to choosing the unique name?

Street Fever: I’m constantly evolving. That name gives me a freedom to evolve and

also express some of the things the street means to me. My father was homeless.  I’ve definitely been affected by stuff. I can associate some of my battles with mental health and addiction. From a very young age, I had problems with all that stuff. So it felt like a way I could identify my feelings. It’s just a name that is a way for me to feel. It means a lot to me. I grew up in a pretty rough environment.

You possess a gritty, mechanical electric sound that is simply magnetic. How was this bold style concocted?

Street Fever: I grew up at a really early age. I was 17 just messing around with simple beats in the studio and trying to make rap beats. I was around a lot of gang activity. I would make beats for some of these guys. I had to do things that I didn’t want to do, to make money all the time. From a really young age it was about survival and finding ways to hustle.

That was one of the avenues for me, making beats for people. I grew up in the hardcore scene, being in hardcore bands. Around 2007-2009 was the big boom with bands like Justice, Sebastian, and Mr. Wowza. I feel like I really latched on to that stuff. I’d say one of my biggest inspirations was definitely Three Six Mafia. I love them. I have some tracks that have hip-hop and rap elements. Kanye West was a massive inspiration for me as well.

Street Fever © Cdigi_
Street Fever © Cdigi_



“Sinner” is all about taking back the power through breaking boundaries, what was the inspiration behind this edgy, exhilarating piece?

Street Fever: I’ve been traumatized by mental institutions and the justice system. I’ve been institutionalized against my will in Las Vegas, Boise, and Bangkok, Thailand. I was actually incarcerated for three and a half months over there, at an immigration detention prison and a mental institution. I got misdiagnosed bipolar. I was on all these meds for five years and it sent me on this insane drug-filled spiritual journey.

I’ve always had a problem with alcohol, but there were even moments where I was just coming off of some of these drugs that I was on and I would just go down rabbit holes. I would wear a mask around in the real world and go to different places.

My video is a way for me to kind of reenact that. Even though the reenactments were real things. I went into the Mormon institution with a mask on my face and was just standing there until they kicked me out. I think it’s important to disrupt institutions that you know have so much control and power. To be honest, I think art is another one of those powers that a lot of people don’t think is an overarching patriarchy protected by wealth.

It was important for me to go to the Detroit Art Institute, and rip up the canvas there with somebody that I really respect in the scene. It was very real. People were a little freaked out by what we did in front of there. John Denver was somebody that I really respect.

Some people will be thinking…why do you do this shit? It’s dangerous. Well, there’s a lot of dangerous things in the world. I think poetic terrorism is merely just a representation of how I feel inside. I’m never afraid to push because there’s nothing. There’s no boundary I won’t cross as long as it doesn’t interfere with my values as a human being. They could try to control other things, but they can’t control your voice and your freedom of expression. I don’t need a million people to protest with me. I can protest however I like. I also do a lot of work with abortion rights and trans collectives.

Street Fever © Cdigi_
Street Fever © Cdigi_



Street Fever © Ismael Quintanilla III
Street Fever © Ismael Quintanilla III

I don’t need a million people to protest with me. I can protest however I like.

Mentioning taking back power, it is truly incredible how much you have overcome. From being locked in a Thai prison, facing major mental health struggles and drug detox, your experiences have not been easy ones. How have you managed to push through all the pain and suffering you have endured?

Street Fever: I’m in a recovery program and I work with people in recovery. I get outside advice and help from others. I help others and I try to stay active in my recovery. I’ve been clean and sober for three and a half years. I quit smoking. I feel like the music is merely the sprinkles on top of my recovery. I had to start building the concrete with my recovery. If I put music and art in front of that, that’s when things go south for me. So I had to learn over and over again that I need to practice self-care and prioritize things such as eating, sleeping and just taking care of myself. Because I’m a recovering addict, I have to understand that is the most important thing for me, not the music. I love art, but if you want to express yourself, you have to have a soul to express.

Can you provide some wisdom to others who would also like to retain their power and find the strength to make it through hard times?

Street Fever: We live in an age that’s so demanding, especially if you throw in being a musician and artist into the mix. You have to understand what’s important to you. I used to want to be the rock star, Mr. Cool. When I started worrying about that stuff and having to deal with other people online that are always going to have more than you, there’s always going to be other things that are distracting me from my primary purpose.

For me my primary purpose isn’t being an artist, it’s about taking care of myself. Once I realized that, everything else started to fall into place. That’s not to say things don’t come up, like frustrations with how the music industry is or how I’m having to promote myself on the internet.

I’m not a salesman, but I have to do these things if I want to succeed in this current state of the industry. I do believe I’m a part of the shift that’s going to happen in this music industry. I do a lot of work outside of this project. I work with a lot of people in the industry that want to be a part of that shift. So I would say start with yourself. Make sure that you’re eating and sleeping and taking care of your mental health.



I’m not a salesman, but I have to do these things if I want to succeed in this current state of the industry. I do believe I’m a part of the shift that’s going to happen in this music industry.

You are known for these daring poetic expressions sometimes in places like art institutions and temples. Can you tell us more about these displays?

Street Fever: I used to do a lot of this stuff on my own without any cameras. I’ve been arrested for certain things such as going into airports with a mask on. You would think, why would anybody do that? I just felt called to it. I’m never trying to hurt anybody. That’s not the point.

I definitely feel terrified. I have felt terrified in my life from mental health institutions and religious institutions. These things that are seen as places of safety. I think it’s important to disrupt the norm and go out and do things at places that are sacred or protected. I’m referring to spots like the airport, church, the headquarters of the Mormon institution, the middle of the street.

Once I got arrested because I laid down in the center of the road. I didn’t want to commit suicide. It was art, it’s always been art. It’s also about, ‘if you want to make me feel caged, then come and take me in the middle of this street right now.’

It isn’t a game. I’m no martyr. I’m not trying to harm myself, but people have got a stake, and it’s landed me in mental institutions so many times. I’ve always known who I am in a sense. Of course I’m always learning more about myself. The one thing I was missing to understand was that I was a drug addict. This whole process really showed me that those moments in the past had the power over me.

Street Fever © Cdigi_
Street Fever © Cdigi_

If you want to express yourself, you have to have a soul to express.

The “Sinner” video documents those exhibitions and showcases an eccentric creativity that is highly captivating. How did the visuals come to life?

Street Fever: It took three years filming the video with multiple tours across the US and studio shoots. There’s some shots in the end where I’m a silversmith and I work at an art gallery as well. That is a metal smoking shop, an art gallery, and we filmed an entire segment of the video inside of there. It cuts back to me holding this cross. My live shows they’re pretty disruptive.

Luckily I have the grace from a lot of these promoters and artists in town that give me the space to get pretty crazy with certain things. An example is pouring paint on myself. I always try to make sure I’m being very communicative about that. I don’t ever want to be disrespectful in those spaces. Wandering into churches and standing up on the altar, that’s real. It’s not paying the church to let me do that. I’m just doing it. Both those spaces are there for worship.

I think worship is whatever you want it to be. Spirituality is an individual path. If I want to stand up on that alter I’m going to do it. I’m not hurting anybody. This is a piece of granite, it’s fine. Some people might disagree with that. I could disagree with a lot of things about the church too. I think it’s about finding balance. We broke into a cathedral in Denver and it was pretty insane. Being able to do this with my friends and people that trust me, we’ll really have to push each other to go into these places, or do these things because they can be dangerous. I understand that and I don’t ever want to put anybody in harm’s way.

I feel protected from something that’s way beyond me. Call it God, call it the universe. I feel safe. I also take advice though. I’ve had people that I really look up to say…hey, please keep doing this. I understand at some of these places, I may have to try to pull it back a little bit. In some of these spaces someone might get the wrong idea. There’s a lot of heroes out there that might, or might not understand what it means for somebody to have a seven inch bowie knife on the steps of an institute with a mask on. Maybe they’ll shoot, because they would probably be justified.

I don’t want that to happen of course. I have to find a balance and take advice from people that I look up to. I understand that this is real life. You can get arrested and you can go to jail. I’m willing to take the gamble, but I don’t want to end up in those institutions. I’m also not going to let it hold me back. I don’t have any fear.

Incarcerated is already part of my story. I’ve almost died in these cells. Me holding the cross, that was me accepting my death in a 3 foot by 10 foot cell because I didn’t have water for three days. All I had was a Bible. This guy gave me a Bible so I opened up the page of Genesis, because the band Justice has a song called Genesis. I put it over my heart. I thought, if anybody finds me, they will understand that I got my favorite band’s song on my chest. I was so thirsty that I tried to drink the sweat out of my own shoe.

Street Fever © Cdigi_
Street Fever © Cdigi_

I think worship is whatever you want it to be. Spirituality is an individual path.

How has living in Boise, Idaho influenced the type of sound you create?

Street Fever: I grew up in Nampa, Idaho. I would say that really inspired me. It was pretty rough growing up there. At a young age I had to do whatever I could to get by. I did some things that people may look down on being heavily in the streets. I’m not saying I had it as hard as some people, but I had it hard in my own way. I’ve had guns pointed in my face. I’ve been robbed. Also seeing my dad be homeless and having to deal with all that stuff is a big part of my anxiety and depression.

I feel like I woke up three and a half years ago from a nightmare, but now for me it’s positive. I pulled myself out of hell. I’ve been working on this album for over 8 years. It originated in anger and despair and now it is very full of light and love. When I think back to that kid who was so scared seeing there father like that, I want to let him know that it is all good.  That child is still inside of me.

I try to be such a positive force in my community. A lot of people go to me for things that are not drugs anymore, like help and advice. That stuff is influencing my sound. I get to be a light not only in my community, but anywhere I go. I’ve had stories and struggles. I’m in a unique position to shine some light and spread awareness. It’s an important time to speak up about it. There are a lot of people dying from drugs. I’ve lost 10 people, including my father, over the years from drugs. I’m releasing the album on his birthday. It comes full circle for me.

Street Fever © Lance Williams
Street Fever © Lance Williams

I feel like I woke up three and a half years ago from a nightmare, but now for me it’s positive. I pulled myself out of hell.

What’s on the horizon for Street Fever?

Street Fever: I have shows coming up in April, March and May. I’m playing with Health, Panther Modern and Pixel Grip at a micro festival in San Diego called Modern Wave. Health is such an inspiring band to me. I grew up listening to them as a kid. My album is coming out April 2nd. I’m really excited about that. Also dropping a couple singles in March. Playing Treefort Music Festival in my hometown as well as playing Bleak Fest with this band King Yosef. Touring a lot. Trying to get over to Europe in the fall.

Street Fever © Cdigi_
Street Fever © Cdigi_

Who are some artists you really enjoy listening to at the moment?

Street Fever: Louisahhh, she is a really good friend of mine. She’s a great inspiration in music and in recovery. She was a hero of mine before I even met her. I would also say Crosses. They are very inspiring as well.

There is this band called M.E.S.H.. They have an album called Piteous Gate that came out in 2015. MPIA3 had this album that was released in 2012 called Your Orders. It was right before Yeezus came out. I hear a lot of Yeezus in it.

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:: connect with Street Fever here ::
Stream: “Sinner” – Street Fever



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Sinner - Street Fever

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