Atlanta-based genre-bending artist Jay Americana does not fit into a box, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. The creative’s sound rests at the intersection of hip-hop, alternative, and electronic dance – all while maintaining a cohesive quality. Join contributing writer Cynthia Gross as she connects with Americana to discuss their early starts, finding a sense of belonging as a Black queer artist, Black history, and Americana’s favorite memory of the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, as well as an exclusive preview of their forthcoming EP, which the artist describes as a “celebration of life and liberation.”
DMV-based rapper Nia Monaé, who goes by the stage name Pink Moni, is one to watch. Monaé exudes confidence, inspiration, and natural talent. Her style is uniquely creative, and the DMV is lucky to have her as she is sure to soon blow up. Already, Monaé is a 3x Wammie Award winner and has made a name for herself as the first, youngest, and only female rapper to win a music competition in Baltimore. She has amassed thousands of views across her social media, including going viral on TikTok several times. Learn more about Pink Moni’s journey with contributing writer Emma Page in recognition of Black History Month, including why the rising talent loves the skin that she’s in.
Suzette Dorsey doesn’t care for the term “tribute act.” Rather, her show “Forever T I N A” is a “salute” to the music and persona of the legendary Tina Turner. Dorsey grew up in a musical family in New Jersey. While in college at Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg University, she would frequently head down to the capital region to visit her brother, who was studying at the University of Maryland. One of those fateful weekends, the siblings went to see Turner perform at the Warner Theatre, an event that changed Dorsey’s life. Learn more about Dorsey’s upcoming show at the Birchmere on Feb. 23 with contributing writer Eric Althoff.
Christian pop and urban gospel artist Brandon Camphor defines his calling by one word: purpose. The Gospel Billboard-charting songwriter won his first music competition at age 10 and has since continued to build on his successes. This Black History Month, join contributing writer Cynthia Gross as she sits down with Brandon Camphor to discuss his band, Brandon Camphor & One Way; the opportunities and challenges of being an independent artist; what he believes is the secret to his band’s longevity; how he emerged from a dark season of depression; the role of faith in his journey; and details on his new single, “Forever.”
Considering the rocky road she has traveled, award-winning D.C. blues artist Jenny Langer is remarkably upbeat in conversation. She laughs often and is extremely frank, even when relating the routine health checkup that likely saved her life. Langer’s cancer scare lit a fire under her and pushed her to make some necessary changes in her life, including dedicating herself fully to music, no longer content to wait to be discovered. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he learns more about Langer’s journey, including her roots and work as a solo artist, and as a member of Honey Larks and the Boneshakers.
“I had a dream one night when I was 15,” DMV-based guitarist and singer Gordon Sterling recalls, “that I should start playing music because I would be part of a movement that would remind people of a side of themselves that they had forgotten.” A young, eager Sterling got himself a guitar the very next day and started playing everything he heard, gravitating toward blues. Jump forward to today, and Gordon Sterling and the People, the musician’s band, has found its drive deep in political and philosophical thoughts about race and truth inspired by Sterling’s identity as a Black man. Learn more about Sterling’s empowering mission as a creative with contributing writer Charlie Maybee.
Fito de la Parra is likely one of the few people on earth who can say he helped hijack a helicopter—without getting arrested. The Canned Heat drummer fondly recalls how he and his bandmates were desperately trying to make it to Woodstock for their set in the summer of ‘69, but all roads to the upstate New York hamlet were impossibly jammed. In the years that followed, Canned Heat has since become an acclaimed international act. Learn more about the band’s exciting journey, as contributing writer Eric Althoff sits down with de la Parra in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, including details on their upcoming Annapolis show.
Toronzo Cannon’s song “Insurance” might very well likely drive you to fits of painful laughter. The song, off his 2019 album “The Preacher, the Politician Or the Pimp,” pokes more-than-gentle fun at the need to get coverage lest a health emergency befall you—if you can afford it (ditto for the eventual bill). It’s that unique ability to make blues fans laugh through their tears that has granted Cannon a most unique career in music. Join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he sits down with Toronzo Cannon to discuss Chicago’s sound, playing with a certain guy called Buddy, and Cannon’s upcoming show on July 19 at the Birchmere.
There are many musicians in the world who take an enormous of time to write and develop music between big releases. Meanwhile, there are other artists like LG (Team Genius) who have constant flow that seems never-ending. The insatiable drive of the Black, queer, Philadelphia-based rapper is undeniable, and she has worked hard to channel that flow into a seamless string of singles, EPs, and albums over the last several years, never failing to put her best foot forward. In recognition of Pride Month and Black Music Month, learn more about LG’s exciting journey with contributing writer Charlie Maybee.
The Queen of the Blues Is Back on the Road, and Heading to D.C. – Shemekia Copeland Headlines Columbia Blues Festival
Shemekia Copeland took a necessary break to give birth to and begin raising her son. However, she had no way of knowing the furlough would be exacerbated by the pandemic. Copeland is now ready to be back in front of audiences, including at the Columbia Pike Blues Festival in West Arlington on June 18. In honor of Black Music Month, join contributing writer Eric Althoff as he sits down with Copeland to discuss the show, preview her upcoming album, and delve into topics of motherhood, America’s violence problem, and more.