A.J. Haynes is a musician and activist based in Louisiana. Her band, Seratones, released their sophomore album, Power, in 2019. In addition to her work in the band, Haynes works with Hope Medical Group, an abortion care provider in Louisianna, and in support of the Abortion Care Network (ACN), a national association for independent community-based, abortion care providers and their allies.
There is deep soul in the music of Devon Gilfillian—but for the talented Nashville-based singer-songwriter and bandleader, that descriptor goes way beyond a mere genre classification.Growing up in Philadelphia on a steady diet of R&B, hip-hop, rock, blues, and soul music, Gilfillian gravitated to records that ignited his mind while making his body move. His debut album, “Black HoleRainbow,” is available now. 2020 dates include a tour with Grace Potter,appearances at notable festivals, and headlining in North America and beyond.
Houston-native Elliot Franshaw faded from existence sometime during the last decade. The vestigial remains of him that linger on this plane work to shed light on our shared history and serve others for a brighter future. Those remains ramble around weaving stories, getting into good trouble, and loving Stokely and Juniper more than anything in the world.
Born and bred in Boston, Eph See has been recording and releasing music since she was 17. While music had always been a huge part of her life, it wasn’t until her junior year of high school when something inside her clicked: this is what she wanted to do with her life. She recorded and released her first single, “Contact” the spring of her senior year of high school and has been dropping singles and collaborations with other artists ever since. Eph See is also planning an EP release and she is well on her way to becoming a fresh new face in both the Boston music scene and the indie/bedroom pop scene.
Somewhere between DJ Screw and Bad Brains, De La Soul and Scritti Politti sits Houston’s native son, Fat Tony. For the last decade, Anthony Lawson Jude Ifeanyichukwu Obiawunaotu has been everywhere: from star-making turns on the first A$AP Rocky mixtape to hosting shows on Viceland and Super Deluxe, to co-founding a DIY culture magazine to playing every worthwhile rap party in America and burning the stage down every single time. A singular and experimentally-minded rap artist adept at both traditional regional styles and indie pop, hardcore thrash and melodic candy-painted bangers. He is punk in the platonic sense of the word: experimental and subversive, but also funny, whimsical, and virtuosic.
This fall, Fat Tony releases Exotica on Carpark Records. It heralds his most visionary work yet, an ode to the art of storytelling through music. A rich and compact iteration of rap short fiction that firmly establishes him as his own one-man genre, the preeminent post-modern griot shooting game.
Jackie Venson is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter known far and wide for her beautifully complex music and blazing guitar skills. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Jackie has traveled the world playing to massive crowds both as a headliner and as support for major acts such as Gary Clark Jr, Aloe Blacc, and Citizen Cope, to name a few. With the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cancellation of her entire tour schedule, and the wave of social change sweeping across the country, Jackie committed herself to releasing more music than ever before, connecting with her fans directly, and speaking up about the change she wanted to see in her city and country. On April 20th, Jackie released a new EP titled "jackie the robot vol 1" composed entirely of remixes that re-imagine Jackie's critically acclaimed catalogue, showcasing her growth as both a musician and producer. This fall, Jackie will be releasing her next studio album 'Vintage Machine', her first studio follow up to 2019's 'Joy'. Music from "Vintage Machine" will be featured heavily on Jackie's upcoming taping for Austin City Limits' 46th season. With the uncertainty of the times we're living in, one thing holds true for Jackie Venson- she's going to play her music, speak her truth, and spread as much joy as she can doing it.
Joshua Asante is a musician, writer and photographer. He is the lead vocalist and guitarist/keyboardist for the Little Rock, AR based indie bands Amasa Hines and Velvet Kente. Asante has also toured extensively as a solo performer, sharing what he calls "astral soul", a blend of electronic and soul music wherein which one can sense the presence of many artistic forebears in fluidity. Onstage, Joshua sings lyrics inspired by the travel through space, the paintings of Hughie Lee Smith, and the literary work of Black speculative fiction giants Henry Dumas and Octavia Butler. For his live iterations of these ideas, Asante positions himself alone surrounded by synthesizers, drum machines, guitars and a saxophone. More than a mere attempt at the often benign one man band endeavor, he seeks to distill his influences and abilities into a singularity worth sharing. Asante released two singles early in 2019 and is currently working on a full length project.
LISA E. HARRIS
Lisa E. Harris, Li, is an interdisciplinary artist, performer and composer from Houston Texas, USA. Li is a trained classical voice/opera singer from Manhattan School of Music and is certified as a facilitator of DEEP LISTENING, the sonic philosophies of composer Pauline Oliveros, from the Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute.
Li’s work focuses on the energetic relationships between body, land, spirit and place. She uses voice, theremin, movement, text and new media to explore healing in performance.
Recognized by the Huffington Post as “One of Fourteen Artists that are Transforming Opera”, Lisa E. Harris is a creator. From Houston,Texas, this American soprano and composer who often creates with media, performance, and installation, is a filmmaker, singer/ songwriter, writer, educator, community organizer, environmental transformer and Mother Earth advocate as well. Harris clarifies her artistic voice through experimental film, improvisational performance and compositional practices, and further translates her music through the application of natural sciences, spirituality, popular song, melody, harmony, ritual and ceremony. She recently performed “Work Songs” at the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2007, Harris founded Studio Enertia, a multi-media production collective and in 2013 began the artists run Studio Enertia Artist Residency Program in Houston. A collaborative artist with Jason Moran presents A Fats Waller Dance Party, Harris is a featured vocalist along with Meshell N'degecello on the Grammy nominated album All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller. She is a 2015 Valiante Award recipient, a 2016 inaugural artist in residence at The New Quorum and a 2017 MANCC Forward Dialogues Fellow at FSU. Her two new opera films “Cry of the Third Eye” and “Children of the Lost” use vocal composition and film to amplify the quelled voices of youth and displaced people due to rapid gentrification in Houston’s Third Ward. Harris attained a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Mannes College and a Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music.
Madeline Edwards is a singer-songwriter and native Houstonian by way of Santa Barbara, California. Blending the influences of west coast jazz and southern soul, Madeline works to create music and stories that challenge and encourage listeners to be vulnerable and authentic.
“Mama Duke is a 2x Austin Hip-Hop Award winning artist and 1x Austin Music Award Nominee. Taking home both “Artist of the Year” and “Female Artist of the Year” in one night, it’s no wonder she can move effortlessly in a male dominated industry. Opening up for the group ‘Naughty by Nature’ within’ the first 3 months of her 1st ever performance (since moving to Austin, Tx to pursue music) gave her the adrenaline she needed to catapult her into everyone's Top 3 females in Hip-Hop in Texas. Since then, Mama Duke has performed over 300+ times and has recently gone’ on a mini tour. She plans on curating and manifesting the tour of her dreams in 2021.”
In each song she creates, Nicole Atkins reveals her incredible power to transport listeners to a much more charmed time and space. On her new album Italian Ice, the New Jersey-bred singer/songwriter conjures the romance and danger and wild magic of a place especially close to her heart: the Jersey Shore in all its scrappy beauty. Inspired by the boardwalk’s many curiosities—the crumbling Victorian mansions, the lurid and legendary funhouse, the Asbury Park rock-and-roll scene she played a key part in reviving—Atkins ultimately transforms her never ending fascination into a wonderland of her own making.
R&B singer-songwriter Peyton was born in Missouri City, Texas and raised in Houston. She grew up shy but her love for music always overpowered her social anxiety. She pulls from those experiences when writing now, detailing often unrequited attempts to connect to those around her. Peyton has always felt a close connection to her hometown, especially the Third Ward. She is a classically trained vocalist and violinist. Peyton's late grandmother Theola Booker was a formative inspiration who not only composed and arranged music for renowned gospel musician Reverend James Cleveland, winning a Grammy nomination for her work behind the scenes, but also taught piano for decades at Peyton's elementary school (and counted the young Beyoncé Knowles among her students). Some of her other early influences include Amel Larrieux, Erykah Badu, The Neptunes/N.E.R.D., Prince and Kanye West, sonically woven throughout her catalog. Peyton is young but she has already started to make a name for herself in the music scene, with Steve Lacy from The Internet collaborating on her song, "Verbs" and opening for The Internet and SALES. In 2018 two of her songs, "Sweet Honey" and "Lifeline" were featured in episodes of HBO's Insecure as well as on the soundtrack for the series.
RIDERS AGAINST THE STORM
Riders Against the Storm (RAS) a husband and wife duo based in Austin, Texas, are the very essence of the cultural phenomenon known as hip hop. Understanding that art and performance are keys to transforming the individual spirit, they have built institutions that aid in this mission, including Body Rock ATX, now running 10 years strong, and RAS Day music festival, a standout of the ATX live music scene for 6 years. Within their music, and central to their purpose as creators, is an upholding of the culture's spiritual integrity, and a contagious celebration of the magic of creating something from ‘nothing.’
Philadelphia based, but scattered along the East Coast, Sanah Roy is an artist of different genres, focusing on R&B and Indie music. Starting as a singer, and continuing her path as a songwriter, Sanah has been involved with music since her youth. Since then, she’s put out five singles, the most recent of which is her song “Wreck.” She aims to create a music-sphere that uplifts and empowers women, just as the music she grew up with did for her. As Sanah proceeds on her journey to make and put out a variance of music, she strives to explore the world of electronic R&B and make the genre her own.
Since touring the world together and bonding over a shared love of hip-hop, humor, and performance, NewOrleans rapper Alfred Banks and Grammy-nominated saxophonist/producer AlbertAllenback (of Tank and the Bangas) have teamed up to become SaxKixAve. Albert’s left-of-center, jazz and R&B-inflected production provides the perfect base for Banks ’brashly witty, emotionally reflective, finely-tuned lyricism. SaxKixAve’s debut EP, “IDon’tWearSuits”, fully displays Alfred and Albert’s over-the-top sense of humor and high level, authentic musicianship. With features from Tank and the Bangas frontwoman Tarriona “Tank” Ball & former XXL Magazine freshman Mickey Factz, “IDon’tWearSuits” brings a refreshing new energy, musicality, and awareness to today’s sonic landscape.
Spice is a singer, songwriter, and visual artist from Washington DC. Now residing in Dallas TX, she can be seen performing and touring with bands like Sir Woman, and Lunar Rae.
Sugar Joiko is contemporary pop with a harmonious edge of urban meets synth wave. A girl gamer with an addiction to Japanese culture, this New Orleans native is a deft song maker whose global influence for composition and songwriting make her a unique and fresh addition in today’s realm of pop music. With recent recognition as an influential artist from chart-topping performers like Timbaland, LIZZO, and ChrisBrown, Sugar Joiko has performed in three continents, including twice on Japan’s favorite televised singing competition series “Nodojiman” in Tokyo.Her latest single and music video Want Me is now available on all streaming platforms.
Pain, struggle, the trials and tribulations of life…all things that everyday people go through at some point or another. Singer/Songwriter Susan Carol, however, has the unique ability to take those experiences and transform the emotions into effortless and heart grabbing melodies of song. Captivating audiences from all over the dynamic populations of Houston, TX , Susan let’s her previous experiences from such as the death of her father at the tender age 9, to dealing with homelessness while trying to get a college education, show through her raw musical talents. It’s always been her way to escape and feel free from the many aspects of growth and change.
With a new year, comes new beginnings for Susan Carol. Social media is buzzing with her constant flood of home video content and fans are getting the opportunity to watch her live in top tiered local venues among the best artists Houston has to offer.
The fierce sisterhood of Tiffany, Tori, and Sophia Baltierra. Three-time Austin Music Award winners and Ann Richards School alumni, the power trio delivers an eclectic sound and anthemic lyrics celebrating a message of unity and empowerment.
Uncle Tino was born and raised in the heart of Houston, MF Texas. He infuses timeless lyricism and vocals along with a taste of talk box funk. Formerly known as "MC i Ckan Ryme," Unc decided to rebrand in the summer of 2018. He's a graduate of the University of Houston, and using his degree to make music and healthy drinks in the meantime.
At the age of 14, Tino decided he wanted to be an emcee and found a niche in poetry, and making people feel good through his words, mascotting, and began to grow as a musician.
Throughout his school years he managed to release music, 2 EPs (pirate EP, FPOTD EP), and an album (Deadlines) under the name of "MC i Ckan Ryme," a once joke he decided to let stick until it was time to help people out with a name that was spelled correctly and well, just sticks better. He adopted the talkbox while in college and later began to bring the funk live n up close.
An all around entertainer, and human of the world, Uncle Tino cares about everybody, but gives no f*cks. He's everybody's youngest tío.