In October, we were awarded a grant from The Youth Empowerment Fund. This project creates paid leadership roles for four of us. We were trained in Upstar Records and now we’re taking our skills out to the schools of San Francisco. Our project is a compilation album, working with schools. We’ll have students from across the city writing and creating projects about how they overcome the obstacles in their path. We’ll visit 5 schools between now and the end of the school year. As youth leaders, we are responsible for getting the word out, making outreach materials, running recording sessions, and making music videos. If you want us at your school, hit us up!
Near the end of May, Upstar Records got a grant for what we are calling the Women’s Empowerment Party from B.L.I.N.G. We felt the need to explore issues related to gender inequality — U.S. women’s employment and earnings, poverty and opportunity, work and family, violence and safety, reproductive rights, and health. Team leaders Nalayah, Cat, Tiffany, Maria, and Lolo (myself) are working together to make sure the event will be welcoming, fun and insightful.
I will be leading a talking circle with willing attendees on social justice, gender, racial, and cultural inequalities, and any personal experiences with these topics. I want to hear stories from other people my age and share my experiences so we can relate. Maria will be leading one of her favorite activities called “Step Up, Step Back,” which will get the attendees comfortable with each others. We hope to bring education on topics involving gender inequality and how we can change society’s view on women.
There will be speakers and performers, food, there will people doing hair and makeup. We will be facilitating fun activities to get everyone to open up and get people to be comfortable talking about issues they are facing. We want people who attend to feel safe and to feel like they can trust themselves and the people around them. We need more spaces and events like this to help us feel united and supported. This event is open to everyone, not just women. People of all sex and gender are welcome. We are reaching out to find people interested in performing or speaking at the party. Join us! Keep an eye out for our next post for more updates!
On May 26th, 2017, UpStar Records held the final BBQ in the Avenues Open Mic Event. This School year series was funded by the Youth Empowerment Fund. The party started at 4:00 and went until 7:00 with performances by Capone, Kid Flame, Lizard Tribe, Criminal Jojo, DeeJay Too Mainey, Mas L, StacksDough, K-Smacks, Son of Paper, and many more. Food was prepared and served by Mo and the UpStar kitchen crew. There was chicken, hot dogs, hot links, and mouth watering cheese burgers. People in the audience were able to win prizes in games and contests such as the no hand donut eating, musical chairs, and a raffle. UpStar has had a great time hosting these events, giving the youth a place to go of Friday night, helping artists network and promote themselves and their music.
There were over 100 people who attended and everyone had a great time! It’s sad to see these BBQs end, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more in the future! Stay tuned for more events and interviews!
What is your name?
My name is Angelo Bishop.
How long have you been working at UpStar Records and what is your title?
I’ve been working at UpStar Records since February of 2017. I am a digital engineer. I track vocals, and edit along with making beats. I use ProTools software for recording and Reason software for making beats.
What type of artist are you?
I am a beat maker. I just do it for fun. I don’t get too seriously about it. I also cook and started by helping at Sunset Youth Services by volunteering in the kitchen.
What/who inspires/influences you style?
There are a lot of people who inspire me: Tupac, Doctor Dre, Snoop Dogg, Bob Marley, Lauren Hill, Amy Winehouse, Mary J Blige, and Bruce Lee.
Why do you do what you do?
I’m learning how to become a recording engineer to have fun, to get to know people, and explore different genres of music. I get paid to work at UpStar Records and I enjoy making money.
What would your life be like without your art/style?
I’d be at home, not doing anything and sleeping all day.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently producing Sire. She is another artist who works at UpStar Records who is working on a song called “Bounce Back”.
What are your networks?
I have a Soundcloud, but I’m not really trying to promote myself. I’m mainly trying to promote other artists from UpStar Records.
What does the future hold for you in your eyes?
I want to become a successful entrepreneur, own my own record label, and helping others to succeed much like UpStar Records and Sunset Youth Services. In the fall I will be starting City College.
On March 24th, UpStar Records hosted the 4th BBQ in the Avenues Open Mic for the school year. This show was co-emceed by Ksmacks and Rymeeze. There were performances by Pretty Boy Roy, Lily, Goof Milz, Sire, Rymeeze, Kia Nichole, Swish Vader, Mas L, and more! Although it was an insanely rainy day, we still drew a large crowd of teenagers, young adults and families. Along with first time performers such as Malachi.
There was delicious food like ribs, chicken, burgers, and hot dogs that left people going back for fourth and fifth servings, grilled by UpStar’s very own Mo and his kitchen crew! There were also games like musical chairs, rap battles, and networking that helped get the crowd involved and keep their energy up. “I loved meeting new people, listening to and supporting other people’s music, and watching performances from all of the artists on the stage,” said Pretty Boy Roy, one of the artists who performed at the event. Cat Ballard, a youth who attended the event said, “The performances were different and very energetic, and the food was delicious!”
There won’t be an event in April, but there definitely will be one last BBQ event May 26th 2017 from 4:00-7:00! Whether you’re a dancer, a singer, rapper, etc., we are welcoming all youth under the age of 24 to come out, take the stage, and show us what you’ve got! If you’re interested in performing, contact @royalsoulsx2 on Instagram with a link to your music and your age if you would love to be a part of exciting project. You can also call 415-665-0255. Deadline for performer sign up is May 12th! Hope to see you there!!
On February 10th, UpStar held another BBQ, the 3rd of the school year series. There were performances by Mas L, The DJ Project, Just G and DatBoiiCam, Noel, Tha Finessas, and Kid Flame. Shout out to first-time performers: German and Roy. We also hosted The DJ Project for a set featuring Greenlighter, Jazzo, Vrsastyles, and others. With music that was able to make everyone get on their feet and grove, and raffle games to get everyone involved, like musical chairs, a lip sync battle, a freestyle rap battle, “Best Pick-up Line” and “Pin The Hat On Joel”, this party was a success. Performers, along with the audience, were able to keep their energy up with delicious burgers and hotdogs cooked by Mo and his kitchen crew.
There will be another BBQ on March 24th 2017 from 4:00 – 7:00! We are always looking for new performers. Weather you’re a dancer, a singer, rapper, etc. We are welcoming all youth under the age of 24. Contact @royalsoulsx2 on Instagram with a link to your music and your age if you would love to be apart of exciting project. You can also call 415-665-0255. Hope to see you there!!
Lauren Gibson was able to get an interview with an upcoming artiest that goes by Little Roy III or RP3.
- What is your name?
My name is Roy.
- What type of artiest are you?
I’m a singer singer.
- What/who inspires you?
My inspiration is my mom because she’s cool, funny, teaches me how to dress.
- Why do you do what you do?
I like to sing ’cause I grew up sining at church in the choir.
- How do you think your life would be life without your music?
I think my life would be stressful without my music.
- What are your networks?
You can find me on Instagram, facebook, youtube and soundcloud.
- What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a song called “I Got The One” about having “the one”.
- What would you say the future holds for you?
I might be famous, go to different places like schools and anywhere, really to sing.
James performs under his artist name “Young Millie.” He’s making music at Upstar Records and blowing up the stage at our Open Mic events. We interviewed him about his motivation and inspiration.
We sat down with “Trayvone” to learn about his art & what inspires his creativity. Filmed during our November BBQ in the Avenues Open Mic, 2016. (Interview by Lauren Gibson. Produced by Kelly Molloy and Wendy Baker. Music by Nilo Beats)