HOUSE PARTY 4

Close To The Sun. Photo by Mary Elworth

Close To The Sun. Photo by Mary Elworth

House Party 4 was lit!!! We were a little hesitant to do it during spring break, but the stars aligned and the room was packed! The sign up sheet was completely full within 20 minutes of doors opening, thanks to the incredible Monica Elenes (Hip Hop Artist Residency), who got all of the performers got on stage. Politically-charged rapper ZAG rocked his new single "Ahmed," which he premiered at More Music at The Moore. Lashaunycee surprised us with a new song called "Someday Maybe," with beautiful melodic hooks (she needs to bring a choir next time) intermingling with her introspective rap verses. Joseph sang a beautiful cover of CNCO's "Tan Fácil." And to close it out, Close To The Sun put on a dance party that got everyone out of their seats (and even flat on the floor). Big thanks to DJ Funky Fresh Fernando for setting a great vibe and keeping the energy high between sets. Incredible night of music. If you missed it, don't worry, House Party 5 is coming your way in early May - stay tuned!

ZAG. Photo by Mary Elworth.

ZAG. Photo by Mary Elworth.

Lashaunycee. Photo by Mary Elworth.

Lashaunycee. Photo by Mary Elworth.

Joseph. Photo by Mary Elworth.

Joseph. Photo by Mary Elworth.

Photo by Mary Elworth

Photo by Mary Elworth

HOUSE PARTY 3

The House Party is always one of our most popular events. Our name for an open mic, a House Party is where you'll see a singer-songwriter taking risks and trying out that new song they've been working on or a rapper freestyling a verse to a beat played by a band who all just met for the first time. Collaboration and improvisation are always welcomed at a House Party! In fact, at House Party 3 in February, two parents got our of their seats and performed a song together, with co-founders Daniel Pak and Thaddeus Turner holding it down on drums and bass (anyone got a video of that performance?). The coolest thing about a House Party is to see a diverse group of folks from different neighborhoods coming together to celebrate youth voice, creativity, and community building at its finest. All through music!

House Party 4 will be on Friday, April 14, 2017 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Doors open and sign ups start at 5:30pm, and the open mic runs from 6-8pm. Light snacks and refreshments provided. All ages welcome, and as always, every House Party is free to the general public thanks to our partnership with 4Culture, Office of Arts & Culture, and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

THE STORY WITH BRIAN MYERS

Brian Myers (aka Bee) was the tour manager for Blue Scholars from 2005-2009. He managed the band on several national tours, hitting the road with artists like Gza, Hieroglyphics, and Flobots, also working behind the scenes on the main stage at Bumbershoot when Blue Scholars opened for Kanye West. Bee also took care of support artists on Blue Scholars tours, one being a rapper by the name of Macklemore.

We had a great session of The Story with Bee in October, with one of our artists taking six full pages of notes from the conversation, which hit topics ranging from booking shows, touring (and how to get along with people out on the road), to tips on how to get the most out of a soundcheck. We're still trying to get our hands on those six pages of notes, and when we do, we'll post them, with permission of course. Until then, if you want to hear some of his wisdom, you can find Bee at Uli's Famous Sausage (he's the marketing director), or at a Totem Star board meeting (he's the Vice President of our board).

Fun fact: Bee and co-founder Thaddeus Turner gave Totem Star its name back in 2011!

C'MON TEAM!

If you're reading this blog, then you're looking at our brand new website crafted by the amazing creatives from C'mon Team! Led by Krista Welch (photo + social media), the creative team included Amber Zbitnoff (photo), Luke Knecht (video), Sabrina Hounshell (photo + graphic design), and Julia Peterson (content writing + website design). In just 72 hours, the team created our new website, a promo video, imagery, a new social media plan, updated web content, and a brand new logo. For free!

"We're a group of creatives that visits non-profits around the world to create digital content and tell the story of their organization and cause online all at no cost to the non-profits," C'mon Team! states in its mission. "Our aim is to give back to the givers by sharing our skills generously in the spirit of community."

Thank you C'mon Team! You're changing the world, one non-profit at a time!

BEATWALK

Totem Star returned to The Royal Room in September, programming the Youth Stage once again for Columbia City Beatwalk. This month featured performances by Royalty (Arts Liberation and Leadership Institute), Glasshouse (Hip Hop Artist Residency), and the amazing hip hop dancers from Northwest Tap Connection, led by Shakiah Danielson with special guest Gabriel Teodros.

Totem Star presents the Youth Stage at Columbia City Beatwalk. Every second Sunday from July through October. 5:30-7pm at The Royal Room. Free and all ages.

FIRST ANNUAL HOUSE PARTY FUNDRAISER

In August 11 family and friends gathered at the beautiful home of board member Shawna Angelou for our first annual fundraiser house party. Featuring performances by Jawzilla, Ann O, Soulchild Elle, Ezrael Sarmiento, and Noah Woycke, the backyard bash was a blast, with dinner and drinks generously donated by Dahlia Lounge, Uli's Famous Sausage, Pyramid Breweries, and Waters Winery. Thank you to everyone who came out and helped raise over $5,000 to keep the doors to the studio and the stage open for our young recording artists!

BEATWALK

For the second year we are curating the youth stage at Beatwalk, the annual neighborhood festival in Columbia City, which goes down every second Sunday from July through October. This month, eleven singer/songwriters took to the stage at The Royal Room and delivered a heartfelt showcase of music. Performers included Soulchild Elle, Yoshio, Ramsey Tall, Torren, Ann O, Eva Walker, Saturn Star, Ezrael, Zoë Roberts, Amy Hall, and Yohanna E. Next month’s theme will be dance and social justice – don’t miss it!

Totem Star presents the Youth Stage at Columbia City Beatwalk. Every second Sunday from July through October. 5:30-7pm at The Royal Room. Free and all ages.

HAIRBALL AUDIO

We’re audio nerds. Yup. And super proud of it! In a lot of ways, you almost have to be if you’re spending hours and hours in a studio experimenting with sound. A while back, our drummer/producer friend Teo Shantz (Kore Ionz, Owuor Arunga, Otieno Terry) hipped us to Hairball Audio, who delivers high quality audio equipment with a commitment to local manufacturing. Their products include the Lola andElements mic pres and 500/FET compressors. And the best part of all…is that Hairball Audio is located right here in West Seattle!

Teo encouraged us to reach out to Hairball and after sending them an online inquiry, owner Mike Mabie immediately replied and said he’d love to meet with us. A week later he came down to Youngstown to meet the youth and offered to donate two mic pres and a 500 series compressor to the studio! What?!

The Lola, named after Mike’s dog, is their signature “modern classic” mic pre, which Tape Op Magazineclaims will “bring out the most of any mic selected.” The 500/FET compressor, based on the iconic Universal Audio 1176, is considered to be “the most classic FET compressor sound.”

Thanks to Hairball Audio, our recordings will be that much more sweeter! Much love to Mike and, of course, Lola!

SUMMER KICKOFF

At the end of every school year Totem Star hosts the Summer Kickoff youth arts showcase to highlight select artists who have performed at our House Party open mics in the winter and spring. Soulchild Elle, who was featured in the recent video documentary by The Seattle Times, will perform her new original song, a fresh and summery love song with a classic R&B vibe. West Seattle High School freshman Jawzilla will team up with backing band Noah and the Arks to rock a brand new song they’ve been working on during their after school sessions. All the way from Lynnwood, singer/songwriter Amy Hall will capture your soul with her voice – we just met her at the last House Party and she’s awesome! Stay tuned for more artist announcements!

This year’s event goes down on Friday June 10 from 6-9pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Centerand will feature an amazing dinner by Food & Sh*t and Sam Choy’s Poke To The Max. As always, the event is all ages and is free to the general public thanks to partnerships with 4Culture, Arts Corps, the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association, the Jubilation Foundation, the Office of Arts & Culture, and the Satterberg Foundation.

THE STORY WITH WANZ

The-Story-with-Wanz-750x580.jpg

For the third installment of The Story this year, we are excited to welcome Wanz (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) to the Totem Star studio for an intimate storytelling hour.

Join us on Friday, May 6, 2016 from 5-6pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center for The Story with Wanz. Event is free and all ages. Space is very limited. Light snacks and refreshments will be served at 4:30pm.

Presented by Totem Star in partnership with Arts Corps, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, Jubilation Foundation, and Satterberg Foundation.

#TheStory

THE STORY WITH PROMETHEUS BROWN

For the second installment of The Story this year, we are excited to welcome Prometheus Brown aka Geologic aka one-half of Blue Scholars to the Totem Star studio for an intimate storytelling hour.

Join us on Thursday, March 17, 2016 from 4-5pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center for The Story with Prometheus Brown. Event is free and all ages. Space is very limited. Light snacks and refreshments will be served at 3:30pm.

Presented by Totem Star in partnership with Arts Corps, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, Jubilation Foundation, and Satterberg Foundation.

#TheStory

HOUSE PARTY

17 youth performers and an audience of 60 came out for the first House Party of the year on February 5. The open mic at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center started out with individual acts, including producer/rappers Hirschurmouth and Jaws, singers Ramsey Tall and Zoë Roberts, DJ Close To The Sun, singer/songwriters Soulchild Elle and Alison Cohen, and more. Towards the end, all of the performers took to the stage in various combinations to close out the night with improvised jam sessions of dynamic proportions.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor Arts Corps and partners Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, Jubilation Foundation, and the Satterberg Foundation.

#HouseParty

Zoë Roberts

Zoë Roberts

Jaws

Jaws

Jacob Martin, Griffin Ryden, Noah Predko, Brian Hirsch, and Zoë Roberts

Jacob Martin, Griffin Ryden, Noah Predko, Brian Hirsch, and Zoë Roberts

Brian Hirsch, Noah Predko, Griffin Ryden, Robby Little, and Wyatt Carloc

Brian Hirsch, Noah Predko, Griffin Ryden, Robby Little, and Wyatt Carloc

Ramsey Tall

Ramsey Tall

THE STORY WITH CAT HARRIS-WHITE

Prepare for a treat! For the first installment of The Story this year, we are stoked to welcome Catherine Harris-White aka Sassy Black aka one-half of THEESatisfaction to the Totem Star studio for an intimate storytelling hour.

On her Bandcamp page she explains, “Blackness breeds light. I beam the light of day and boast the lust of night. I been. Been. I have been. I have existed. I still exist. In my many lives I explore the concepts of art, music and design through patterns. My craft reflects such experimentation through music compilation and composition. I am.

Join us on Friday, February 19, 2016 from 4-5pm in our recording studio at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center for The Story with Cat Harris-White. Event is free and all ages! Send an email tototemstarrecords@gmail.com to RSVP. Space is limited! Light snacks and refreshments will be served at 3:30pm.

#TheStory

VIDEO: WINTER MAGIC

Nothing captures the magic of The Stage like being there to witness it in person, but if you missed the last one, check out this beautiful sizzle reel of the Winter Magic youth arts showcase shot and produced by Darien Brown! Features the instrumental for “M.O.M.” produced by Totem Star alumna Shakur Washington!

Special thanks to our partners and supporters Arts Corps, the Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, the Jubilation Foundation, the Satterberg Foundation, and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

PHOTOS: WINTER MAGIC

4 bands, 5 rappers, a dance crew, a DJ, 5 poets, and 6 singers lit up the amphitheater stage at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on December 4, 2015 for the second annual Winter Magic youth arts showcase. Totem Star produces quarterly showcases, this time around through a partnership with the Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, Arts Corps, Youth Speaks Seattle, and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. All photos by Paul Laughlin.

Justus White

Justus White

Torren Anderson

Torren Anderson

The Rush

The Rush

Close To The Sun

Close To The Sun

Samone Thomas

Samone Thomas

The Black Tone

The Black Tone

The BCs

The BCs

TALK STORY SERIES 4

For the last Talk Story of the year, we have a special treat! On Monday, December 7th from 3:30-5pm we will get a private tour of the new Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit at MOHAI (Museum of History & Industry) by curators Aaron Walker-Loud and Jazmyn Scott! MOHAI is offering free admission for all Totem Star recording artists, crew, family, and friends.

RSVP by sending an email that says you’re coming to totemstarrecords@gmail.com!

THE LEGACY OF SEATTLE HIP-HOP

September 19, 2015 – May 1, 2016

Get to know the people, places, and events that make up one of Seattle’s most vibrant cultural communities in The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop.

Curated by Seattle natives Jazmyn Scott (The Town Entertainment) and Aaron Walker-Loud (Big World Breaks), this interactive exhibit will immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of our region’s growing Hip-Hop culture through audio recordings, photography, artwork, artifacts, and more. The exhibit will explore many facets of the Seattle Hip-Hop scene, including graffiti, deejaying, break dancing, production, and emceeing, linking our region to the continuously evolving global Hip-Hop movement. Throughout, the exhibit will bring the first-person narratives and experiences of Seattle performers and artists to the forefront, creating an intimate and human look at this dynamic art form.

WINTER MAGIC

Winter Magic is Friday, December 4th! Don’t miss an incredible evening of youth performances, including music, dance, poetry, and more! The youth arts showcase will be in the Amphitheater at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center from 5-8pm and is free to the general public.

Powered by partnerships with the Office of Arts & Culture4CultureArts CorpsYouth Speaks Seattle, and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

TALK STORY SERIES 3

We have a super special Talk Story series coming up on Monday! Don’t miss Owuor Arunga and Greg Kramer, horn players for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, live and direct for an intimate interview in the Totem Star recording studio.

What was it like to be on The Heist tour? What did it take to get the gig? What other big projects are you working on? Come talk story with two of Seattle’s most exciting stage performers, who will speak on their come up, challenges they’ve faced along the way, and how they maintain their rigorous life on the road.

Talk Story #3 with Owuor Arunga and Greg Kramer goes down 4-5pm on Monday, November 16, 2015 in the Totem Star recording studio at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. This is the third installment of the monthly Talk Story series sponsored by the Office of Arts & Culture. Always free, all ages, and always very limited seating!