This upcoming weekend, October 14-16, is the 5th Annual DC Music Summit(DCMS), “a 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports local musicians and the DC music industry by fostering inclusion, community engagement, professional development, and networking. Its annual full day event, The DC Music Summit, is an exchange hub of education, inspiration, and solutions in support of the health and growth of the DC music industry.”
To prepare for this weekend, Alchemical Records would like to introduce you to some of this year’s performers:
Nessa Dove is a talented guitarist/singer/ producer who writes, arranges, and co-produces her own music, and also plays guitar alongside other artists. Dove loves mixing styles like rock, pop, and blues, inspired by icons like Jimi Hendrix and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Although this will be her first DC Music Summit, it will not be her last. She will be performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, also known as the Black National Anthem, purely instrumentally on the guitar, and she is excited to wake people up first thing in the morning with some electric guitar so they can truly feel the song’s immense meaning.
“I definitely hope to network,” Dove says. “And meet a lot of other cool musicians and artists in the DMV. Hopefully that’ll lead to friendships, collaborations, maybe, and I’m excited to perform and see what the vendors have.” She is also excited to hear some of the panels. “I just want to be more connected with the DC music scene, so I feel like this is a great place to connect with people in the scene.”
Alongside her music, Dove also created the Stay Strong Movement in 2020, inspired by her song “Stay Strong”. Read more about her movement here.
Dumi Right is a hip-hop performing artist, MC, writer, and organizer who is a long-time resident of the DMV. He has performed across the country and internationally, first introduced to audiences as a member of Zimbabwe Legit, one of the first African hip-hop groups to gain international recognition. “I have been in the business of music for a long time, so it’s always good to connect with other artists and people in the industry at events like this, especially ones that are geared to helping artists develop, grow, and flourish in the local scene,” he says. He compares networking to be like building a house, each creative playing a part by building their own bricks, which has been the “secret” to his career so far – “Telling people what you’re doing and finding people in places where they’re either doing similar things, or they may be in positions where they are looking for people who do what you do.” He is also excited to reconnect with friends and meet new artists to find shared commonalities.
It will be his first time performing at the Summit, and Right is excited and honored. He will be performing a mix of material from his repertoire, as well as premiering brand new music that has not yet been performed for anyone. “I’m excited and amped about it and want to make sure that translates to the audience.” A student from his hip-hop ensemble he leads at George Washington University and a background singer from his crew will be joining him on stage. “I strive to do something different from the norm and the ordinary every time I hit the stage,” Right says. “You can expect to see a lot of that and some.”
Nia Monaé is a 3x Wammie-Award-Winning artist, dancer, and model out of the DMV area. She has been passionate about music and performing since the age of three, and possesses a natural talent. She has already made a name for herself as the first, youngest, and only female rapper to win a music competition in Baltimore, MD.
Monaé’s kind of music is hype music. “When I first started doing music, I used to sample a lot of old-school artists like Biggie Smalls, Lil’ Kim, people like that,” she says. “As I got older, I met a lot of different producers and engineers who were like, ‘You gotta keep up with the times!”. Music is ever-changing, which is why Monaé now makes hype music.
She has never been to the DC Music Summit before, but she has always heard about it. “I signed up and, by the grace of God, they reached back out to me and said they wanted me on their lineup.” She has been rehearsing for her performance to make sure her energy is just right. “I’m definitely looking forward to connecting with new artists and networking with everybody in the building,” Monaé says. “I want to learn as much information as I can to boost my music career to the next level, and then hopefully get some new supporters.”
Amy K. Bormet is a pianist, vocalist, and composer who is super excited to be performing at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts as a former student who then went on to receive a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Howard University.
Bormet writes all the music that she performs. Often when she plays solo, “it never sounds the same way twice,” she says. She works to experiment with different sounds, through the piano itself and also electronic elements like harmonizer pedals. This weekend she will perform material from her latest solo record, but will follow through with her method of improvising upon something she has already created.
She is eager to be a part of the Summit not only as a performer, but as a panelist. “I’m really looking forward to being able to have this exchange of ideas with a lot of musicians in the DC area, and of course meeting new people and seeing old friends,” Bormet says. “I think the DC Music Summit is fantastic and very unique and powerful to the DC scene.”
Charlie Cornwell is a 17-year-old musician from Odenton, MD. He is left-handed, but plays his 16-pound orange guitar that he built with his right. Heavily inspired by some of the greats from the eighties and his own guitarist father, Cornwell has been playing the instrument for five years this month. In addition to playing solo, Cornwell is in the process of completing a band. He also works at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center doing marketing and guitar demos. His favorite thing to do is put a smile on someone’s face when he plays for them, and this will certainly be evident at the Summit.
“I am really excited to see what the different performers are going to play and just see what everybody brings to the table,” Cornwell says. He describes himself as someone who can respect all genres of music, and listens to a wide range of it. He is excited for this weekend’s turnout and all it has to offer!
ALIAS! is an emerging artist from the DMV who is introducing a new sound to the area called “Pretty Pop,” which is music that is infused with hyperpop, house, and hip-hop. She describes her music as “for the future,” much different from your everyday mainstream! Her objective in creating this new genre is “making weird music cool”; she points out how she is drawn to meaningful lyrics that often mention “letting go of things that don’t serve you and allowing the pain to empower your inner greatness”.
Regarding this year’s Summit, she feels honored to perform. “I feel like the DMV has so many different talented artists and the Summit allows us to come together as a community,” she says. “I am really excited to network with other artists and get a bigger and better understanding of the music industry. It’s also a great way to gain exposure to showcase my sound and captivate the new and old generation of music.”
Alchemical Records is a proud sponsor of this year’s DC Music Summit, and we encourage you to show your support by joining our local creative community to celebrate the power of music. To register and find more information about the DC Music Summit, visit dcmusicsummit.org.
Emma Page, a recent Journalism graduate of The George Washington University, possesses a passion for music journalism and storytelling in all its forms. Originally from Baltimore, MD, when she is not writing, she can be found at a local concert or making music of her own.
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