Basement Sessions is brought to you by Mateo Prince, THX Management and Tony Krol. The minds of the bay area put together an event where its music + art, and not just any kind of musicians and artist, but something different musically and visually. On the music side they bring a variety of acts from hip-hop, funk, r&b, soul, jazz and turtablism, grabbing musical artists that are gems that don’t get a lot of shine or are the next big, up & coming act in the bay. On the visual side, 4-6 artist are chosen for Basement Sessions to showcase and sell their work, which were placed everywhere, from inside the venue to out in the beer garden.
Art was set up by local bay area artist, painters and photographers. Visuals were showcased by Jaylene, Jujmo!, Christy Marie, Winnward Scissor Hands, and Ybor Art Alliance.
DJ Wally Clark set the mood right playing, a mix of music from chill electronica to soul. The first performance was by emcee Mic Deluxx and emcee/producer/dj Rahim Samad to kick off the show. Slangin’ rhymes over boom-bap hitting beats, the audience was open and ready for whatever else was to come.
Asher hit the stage next, another hip-hop artist that spilled rhymes over cool jazzy beats. Remaining calm with a laid back stage presence, she is a breath of fresh air for a female emcee, not reciting the usual sex & money type nonsense.
3-piece R&B, hip-hop fusion band Hotbox, composed from the super group Gwan Massive was next on the bill. With the drummer flaring on the hi hats, bass hitting sounds and soulful but sharp singer Monica Delgado heading the band, this trio is a force of great energy and sounds. Doing mostly originals that had the crowd locked, they also did some covers but with their own style added to it, that hit hard to home.
The Jammy/Funk band Endless Flow brought good vibrations as well. With a style that kept the crowd dancing and moving, you can tell they were having a good time. Endless Flow grooves with smooth and funky bass lines, with a blues and indie dance sound. They can bring up the mood easily in any room with catchy hooks and in sync signing.
Next up was fearless femcee Dynasty, representing Tampa by way of New York. Dynasty and her DJ, Sandman, gave the crowd a show, performing over heavy hitting slappin’ underground beats. When DY raps, she connects and speaks to the crowd with her own life experiences. She gracefully dominated the stage, as if she were a queen, excellent with showmanship. You could tell that she’s a veteran the way she made the crowd move with ease.
Final act and headliner for the night was the sensational Venus Bleu. This 5 piece neo-soul group is comprised of 3 singers, drummer and keyboardist. They all mix it up with jazz, R&B and funk, bringing a variety of originals and covers to the table. Each singer had a different style of singing, but all were powerful with vocal range. They could make you feel the lyrics deep in your heart, while the keyboardist gets funky and drummer stays on time with precision. If you are into any of the genres that Venus Bleu illuminate then you won’t want to miss them live, they are a sight to see and carry beautiful air waves of sound.
Photos by Carlos Aye