THIS IS WHAT CHARLOTTE SOUNDS LIKE TO ME. HOW ABOUT YOU?
Despite what you may have heard and read, Charlotte has a bustling creative scene. Period. Want proof? Just listen to the music.
With that said, you may have to put in some work to find new, Charlotte-based artists.
Fortunately, places such as Neighborhood Theatre, Amos’ Southend, Petra’s, Snug Harbor, Evening Muse, Bart’s Mart, Starlight on 22nd and others do the work by providing stages to artists (and affordable concerts for audiences and fans).
But, Charlotte does struggle with affordable performance and practice spaces. We heard that clearly through the survey we conducted with UNC Charlotte last year. And, we’ve lost some venerable stages like Tremont Music Hall and the Double Door. That’s just one reason the Music Everywhere Charlotte movement was established.
Seeing artists live is important, but so is streaming their music and following their social media pages. That can require becoming more adventurous and doing some digging.
Ask your friends for suggestions. Take a tour of Charlotte artists on Spotify. DM local artists you like and ask them who they like. Buy a ticket to see a local artist you’ve never seen before.
You’re not in this alone. Just as we do with other creative pursuits in Charlotte, we’ll be talking about new venues and artists in The Biscuit throughout the year.
A CHALLENGE: FIND YOUR NEW FAVORITE LOCAL MUSICIAN
Your willingness to invest your time, your ear, your heart and – yes, your money – in discovering a new (to you) Charlotte artist could mean the world to the musicians you support. And your investigation just may lead you to a new singer or band you can’t stop listening to.
So I challenge you, reader: Check out a small, local venue like those mentioned above. Follow a Charlotte-based musician on social media. (We have featured 15 on our Instagram in the last week alone.) Whenever their next show is, go. Then share with a friend. You never know what one video/post can do for a local creative … and for you.
Repost their songs.
Shout them out on social media.
Charlotte Is Creative
MAKAYLA’S FAVE LOCAL BLACK MUSICAL ARTISTS RIGHT NOW
“To give you a place to start, below are six Black artists I’ve recently started following. They have already taken over my current rotation. I found them by reaching out and asking others for suggestions. And, I’m glad I did. ” – Makayla Binter
Nia Rachelle began her creative journey as a poet. She had a musical ear and would listen to the beats of her friend and colleague, Keon Rice. She draws inspiration from classic R&B and adds a bit of modern influence. Rachelle loves giving audiences an emotional experience, using elements of her song to tap into her audience’s feelings … and her own. Follow her Instagram to stay updated on music releases and live performances.
Tre’mar has always loved music. He loves the rush of live performances and audience connection. He wants audiences to connect to his music, which he describes as “nostalgic, but new and modern. I want to be able to create music that conveys the feelings of those amazing 90’s records, but today and for a whole new generation.” Stay updated on his music-making process on his social media account.
Spencer Sims, also known as Suspence, is a Charlotte native who can’t remember a time where he wasn’t singing and writing music. Making music has been a therapeutic experience for him; Sims believes music comes from the soul and can help express ourselves and alter our moods. He loves jumping around from one genre to the next and has experimented with rap, R&B and alternative styles. Sims encourages and uplifts the artists around him; he’s a natural collaborator.
You can usually find Spencer performing at Bart’s Mart on Tuesday nights or in Nine-Eighteen-Nine Gallery every second Sunday of the month. He will be releasing a music video on April 21st — stay tuned!
Nia J started making music in college after participating in a campus talent show. She loves being vulnerable with her audiences and connecting with them through those moments. Nia is a storyteller who shares her own experiences. She considers her style a combination of R&B, pop and alternative music.
Nia started writing music when she was just 7 years old. Inspired by Destiny’s Child, she knew she wanted to make music that combined experimental R&B, pop and classic old-school with a sprinkle of neo-soul. Nia loves writing; she tells stories with melodies and wants her audiences to be in the moment as they listen to her records.
Jason Jet started producing music when he was 10 years old. He makes fun music that can be enjoyed with family and friends and is easy to dance to. Jet loves sparking emotion, whether that’s through playing the piano or singing. He opened a studio, Grindhaus, for others to do the same. Jason will be releasing new music this spring, so stay tuned on his social channels and streaming platforms.
NEW GRANTS AVAILABLE THROUGH INFUSION FUND
The City of Charlotte and the Arts and Culture Advisory Board have announced that the Opportunity Fund is once again accepting new grant requests from Charlotte-Mecklenburg artists and arts and culture groups to receive financial support for near-term/out-of-grant-cycle projects and initiatives.
According to the city: “Applicants can request up to $30,000 by submitting a letter of intent and must meet eligibility requirements. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be contacted to submit a full proposal.”
Applications are due March 31. | MORE INFO.
But, wait … there’s more!
The Arts & Science Council recently released three grant opportunities for creatives in Mecklenburg County.
- Going Public: A public art incubator made possible by Lowe’s Home Improvement helps creatives learn the process behind public art. Due March 3.| MORE INFO.
- Cultural Vision Grant: Arts and culture projects that build community or increase access and relevance. Due March 6 at noon. | MORE INFO.
- Creative Mecklenburg Grant: Funding professional development for emerging and established artists to enhance their skills and abilities or improve business operations. Due March 6 at noon. | MORE INFO.
And, Don’t Forget Opportunities from Charlotte Urban Design!
- City of Charlotte Urban Design placemaking grants are open for public art projects across the city. | Due March 3. | MORE INFO.
- And, don’t forget to register to be in the city’s Urban Design artists pool. | Due March 3. | MORE INFO.
We’re A-Buzz About 704 Night Tomorrow
The Charlotte Hornets are working with Charlotte Is Creative (CIC), publishers of The Biscuit, artist Ricky Singh and BLKMRKTCLT to curate “704 Night” during the home game against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Feb. 25. All works will be on view before and during the game. You will need a game ticket to participate in this one-night-only experience.
The first 704 Night in January of 2022 showcased 12 Black artists on the second-floor concourse in a gallery show. This year, the Hornets are expanding the showcase to exhibit local creatives throughout the entire arena.
For tomorrow night, CIC has engaged 12 local artists to make original, Hornets-themed creative activations – ranging from customized jerseys to a giant work of fiber art – to be displayed at the second-floor Dr. Pepper Pavilion. Visitors can also walk the special purple carpet to commemorate their experience with pictures taken by photographer Dionna Bright.
|The Biscuit is proudly sponsored by: