*At The Rooftop 130, a new club located 130 Market Street, in Inglewood, the lounge slowly filled with artist and creators of independent Hip Hop music.
They mingled while waiting to step onto the spotlight and perform at the Underground Showcase this past April 26. Get ready for the May edition this Thursday, May 24.
With the moon moving from the third quarter (half moon) to its waning crescent phases, the overcast clouds had little illumination above the seated area and the rains of last month have given way to warmer weather so the Underground Showcase kicked off to a vibrant start.
“Independent showcases like The Underground Showcase are important because Los Angeles is a very unique market,” said LaMarr Blackmon, creator of the Underground Showcase. Los Angeles is number one for entertainment, but there is nowhere for an independent artist to get stage time.” I do marketing on 42 black college campuses and I get asked all the time, ‘What can we do In Los Angeles?’ My answer is nothing. So in December, when we finished our Fall Black College Tour, to create a space for independent Artist and That’s Where the Underground Was Birthed.”
The showcase began with comedians who engaged the crowd with jokes. These comedians are not unlike the independent musical artists, they are looking to build a reputation as a consistently funny comedian and grow their fan base through delivering as many quality shows as they can.
Are showcases like these important in this entertainment industry? How can an artist become successful in this changing landscape of new and untested digital practices amongst a sea of analog procedures and practices? How does the live show, and more precisely, performing at events like the Underground Showcase really affect the direction of an artist’s career?
Being seen, and getting the word out is important to any new artist or comedian. Many new artists do not see the real value in maintaining a calendar of show dates until well into their careers. The live show can become the financial bread and butter of an emerging artist. Garnering fans that are willing to pay money for your creation is the main goal.
“These showcases are important to an upcoming artist like me because it gives you the opportunity to test your music in front of a crowd,” explains KeKe Nova, a Hip Hop performer who performed several songs at the April 26th showcase and performed the following evening at Catch One on the 27th.
“The more you perform, the more opportunities you have to gain fans,” explains KeKe Nova. “You never know who’s gonna be in the crowd, so you have an opportunity to perform in front of game changers, or ones that might have some type of influence in your career or in your music.”
Understanding the realities of how the crowd will respond to your music is difficult to do without performing it.
Drew Spence, a music journalist, and publisher of ‘Producer’s Edge Magazine’ categorizes three basic stages in song creation: writing your song, recording in the studio and performing it live.
Spence adds, “Once you get to the third stage, you change how you create your songs and how you structure them. Delivering in front of the live audience changes your writing standpoint and will change how you record in the studio.”
Spence describes the song creation process kind of like a cipher that repeats as the song is mastered. The live show can affect changes in the cipher more than the others can.
“There is a lot of material that you have the confidence to write in your book, or perform in the studio,” continued Spence, “but the ultimate is standing in front of a group and allowing them to judge your show.”
Recording and sharing your live performances can aid in an artist’s development. Spence has strong opinions on the relationship between live shows, social media, and the internet.
“The networking potential of being out in the scene is different from uploading random stuff on the internet, explains Spence, “It still remains true, that the internet should be the reflection of your life and not the dictator of your life. You’re supposed to do something and then it appears on the internet, and not the other way around.”
Planning and preparation are key to career longevity. The worst thing that can happen is for you to get access to a big stage and mess up your performance.
“Doing smaller shows also gives you the opportunity to prepare for much larger shows,” says KeKe Nova adding her real-world insight as both performer and event planner into the conversation. “That way you can get your kinks out before you perform for even a larger crowd.”
Spence emphasizes the importance of concentrating on your stage show and is glad for event planners like Blackmon that fill the gap between an independent artist and a venue to perform in.
“You, also, need to be able to get comfortable with your music,” says KeKe Nova. “The more times you perform a song, the more you know it, the more you can play with it, the more it becomes yours and you own it.”
“I think that’s extremely important,” concludes Spence. “Its 90 percent of that you need to have mastered. Every artist needs a polished stage show before they can make any major headway in the industry.”
For more information on the Underground Showcase or The Fall Black College Tour, email LaMarr Blackmon at [email protected].
Is Pres. Elect Biden Obama’s 3rd Term? & What 44 Said About Black America’s Progress Under His Watch on ‘Breakfast Club’ (VIDEO)
*Attorney Antonio Moore discusses the recent Obama Breakfast Club interview during his Book tour.
Moore harshly critiques the interview of Pres. Obama performed by Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Angela Yee.
He also looks closer at President Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet picks and measures them again Barack Obama & Bill Clinton’s prior administrations.
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
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