Friday, July 17, 2009

The 2nd Annual DMV Jam Session

The DMV had a music showcase on Sunday, and it was definitely a good look.  There was lots of talent in the building, and three artists stood out like crazy.  The first artist that killed his performance was Kevin Ross.  While it is widely known that the DMV area is more receptive to RnB artists, this dude held his own.  His smooth, well trained, and well controlled voice sounded like all the contemporary RnB dudes we love from Maxwell and Carl Thomas, to DMV's own, Raheem Devaughn

 His song selections had the crowd engaged the minute he sang the first note, and by the end of his set, the whole crowd was up on their feet. He showed diversity by providing the audience with a couple of different genres.  His first selection was a mid tempo, groovy RnB track, and later on in the show he sang the hook for a rap song performed by himself and a rapper by the name of Don Juan. Whether being in the spotlight or sharing it with another artist, Kevin Ross has a gem of a voice that will continue to make him shine, and enough charisma and swag to take him into the next century!

The next artist that stood out in a heck of a good way was hip-hop artist, Phz-Sicks.  Before his set, he walked around like a well behaved church boy, but when he took the stage, a Mandingo warrior came out ready to attack!  His energy was on fire, his delivery and flow were consist ant, the production on his tracks was nice, and he knew how to engage his audience.  In the middle of his performance, to get the crowds attention, he had his hype man ask him to repeat a verse of lyrics at top speed each time getting a little faster.  By the end of that demonstration, listening to him made Twista's flow seem slow motion, and when he was done, he went seamlessly into his next song.  The crowd was up on their feet, and Phz-Sick's continued to kill his performance.  As a warning for next time, because there will be many next times, do not be fooled by his unassuming demeanor.

The last artist who performed early on in the showcase, but stood out in a good way was Milly July.  This rapper/singer had a "left field" performance that was fresh and well welcomed.  When she first hit the stage, her energy was a bit uncontrolled, but became more harnessed as her performance continued. Her voice meandered in and out through the performance but remained consist ant enough for the audience to pay attention.  Her production was solid, and  it was good to see that she took risks with her sound weaving in and out of hip hop and rock. Her lyrics were soul bearing, and that allowed the audience to tap into her in a more intimate way.  All in all, the potential seen in  Milly July was undeniable, and with more attention paid to the usage of her voice and energy on stage, she could end up being a beast.  To Gnarls Barkley, Janelle Monae, and Black Thought, Miss July is coming.

Given the diversity of its performers like the few mentioned above, good turn-out of audience members,  constructive feedback given by panelists in the industry, and solid choice of venue, the DMV Jam Session is an event that  folks should definitely check for. 

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