By: Chris Zabala
Round 2 of NAAH has officially kicked off! Once again, we ventured out to the Pacific Northwest and put together a FIRE lineup in Seattle. Just in case you forgot our acronym NAAH stands for "New Artists Are Here." If you've come to figure out anything about our company, we primarily work with aspiring artists who are looking to make a career in the music industry. For our Seattle show, we featured a local singer-songwriter, Whitney Mongé, and a Seattle Indie Hip Hop band by the name of Northern Shakedown. We brought along a friend from home, Genesis Fermin, to join us in our #SeattleShenanigans. Honestly, if you weren't able to join us at The Skylark Lounge for NAAH Seattle, you definitely missed out on a night full of good vibes and amazing music.
A few of the crew decided to take a road trip all the way from the Bay Area up to Seattle. They took an all night road trip from Oakland, CA to Portland, WA. After spending a day and night roaming around and seeing what Portland had to offer, they drove for another 3 hours to Seattle, where I met up with them after my early morning flight out of the Bay. We took some time, grabbed some onolicious food at Kauai Family Restaurant (GET THE LOCO MOCO!) and decided to head to our Air BnB and rest up for the night and day ahead. After a quick nap, we headed out to see what the nightlife adventures we could get in. Long story short, there were a few drinks that were had and couple of late night meals, but overall a great time with the crew. Also, Unicorn bar. Google it.
Surprisingly after a long night out, we were all awake rather early the day of the show. Thank you Jake & Genesis for flying in early that morning, aka the reason we were awake. I cooked a quick breakfast, we got ready and decided to explore the touristy sights and sounds of Seattle. Our day consisted of Pikes Place, the Gum Wall and Kerry Park with a "quick" stop at Guitar Center. Regrouping at the house, it was now time to get ready for the show and transform from the tourist to show time mode. One of my favorite moments that morning was hearing a joke from a local Deli guy. "Why does everyone in Seattle have the number '12' displayed everywhere? It reminds them of their Superbowl score....1 win, 2 loses." #GoNiners
First up was Bay Area native, Genesis Fermin. This was her very first out-of-state performance and she did amazing! For all the traveling, exploring, and little sleep she had gotten, she still delivered a great set. Along the lines of David Bazan, her melodic lines and carefully written melodies welcomed everyone to the start of our NAAH show. She took us on a ride--telling stories, making us laugh and even entertaining us as she ate fries on stage. Being good friends with Genesis, we were so proud of her and what she had accomplished that night. We felt the passion she had for music radiating from the stage.
After meeting Whitney during our promo trip, we knew that her onstage performance was going to be special. She describes herself as a "Soul Alternative" artist and she is just that. During our first meeting with Whitney, we had a great time in Kerry Park neighborhood while everyone decided it would be a great time to try to create a distraction. A unique style, from top to bottom her soulful and sultry voice conveys all of the emotions that are expressed in her lyrics. On this particular night she played an acoustic set, but with all the energy that was on stage made it seem as if she was backed by her band. As I told her after the show, perhaps one of the best acoustic performances I've heard in a very long time.
We first met Northern Shakedown during our promo trip and did some photo and video work for one of their gigs. Fun fact, the band is composed of two sets of brothers; Tyler and Ben Weber and Jabreel and Solomon Stewart. But this is just the beginning and it only gets a little more interesting. We want to give a HUGE congratulations to Tyler as he was recently married to, yes you guessed it, Jabreel and Solomon's sister. After seeing them perform during our promo trip, we knew that #NAAHSea was in for a special treat. From dancing and vibing off each other on stage, their act was mesmerizing from beginning to end. They even did a small tribute to Outkast by doing a great cover of "So Fresh, So Clean". Overall, we knew from the moment we met then that they would play a great set and be amazing entertainers.
Thank you Seattle, you know we love you (except your sports teams. #GoNiners + #GoGiants). We'll be back soon with more amazing music!