Local rappers bring Seattle artistry to THING
By Alison Ward, STG PR & Communications Intern
Are you a hip-hop fan? Don't miss the PNW Future of Hip Hop Spotlight at STG's THING, a unique music and arts festival in Port Townsend this summer. The hip-hop spotlight will showcase the community organizations that enrich the local scene and top emcees emerging from the Pacific Northwest. Participating groups/individual artists include: More Music @ The Moore (artists: Shemar, Critical), 206Zulu (artists: Reezy Rey and Frank Saga), The Residency (artists: Rosé Prosecco, grxtty), and Totem Star (artists: Kiddus Fecto). Accompanying the emcees is DJ PAX, this multidisciplinary artist, DJ and Seattleite is passionate about moving music forward through community via local production crew Hrvst House.
Check out the PNW Future of Hip Hop Spotlight at THING on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 10 p.m. Learn more about THING at thingnw.org and check out the participating hip-hop artists and organizations below:
Supporting a diverse community of young recording artists through mentorship and meaningful relationships, Totem Star helps foster growth in collaboration, leadership, and self-identity. Two performing artists set to shake things up onstage from Totem Star include Kiddus Fecto and Ajani Q.
-Kiddus Fecto is a hip-hop producer, vocalist, songwriter, and performer whose voice is very distinctive. He started his music career in the youth choir at his church and began producing for artists he knew in his community. He plans on paving the way for artists who are influenced by his art.
-Ajani Q was born in Seattle and is a Filipino rapper fresh out of high school. Ladies and gentlemen, AJANI!
The Residency seeks to build a powerful community of young hip-hop artists equipped with the artistic and leadership skills, business acumen, and mentorship necessary to become professional artists and cultural change-makers. Through their participation in The Residency, young artists from low-income families acquire tangible artistic and professional skills while also gaining confidence, teamwork, and a deepened understanding of their own identity and power.
The Residency launched in July 2015 as a collaboration between the Museum of Pop Culture, Arts Corps, and Grammy award-winning artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It was created as a response to the glaring gap in access to high-quality, experiential arts education for low-income youth and has quickly become the preeminent training ground for the next generation of artists poised to leave a lasting mark on Seattle's growing music industry. Representing The Residency at THING are Rosé Prosecco and grxtty.
-Self-described as "positively melanating to the soul," Rosé Prosecco is an endowed hip-hop/R&B vocalist, producer, and lyricist. Captivating listeners through lush poetic flows and smooth sultry vocals. Prosecco draws her inspiration of sound from a variety of artists in the R&B, Gospel, and West Coast hip hop sound.
-grxtty is so excited to take the stage at THING and said he is "literally the best rapper that has ever lived — like ever."
This nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing accessible spaces while serving communities through the upliftment, preservation, and celebration of hip-hop culture. Lighting up the stage on behalf of 206 Zulu are Frank Lutu and Reynaldo Rosario.
-Frank Lutu—better known as Frank Saga—is an emerging hip hop artist from the Pacific Northwest who was introduced to the local music scene through participation in 206 Zulu's Beats to the Rhyme and Macklemore's The Residency programs. Frank Saga is widely identified by his introspective, yet highly energetic staccato lyricism and unique voice, performing at notable venues across the region including MoPOP, Washington Hall, The Crocodile and Seattle Center.
-Reynaldo Rosario, stage name Reezy Rey, is a new flavor from the Pacific Northwest with a versatile style and a presence that captivates the audience. His Puerto Rican and Jamaican roots are often reflected in his music, incorporating laid-back lyricism, bilingual rap and reggaeton influences. He was introduced to the local music scene through 206 Zulu's Beats to the Rhyme program and has since performed in venues such as Pier 62, Washington Hall and Seattle Center.
More Music @ The More
For 20 years, More Music @ The Moore has featured exceptional young musicians mixing up diverse music styles with the op; portunity to learn through group collaborations, mentorships from music industry professionals, as well as opportunities for production and promotional support. The program culminates with a live performance by the artists, joined by a renowned Music Director. One of the featured artists is Shemar!
-Shemar is an artist/stage performer. He was first brought onstage in school plays and musicals. He went on to be a part of the Teen Summer Musical in Snow White and the Seven, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Cinderella. In his freshman year of high school at Garfield High School, he was introduced to a recording arts course that gave him his first experience with recording vocals and mixing a track. He took these skills with him to Franklin High where he graduated and was able to attract the attention of local artist Mike Davis. Shemar would be the first person he'd look to for opening acts and would eventually be the first one to give him a paid rap gig. After receiving a home studio setup for Christmas in 2017, he would go on to release his first EP, "Suddenly Shemar." Shemar was also part of STG's inaugural ELEVATE program. He is an alum of More Music @ The Moore 2022.
- Critical is a hip-hop recording artist from Spanaway, WA. Believing that being critical is a metaphor for passion, you sense that energy and excitement in the music he creates. To date, Crtical has opened for multiple national touring artists, while also performing in historic music venues like the Moore, Paramount, and Neptune theatres, as well as many other intimate venues.
STG's THING, a 3-day festival of music and arts, takes place August 26–28, 2022 at historic Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA. For tickets and more information, go to thingnw.org/.