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!

TALK STORY SERIES 2

Join us for the second installment of our new Talk Story series, this time around with Tendai Maraire of Chimurenga Renaissance and Shabazz Palaces. Special guest facilitator Christina Nguyen of Youth Speaks will lead an intimate interview as we learn about his come up as an artist, challenges he’s faced along the way, and how he navigates the music industry. As always, the event is free and all ages, withextremely limited seating in our recording studio here at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Powered by the Office of Arts & Culture.

#YouthArts

TALK STORY SERIES 1

Join us today for the very first of our pilot Talk Story series, featuring intimate in-studio interviews with guest artists and music industry professionals. Kicking off the series is 2014 Sound Off! winner Otieno Terry and his manager and music director Max Levin, who will be talking about their come up, challenges they’ve faced thus far, and how they continue to navigate the illusive music industry.

Event runs from 4-5pm in the Totem Star recording studio at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Free and all-ages. Limited seating. Sponsored by the Office of Arts & Culture.

HIP HOP SHOWCASE AT BEATWALK

For our third installment at Columbia City Beatwalk, we brought the four elements of hip hop — the DJ, rap, b-boys/b-girls, and graffiti — to The Royal Room. Upendo Moore represented the first element as our DJ for the evening, spinning his own beats as well as bringing on the rappers who represented the second element, including Chief Lonnie the Godson, Hero, HirschUrMouth, and Keali`i (pictured above). B-boy crew The Rush (mentored by none other than Jeromeskee of Massive Monkees) took over the floor to bring the third element, while graffiti artist Malcolm Procter spread colors on recycled canvas during the entire show, selling his live piece to a lucky audience member at the end. Hip hop is alive and well, thanks to Columbia City Beatwalk. Give the youth a place to create, and the art lives on. Final Beatwalk of the season is Sunday, October 11th at Lottie’s Lounge – don’t miss it!

HirschUrMouth

HirschUrMouth

Chief Lonnie the Godson

Chief Lonnie the Godson

Malcolm Procter

Malcolm Procter

Hero

Hero

The Rush

The Rush

The Rush

The Rush

Chief Lonnie the Godson and Upendo Moore

Chief Lonnie the Godson and Upendo Moore

PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS

New music coming soon! This summer we produced beats and recorded with four new artists (one is missing from the photo above) over the course of 120 hours in the studio. The guys recorded a ton of material and we’re mixing the songs right now. Look out for the new stuff on SoundCloud and on the next compilation. Big thanks to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center for providing the recording studio space, and to the U.S. Department of Justice for funding the studio time (they dabbling in the music business now).

PHOTOS: WINTER MAGIC

Set the stage and they will come. The final open mic of the year was an all-out jam session, featuring more spontaneous on-stage collaborations than any other event we threw this year. It was the culmination of a quarter-long residency in the recording studio at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, once again in partnership with the Office of Arts & Culture and its Youth Arts program.

WINTER3.jpg

After a tag team opening by DJ Close To The Sun and DJ Hirschurmouth, guitarist Joe Naranjo took to the stage, plugged into the Marshall, and ripped through a Rage Against the Machine cover. With the audience demanding more, Close To The Sun joined him on bass, with Noah Predko jumping on the drums. The impromptu three-piece rock band, all from West Seattle High School, jammed for a good ten minutes and set the tone for the rest of the evening. By the end of their extended jam, all the performers were itching to get on.

DJ Hirschurmouth rocked a couple new instrumentals before getting on the mic and performing his new song “Recovery” (check it out on his BandCamp page). DJ Close To The Sun followed with his own instrumentals (check them out on SoundCloud) – this was when things got really interesting. Robby Little (of The Black Chevys) started bobbing his head to the instrumentals and jumped on the bass. Co-Founder Thaddeus Turner got on the drums. Paris and Star grabbed the mics. It was the first time at an open mic where a live band performed over an instrumental track, much like how national touring artists use pre-recorded backing tracks to add sparkle to their live performances. At this point the energy shifted from a room full of individual artists silently checking each other out to a powerful collaborative community performance. It was epic.

One last thing about our guy Paris, who helped host the event. Paris understands the cipher. He lives for the cipher. It runs in his blood. He gets on the mic and by doing his thing and saying his piece, he motivates the others to join in. He’ll even get in your face (in a friendly way of course) to encourage you to spit. It’s his special way of getting folks to join the movement. Big ups to our guy Paris.

Thanks to everyone for making Winter Magic a big success, especially the Office of Arts & Culture! See you in 2015!