By Paris Randall
Totem Star is officially killing the game! November 20 marked the second monthly open mic we hosted in the intimate and inviting Movement Studio at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. As host of the evening, I got to kick things off, feeling the energy of the audience and getting them involved in a little call-and-response.
The first act up was Dogg Pound (formerly known as Vicious Puppies Crew). These b-boys have been killing it for years, with Robert, Sammy, and the rest of the boys showing us how they’ve earned so much respect over the years. They host a breakdancing class every Monday and Wednesday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center from 3-4pm.
Next up was the neighborhood rock band with that classic flavor, All Star Dads! Sterling, Miles, and Gunnar know how to entertain. Gotta love that West Seattle High School alumni!
Speaking of all-stars, two veterans returned tonight to the Youngstown spotlight. Enter Massiah andStar. The latter is a well-versed rap vocalist, currently specializing in LGBT events and artist collaborations. Trust me when I tell you, the girl knows what she’s doing! She hit us with a snippet from her upcoming project.
Massiah has been involved with Youngstown for years (he taught me a lot about recording and performing). This musical maverick dropped a jewel on us from his upcoming project, The D.A.L.M.S. LP, expected to drop in 2015. He rocked that crowd something fierce!
Alien Angel brought the metal. Also from WSHS, these guys for sure know how to rock! They tantalized the audience with some guitar and drum work. Pure energy.
Close To The Sun is a DJ and a music producer. He graciously rocked the 1’s and 2’s for us the whole night! When the time came for him to perform, he couldn’t just do it the old-fashioned way. No! He came out dressed as a Creeper of Minecraft fame. But what couldn’t creep up on us was how awesome his beats sounded. Stuff of legend indeed.
Following that was yours truly. My mission was to get the crowd involved. I stopped my set mid-way through the first song to interact with the crowd, teaching them my hook, because I needed their energy for this performance to really take off. It worked!
Next up was Will. He dropped two songs of his own, all original productions. And boy, did his beats hit hard! His words really hit the crowd.
Our penultimate act was the Black Chevys. This group has a rich, soulful sound that I consider soothing to a savage beast. Two sultry voices and excellent instrumentation. Magic. The female voice is Totem Star’s own, Nafsiya.
Ezra closed the show, shining with his guitar and solo vocal. His interpretation of the classic “Hallejuah” was touching.
Time to kick everybody out. But before that we made sure they enjoyed the music, the food, and of course, the incredible visual pieces by Sita. The next event is Thurdsay December 18! Chee!!!
Photos: Jeremy Protacio http://rockpapersketch.com