Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
Last Saturday evening was one for the books. On August 20, 2022, I attended a Hip-Hop and R&B showcase at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art. I used to go the shows on Main Street, when the Yeti and Soundpony was the hub for our music scene. Now, our scene has national recording artists, and a pathway for upcoming artists to grow their artistry and brand.
Tulsa Creative Engine (TCE), co-founded by Chris Davis, Bianca Caampued and Tyrance Billingsley II, was created to make Tulsa a global hub for culture by investing directly in artists and developing assets to support the creative community, according to their website.
In July of 2022, TCE launched the pilot for their Business Music Accelerator program, a six-week program providing mentorship to artist, business and entrepreneurial training, and helping them develop industry connections.
Artists from Tulsa Creative Engine
Upon completion of the program, each artist received $5000 to invest in their music endeavors. There were more than 40 applications submitted, and only nine creatives were selected to be a part of the first cohort of the program.
In front of a crowd of more than 200 hundred people, the nine selectees: Ausha, Dial Tone, Dr. View, Lex, Medicensanto, Parris Chariz, Quentin Marcelia, Suarez Republic and Yung Qwan, showcased their talent and artwork through visuals, musical performances, and conversational presentation.
Each artist brought their own style to their presentation, having only 10 minutes to perform. It was an experience. The diversity of artists was unlike anything I have ever seen in “the Town”. Several artists energized the crowd with their performances, bringing people out of their seats, but everyone showed why they were selected.
There were three performances and presentations that resonated with me the most:
Lex, the first performer of the night, stood under the spotlight, telling her story over an acoustic guitar played by Tyler Sexton. It was the perfect opening to the showcase. Her voice was gentle, but you could feel her words. She performed two tracks off her latest EP entitled ‘Now,’ which can be found on Spotify.
Medicensanto, a Venezuelan born reggaeton and Latin pop artist,set it off, performing his rap lyrics by switching back and forth from his native language and English. His sound was unlike anything I had experienced in Tulsa. The crowd was engaged, and the music was jammin’. You can catch his music on various streaming platforms. He’s currently working on his EP entitled, ‘3K.’
Dr. View, educator, DJ, Fire in Little Africa executive producer and TEDx speaker opened his showcase by passing out a brochure.
The brochure had lyrics on both sides of the song being performed for the evening. On the back, it had a QR code leading to his website of his upcoming project, ‘TIDY.’
He spoke, showcasing his DJ skills, and gave an exquisite roll out to his upcoming project. You can learn more about TIDY on https://linktr.ee/drview, and check out his projects on various streaming platforms.
I’m excited to see the direction in which the Tulsa music scene is headed. I’ve been introduced to several new artists and I’ve witnessed first hand some of these artists put in the work for years and years. Tulsa is betting on self, because the fact remains, nobody is coming to save us.
Each music artist can be found directly on Instagram
Ausha LaCole- @Awesha
Dial Tone- @Tonesbeach
Dr. View- @Drview1
Parris Chariz- @Parrischariz
Quentin Marcellis- @Quemarcellis
Suarez Republic- @Suarezrepublic
Yung Qwan- @Imyungqwan