DMV Soundcheck is a segment for local musicians to showcase their talents. It's proudly sponsored by the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment to support the District's creative economy.
Several successful artists hail from DC and its surrounding neighborhoods. Dave Chappelle, Taraji P. Henson, Mýa, Chuck Brown, Dave Grohl, Marvin Gaye, and many others are from DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Our great schools and array of different cultures allow creativity to thrive. DMV Soundcheck is the perfect opportunity to see who will take off next. If you're looking to further your own music career, email email@example.com for your chance to be featured.
Southeast DC native Whitney Sweetwine has taken her career to new heights as a singer, songwriter, model, and performer. With classic R&B influences from Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin, she has performed in multiple countries, on top of winning the competition for Hilton Hotels Rockstar Contest. Watch her perform "Do You Dirty" from her Great Day Washington appearance on March 6, 2020.
DC is a melting pot of different cultures. Nothing shows that off more than the music of our community. Lucas Ashby is a Brazilian-American artist and composer who draws inspiration from hip hop and jazz as well as South American, West African, and Indian music. His band Lucas Ashby's Brain Trust showed off that range on Great Day Washington on February 28, 2020.
What better way is there to see who will be DC's next great musical talent than with a competition? The Sound is a contest sponsored by OCTFME. Now in its second year, The Sound will feature head-to-head performances at Ivy City Smokehouse March 2nd through the 5th before a panel of judges and a live audience. These battles will air exclusively on DCN. And the winner will get a spotlight on Great Day Washington. If you think you've got what it takes, apply by February 21st.
Hip-Hop artist Byllz has taken the local music scene by storm with dramatic rhymes and a strong presence. Her latest single "helpless" featuring Jus Paul is a powerful expression of domestic violence and relationship toxicity. Byllz performed the compelling song on Great Day Washington on February 7, 2020.
Music is about celebrating different cultures. Pedro Night, one of the top local DJs, uses his talents to honor his heritage. He co-founded the organization Adobo to celebrate, develop, and preserve Latin culture in the DC are. "We are the authentic DMV afro-Latino experience. We really want to reflect on the diversity of the area," says Night. Night's cultural pride and musical skills were on display on Great Day Washington January 31, 2020.
Dior Ashley Brown is a DC native who went to Duke Ellington School of Performing Arts and the University of Maryland College Park. She's a great example of how music education can set artists on the path to fulfilling their dreams. Brown is also the founder of the DC Music Summit- an organization that strives to empower local musicians. This artist and entrepreneur performed with FLOTUS- The First Ladies of the Urban Scene on Great Day Washington on January 24, 2020.
Music isn't just a hobby for artists. It's a means for survival. Ayo is a Nigerian woman who grew up in Atlanta. She struggled with self-identity issues from a young age and survived sexual assault. Ayo has used her platform to inspire others fighting similar plights. She showed her strength on Great Day Washington on January 17, 2020.
There's no better place to enjoy all the talent DC has to offer than at the DC Music Summit. The event was founded by three women who love music and care about the community. They strive to help local artists build their brand and hone their craft. One of the founders, Dior Ashley Brown, spoke of the summit's importance on Great Day Washington January 10, 2020.
Miguel A. Rivera Jr., better known as M-Burb the Captain, is an independent artist hailing from Manassas, VA. Since 2009 he's been delivering a consistent stream of music with catchy punchlines and melodies. In May 2019 he released the single "Yo No Se" and performed the infectious song on Great Day Washington January 3, 2020.
If you're looking to get in the holiday spirit, look no further than gospel artist Marquis Dolford. His new single "The Greatest Gift" will lift your mood. And in the honor of giving back this holiday season, proceeds from the song go to a youth music project. Check out his uplifting performance on Great Day Washington.
Music brings people together. Few groups reflect that more than JusPaul and the Brothers. The R&B, jazz, and go-go ensemble perform regularly at peace rallies. Lead singer and DC native JusPaul amazes crowds with his uncanny ability to sing in every octave. Watch him wow the Great Day audience with a festive song in time for the holidays.
Are you a local artist? Are you interested in being on DMV Soundcheck? We make it easy for you! Simply email us at DMVSoundcheck@WUSA9.com with your music and social media, and we'll respond directly to you. We've enjoyed the many artists of varying genres performing on the Great Day stage, take a look at some of the creatives we've seen in 2019.
Yasmin Williams is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist with an unorthodox, modern style of playing. Her music has been commonly described as refreshing, relaxing, and unique and has been called some of the most imaginative guitar music out today. She utilizes various techniques including alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping in her music to great effect. Williams is also a composer, and performed an original song for the Great Day audience to showcase her talents.
Josh Christina is an old soul with a unique, nostalgic sound - a combination of the country, classic rock, gospel and blues he was raised on. Rockabilly-blues phenom and rock ’n’ roll revivalist, Christina is bringing retro back, in all the best ways. Reminiscent of an era when music sold itself, Christina’s classic energy humbly commands his audience, both on stage and through the stereo. Christina brought his high-energy, piano driven show to Great Day on November 22, 2019.
Originally from Detroit Michigan, rapper K.I. has been living in the DMV area for 16 years. He's been passionate about music since before he could walk and has been rapping professionally for 10 years. He grew from battle rapping in school talent shows to opening local shows for other local artists. He featured his single "Great" on Great Day Washington on November 8, 2019.
Marquis Dolford is a young urban gospel artist who released his debut album "Inscape" that reached #8 on the Gospel Billboard Charts. He has worked with other young artists such as Paco from The Grammy award winning group “The Walls Group”, Nicholas Traylor, Eryka Edmond and more. Dolford is a Praise and Worship Leader at his church in the DMV, and uses his music to uplift spirits and encourage others around him. Watch him perform "We Want You" on the Great Day stage.
Seva is a former American Idol contestant who has used her talent to transform her singer/songwriter career. Spending her childhood migrating through different countries, English is Seva's fourth language. Starting from the ground up and a dream in her pocket, Seva established herself in the Washington DC area captivating audiences with her powerful stage presence and versatility. She has provided live entertainment from local venues to the American Idol Stage, Television and world wide. Whether it's live entertainment, studio work or humanitarian endeavors, she is always on the move. Seva wrote and performed the "Dugout Dance" song for the 2019 World Series Champions, the Washington Nationals. Our WUSA9 team jammed to the hit all the way to the winner's circle. Catch the team spirit from her appearance on October 25, 2019.
Brien is a hip-hop artist that triumphs in communicating with our generation. Using lyrical vulnerability and relevancy complimented by raw energy, rooted in hip-hop, Brien has began to create a lane in which listeners all over the country are calling "a breath of fresh air." His music features influences from Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne and Lecrae. Brien is becoming a voice of hope, reason, and a inspiration to this generation. His "California" song was featured on Great Day on October 18, 2019.
Whether she is singing an R&B classic ballad or jazz standard, Tamara Jade’s voice is known for its gorgeous timbre, impeccable control and extensive range. Her vision for her music is to bring positivity and light to anyone who will listen. With her eclectic but soulful sound, Jade seeks to infuse the elements of different music that stole her ear with an intentional originality. She seeks to inspire others to chase their dreams and live life to its fullest potential all to a relatable soundtrack. She graced the Great Day stage with her song "Rescue Me" on October 11, 2019.
Combining energetic performance with raw talent, 1IDentity Band and their music are paving the way as a an influential band for the modern generation. Since joining forces in 2017, the memebers of 1IDentity have captivated fans with their signature sound and unique performances. You will be hooked from the first note. They hope to stay true to their main objective which is to inspire and uplift those through their music. They performed their new single "In Your Feelings" on Great Day Washington on October 4, 2019.
Local artist Gabriella has been influenced by the talent in DC her entire life. "Knowing that it's such a creative hub and there's an underground scene and mainstream scene is very cool," says Gabriella. The singer performed "Caged" on Great Day Washington on September 27, 2019.
Kamila Gem strives to deliver positive messages in her music. "I want people to feel uplifted and empowered when they hear me," says Kamila. The singer's latest project "Gem in the Rough" is all about finding the light within yourself and persevering. Kamila lit up the Great Day Washington stage on September 20, 2019.
Bruce Walker of OCTFME appeared on Great Day Washington to mark the second anniversary of DC Radio. The launch of this radio station was part of Mayor Bowser's 202creates initiative to celebrate the creative economy in DC. The official anniversary party will be September 19, 2019, at Union District Oyster Bar and will feature appearances from on-air hosts and musical performances. One of the musicians is the talented Cecily. She appeared on Great Day to give a sneak peak of her performance.
J. Addo had big dreams growing up in Silver Spring, MD. He wanted to be a basketball or football player but realized he may not have the stature for it. He then moved on to the goal of becoming a rapper but thought he didn't have the voice for it. Through that journey, he realized he could actually sing. J. Addo has experimented with multiple genres including R&B and afrobeats, He showed off his musical talents on Great Day Washington on August 30, 2019.
202Creates is a DC initiative highlighting fashion, film, digital arts, music, and more the entire month of September. This is the time for local artists to shine. Don't miss the kick-off event August 29th at The Eaton for a preview of great acts to follow.
A1 Flow has performed with local bands and drawn inspiration from electronic dance, pop, and R&B. He's built a community with other artists in the area which has created a strong support system. A1 Flow performed his single "Catching Vibes" on Great Day Washington August 16, 2019.
Matthew Whitaker was given his first keyboard at age 3 and taught himself nursery rhymes. At 5 he started taking piano lessons. At 10 Whitaker opened for Stevie Wonder at the Apollo. Great musical talent isn't the only thing both performers have in common. Whitaker was born blind, but never let that stop him from pursuing his dreams. This fall he will start studying at Juilliard. "I want to expand musically," says Whitaker. The sky is the limit for this talented artist.
When you're raised in a musical family, music becomes a part of your blood. The hip-hop, R&B and funk artist who goes by the name The Experience grew up surrounded by DC's signature music. His father played in a go-go band and got him to play drums at age 2. Since then The Experience has been delving into multiple genres. He performed his single "The Get Down" on Great Day Washington August 2, 2019.
Born and raised outside of Pittsburgh, PA, Hilary Veltri has always been a small- town girl with big-time dreams. She started playing guitar at the age of 12 and soon became a self-taught singer/songwriter. Hilary performed her new single "Miracle" on Great Day Washington July 26, 2019.
We always hear about artists moving to the west coast to pursue their dreams. But artist Adé moved from there to DC and has taken off. Adé has collaborated with DJ Money from 93.9 on some new sounds. They performed on Great Day Washington's stage June 28th to give audiences a taste of what their tour will have to offer in August.
We're always inspired by where we grew up. Singer/songwriter Funsho was raised in Prince George's County, but is originally from Lagos, Nigeria. "I definitely put a lot of my story, my life, and my journey into my music," said Funsho. Beyond songwriting Funsho also plays guitar. This talent prompted The Baltimore Sun readers to vote him Best Musician of 2019. But he's not Maryland's best kept secret any more. Funsho wowed audiences on a recent season of The Voice. Blake Shelton coached him through the competition where he delivered incredible performances. Funsho lit up Great Day Washington's stage on June 21, 2019.
Music is just one area of the arts where DMV locals shine. By The People is a free international art and dialogue festival that brings visual and performing arts to all four quadrants of DC. Grammy nominated artist Kokayi performed at the festival in June 2019. His exhibit included portraiture, film, and music. Kokayi gave Great Day Washington a sample of his amazing talents on June 14, 2019.
Chaz French got his start in an unconventional way. The DC native was sent to his room by his parents one night at age 8. To show his frustration at this punishment, Chaz wrote a rhyme expressing his feelings. His parents may not have become more lenient, but they did recognize their son's burgeoning talent. "I just love music and being able to express my emotions," said Chaz. It's that drive that led him to perform his single "Handful" on Great Day Washington June 7, 2019.
Dedicated Band is a group from Prince Georges County of graduating high school seniors. While juggling school work the band members honed their musical craft. They're off to a great start, and there's no telling what Dedicated Band will do next.
Great music starts with great education. Local R&B artist Tony Terry went to Duke Ellington School of the Arts where he honed his craft. Those skills are on display in the new play "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" at the Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring.
Celebrate great music at the Lit in DC Awards Saturday, May 18 at Audi Field. The ceremony kicks off at 8:30 p.m. and honors more than music. It's a multicultural event that brings community members together. Activist and Spokesperson for the event Ron Moten discussed it on Great Day Washington May 17, 2019.
To fully appreciate new talent we have to look to the past and see how musical legends paved the way. Glenn Leonard, Joe Coleman, and Joe Blunt are all natives to Washington, DC and were lead singers of the groups The Temptations, The Platters, and The Drifters respectively. The three are now combining their talents and performing classic hits. Fans can listen to "Under The Boardwalk," "Just My Imagination" and more Sunday, May 12 at The Carlyle Club.
54 years ago Blues Alley Jazz opened its doors in Georgetown. The music venue has hosted such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Wynton Marsalis, and Tony Bennett. But Blues Alley is looking to the future. The club just hosted a competition in honor of Fitzgerald that attracted talent from around the world, and it's focused on promoting jazz education among youths. As part of its "Big Band Jam" program, students from Richard Montgomery performed on Great Day Washington May 3, 2019.
Music has the power to heal. This is true for everyone, but especially resonates with Logan Smith. The singer/songwriter learned to play the keyboard and write music at a young age. When he experienced personal tragedy with the passing of this father, music is how he made sense of his emotions. “I really wanted to put that experience into music. So I wrote ‘What If You Had Stayed,” says Logan. The song clearly hit a nerve with others. The accompanying video had 30,000 views on Facebook within the first 24 hours. Fans reached out with their own stories of how the song had helped them. Logan’s been expressing himself through music ever since. He sang “Pandora” from his second record on Great Day Washington April 26, 2019.
"Girls don't play drums." This naysayer set a fire under musician Isabelle De Leon. "I come from a musical family and my dad taught me and my siblings all the instruments," said Isabelle. When it came time to choose which instrument to focus on, Isabelle was motivated by her critic. "I wanted to prove him wrong." Not only does Isabelle perform with multiple groups, she empowers talented youths through Girls Rock! DC. "They offer music programs for young girls," Isabelle told Markette Sheppard on Great Day Washington April 19, 2019. This woman is teaching others to play the drums for years to come.
There's no better way to highlight our local talent than with a concert at the Freedom plaza. DC Emancipation Day is Saturday, April 13, 2019. It's a day to celebrate the unique legacy of freedom in our nation's capital, while pursuing the fight for DC Statehood. The event will be kicked off with a parade starting at 2 p.m. at 10th Street NW and Pennsylvania Ave NW, followed by the concert at 3. Doug E. Fresh, Mýa, Faith Evans are just a few of the acts who will be featured on the stage. Celebrate this important day with some of music's biggest talents.
DC has no shortage of burgeoning talent. But before highlighting the next generation, we have to pay respects to artists who paved the way. The Sugar Hill Gang is widely known for bringing hip hop to the mainstream. Rapper's Delight is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The song changed the music landscape for decades to come. Master Gee, founder of iconic group, explained the impact the song had on Great Day Washington on April 5, 2019.
Originally founded in Paris in 1997, the woman-dominated percussion band Batala broke out in DC in 2007. These talented musicians have exposed the DMV to Afro Bahain culture and Samba Reggae Music. Their main mission is to use their skills and rhythm to empower women. Batala performed on Great Day Washington March 22, 2019.
International sensation Layla Khepri is known for her viral hip hop videos and high-energy shows. Her musicality mixed with her social media savvy has led her to take the world by storm. Layla performed her single "Smile and Wave" featuring The Experience Band and show January 11, 2019.