DMV Soundcheck is a segment for local musicians to showcase their talents. It's proudly sponsored by the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment to support the District's creative economy.
Several successful artists hail from DC and its surrounding neighborhoods. Dave Chappelle, Taraji P. Henson, Mýa, Chuck Brown, Dave Grohl, Marvin Gaye, and many others are from DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Our great schools and array of different cultures allow creativity to thrive. DMV Soundcheck is the perfect opportunity to see who will take off next.
Local artist Gabriella has been influenced by the talent in DC her entire life. "Knowing that it's such a creative hub and there's an underground scene and mainstream scene is very cool," says Gabriella. The singer performed "Caged" on Great Day Washington on September 27, 2019.
Kamila Gem strives to deliver positive messages in her music. "I want people to feel uplifted and empowered when they hear me," says Kamila. The singer's latest project "Gem in the Rough" is all about finding the light within yourself and persevering. Kamila lit up the Great Day Washington stage on September 20, 2019.
Bruce Walker of OCTFME appeared on Great Day Washington to mark the second anniversary of DC Radio. The launch of this radio station was part of Mayor Bowser's 202creates initiative to celebrate the creative economy in DC. The official anniversary party will be September 19, 2019, at Union District Oyster Bar and will feature appearances from on-air hosts and musical performances. One of the musicians is the talented Cecily. She appeared on Great Day to give a sneak peak of her performance.
J. Addo had big dreams growing up in Silver Spring, MD. He wanted to be a basketball or football player but realized he may not have the stature for it. He then moved on to the goal of becoming a rapper but thought he didn't have the voice for it. Through that journey, he realized he could actually sing. J. Addo has experimented with multiple genres including R&B and afrobeats, He showed off his musical talents on Great Day Washington on August 30, 2019.
202Creates is a DC initiative highlighting fashion, film, digital arts, music, and more the entire month of September. This is the time for local artists to shine. Don't miss the kick-off event August 29th at The Eaton for a preview of great acts to follow.
A1 Flow has performed with local bands and drawn inspiration from electronic dance, pop, and R&B. He's built a community with other artists in the area which has created a strong support system. A1 Flow performed his single "Catching Vibes" on Great Day Washington August 16, 2019.
Matthew Whitaker was given his first keyboard at age 3 and taught himself nursery rhymes. At 5 he started taking piano lessons. At 10 Whitaker opened for Stevie Wonder at the Apollo. Great musical talent isn't the only thing both performers have in common. Whitaker was born blind, but never let that stop him from pursuing his dreams. This fall he will start studying at Juilliard. "I want to expand musically," says Whitaker. The sky is the limit for this talented artist.
When you're raised in a musical family, music becomes a part of your blood. The hip-hop, R&B and funk artist who goes by the name The Experience grew up surrounded by DC's signature music. His father played in a go-go band and got him to play drums at age 2. Since then The Experience has been delving into multiple genres. He performed his single "The Get Down" on Great Day Washington August 2, 2019.
Born and raised outside of Pittsburgh, PA, Hilary Veltri has always been a small- town girl with big-time dreams. She started playing guitar at the age of 12 and soon became a self-taught singer/songwriter. Hilary performed her new single "Miracle" on Great Day Washington July 26, 2019.
We always hear about artists moving to the west coast to pursue their dreams. But artist Adé moved from there to DC and has taken off. Adé has collaborated with DJ Money from 93.9 on some new sounds. They performed on Great Day Washington's stage June 28th to give audiences a taste of what their tour will have to offer in August.
We're always inspired by where we grew up. Singer/songwriter Funsho was raised in Prince George's County, but is originally from Lagos, Nigeria. "I definitely put a lot of my story, my life, and my journey into my music," said Funsho. Beyond songwriting Funsho also plays guitar. This talent prompted The Baltimore Sun readers to vote him Best Musician of 2019. But he's not Maryland's best kept secret any more. Funsho wowed audiences on a recent season of The Voice. Blake Shelton coached him through the competition where he delivered incredible performances. Funsho lit up Great Day Washington's stage on June 21, 2019.
Music is just one area of the arts where DMV locals shine. By The People is a free international art and dialogue festival that brings visual and performing arts to all four quadrants of DC. Grammy nominated artist Kokayi performed at the festival in June 2019. His exhibit included portraiture, film, and music. Kokayi gave Great Day Washington a sample of his amazing talents on June 14, 2019.
Chaz French got his start in an unconventional way. The DC native was sent to his room by his parents one night at age 8. To show his frustration at this punishment, Chaz wrote a rhyme expressing his feelings. His parents may not have become more lenient, but they did recognize their son's burgeoning talent. "I just love music and being able to express my emotions," said Chaz. It's that drive that led him to perform his single "Handful" on Great Day Washington June 7, 2019.
Dedicated Band is a group from Prince Georges County of graduating high school seniors. While juggling school work the band members honed their musical craft. They're off to a great start, and there's no telling what Dedicated Band will do next.
Great music starts with great education. Local R&B artist Tony Terry went to Duke Ellington School of the Arts where he honed his craft. Those skills are on display in the new play "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" at the Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring.
Celebrate great music at the Lit in DC Awards Saturday, May 18 at Audi Field. The ceremony kicks off at 8:30 p.m. and honors more than music. It's a multicultural event that brings community members together. Activist and Spokesperson for the event Ron Moten discussed it on Great Day Washington May 17, 2019.
To fully appreciate new talent we have to look to the past and see how musical legends paved the way. Glenn Leonard, Joe Coleman, and Joe Blunt are all natives to Washington, DC and were lead singers of the groups The Temptations, The Platters, and The Drifters respectively. The three are now combining their talents and performing classic hits. Fans can listen to "Under The Boardwalk," "Just My Imagination" and more Sunday, May 12 at The Carlyle Club.
54 years ago Blues Alley Jazz opened its doors in Georgetown. The music venue has hosted such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Wynton Marsalis, and Tony Bennett. But Blues Alley is looking to the future. The club just hosted a competition in honor of Fitzgerald that attracted talent from around the world, and it's focused on promoting jazz education among youths. As part of its "Big Band Jam" program, students from Richard Montgomery performed on Great Day Washington May 3, 2019.
Music has the power to heal. This is true for everyone, but especially resonates with Logan Smith. The singer/songwriter learned to play the keyboard and write music at a young age. When he experienced personal tragedy with the passing of this father, music is how he made sense of his emotions. “I really wanted to put that experience into music. So I wrote ‘What If You Had Stayed,” says Logan. The song clearly hit a nerve with others. The accompanying video had 30,000 views on Facebook within the first 24 hours. Fans reached out with their own stories of how the song had helped them. Logan’s been expressing himself through music ever since. He sang “Pandora” from his second record on Great Day Washington April 26, 2019.
"Girls don't play drums." This naysayer set a fire under musician Isabelle De Leon. "I come from a musical family and my dad taught me and my siblings all the instruments," said Isabelle. When it came time to choose which instrument to focus on, Isabelle was motivated by her critic. "I wanted to prove him wrong." Not only does Isabelle perform with multiple groups, she empowers talented youths through Girls Rock! DC. "They offer music programs for young girls," Isabelle told Markette Sheppard on Great Day Washington April 19, 2019. This woman is teaching others to play the drums for years to come.
There's no better way to highlight our local talent than with a concert at the Freedom plaza. DC Emancipation Day is Saturday, April 13, 2019. It's a day to celebrate the unique legacy of freedom in our nation's capital, while pursuing the fight for DC Statehood. The event will be kicked off with a parade starting at 2 p.m. at 10th Street NW and Pennsylvania Ave NW, followed by the concert at 3. Doug E. Fresh, Mýa, Faith Evans are just a few of the acts who will be featured on the stage. Celebrate this important day with some of music's biggest talents.
DC has no shortage of burgeoning talent. But before highlighting the next generation, we have to pay respects to artists who paved the way. The Sugar Hill Gang is widely known for bringing hip hop to the mainstream. Rapper's Delight is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The song changed the music landscape for decades to come. Master Gee, founder of iconic group, explained the impact the song had on Great Day Washington on April 5, 2019.
Originally founded in Paris in 1997, the woman-dominated percussion band Batala broke out in DC in 2007. These talented musicians have exposed the DMV to Afro Bahain culture and Samba Reggae Music. Their main mission is to use their skills and rhythm to empower women. Batala performed on Great Day Washington March 22, 2019.
International sensation Layla Khepri is known for her viral hip hop videos and high-energy shows. Her musicality mixed with her social media savvy has led her to take the world by storm. Layla performed her single "Smile and Wave" featuring The Experience Band and show January 11, 2019.