Seattle’s nonprofit Museum of Pop Culture prepares for the Pacific Northwest’s 20th annual premier 21-and-under music showcase, Sound Off!
This year’s showcase features eight artists from Everett, Federal Way, Issaquah, Puyallup, Seattle, Shoreline, Tacoma and West Seattle in a virtual presentation from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 15. Details and pay-what-you-can tickets are available now at MoPOP.org/soundoff.
In the past, Sound Off! has taken place over the course of six weeks with a handful of lively in-person, competitive live music performance experiences.
With social distancing and safety at heart, MoPOP opted to do away with the competition and move the showcase to a virtual concert format, which allows the program to reach a far wider audience online and gives program producers the opportunity to tell deeper stories about each artist and their craft.
This year’s artists are:
Aurora Avenue, West Seattle
Aurora Avenue is proof that necessity is the mother of invention. Forming a few months into the pandemic, the J-pop-influenced indie outfit with a 3-piece horn section has honed their bright pop songs in backyards and under carports. A culmination of the diverse music tastes of its members, Aurora Avenue blends their influences seamlessly into a sprawling, unique sound.
Trevor Eulau, Seattle
Trevor Eulau is a composer and guitarist based in Seattle, Washington. He is equally at home in the classical, jazz and pop realms, writing music for string quartets, voice, jazz combos and rock/pop bands. Above all else, Trevor makes music that is visceral and that freely combines ideas from his disparate musical backgrounds.
CANNXN is all about blurring the lines between glitter and grunge. Mixing high-energy guitar riffs with sparkling synths and vocal melodies, their music transcends the pop genre by creating something organic. Starting as the solo project of Megan Cannon, CANNXN has since evolved to a collaboration between friends who want to capture lighting in a bottle.
Brenna Bruce, Issaquah
Brenna Bruce captures a folk sound that makes you nostalgic for voices from the past. Moved by the honest writing and soothing melodies of Americana, she is inspired by the universality of telling stories through song and sound.
She has one of those voices that captures all the air in the room, leaving the listeners stunned, curious, and viscerally connected to the present moment.
Kiddus Fecto, Federal Way
The first thing you hear when Kiddus Fecto takes the stage is the deep bass of his voice, and though he immediately commands a space when he sings, you’re also drawn into the depth of his craft as a songwriter, producer, and performer Swinging naturally between hip hop and R&B, and fiercely devoted to the music community, Kiddus lifts his listeners up.
Rooted in Seattle, electronic duo Sundust combines the intensity of dance music and the melodicism of orchestral music to create new, yet accessible sonic landscapes.
Building upon danceable beats, Xander Johns and Sam Clement lay down dazzling synth lines with bright bursts of saxophone and vocal melodies into songs that are impossible not to move to.
Aurelio Valdez, Everett
Aurelio Valdez is a Mexican-American, Seattle-born hip hop artist with a potent style. With songs about a range of topics, spanning from politics and history to identity and his upbringing, Aurelio’s music focuses on what it means to truly embody hip hop culture by empowering himself and his people. Influenced heavily by those who pioneered the culture such as Nas, 2pac, and KRS One, his alluring lyrics provoke thought with every track.
Lexi Lalauni, Puyallup
Lexi Lalauni describes herself as a dreamer, lover, singer, songwriter, and performer. Her soaring, dynamic voice and contemplative lyrics show that she is all those things and more.
Drawing inspiration from the natural world and a desire to connect directly to her listeners, Lexi’s mix of dream pop and indie style invites listeners along for a musical adventure.