The other day I got asked on our Instagram stories, "what made you want to put together Black and Loud Fest?" And I was thinking, that's a great question. I should answer that.
I think there's always been a resistance to Black creatives making any kind of indie, alternative, or abrasive art. This is particular in heavier music: rock music, punk music, metal, and all of its subgenres. For example, I cannot tell you how many times when I was growing up, people were not only surprised that I was interested in rock music, but actually playing it.
To this day, King Youngblood is still working to shatter the misconception that heavier music is a white realm of art. That misconception impacts everybody because it makes it a lot more challenging to create community, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. For most Black creatives that choose to go into heavy music or anything alternative, anything like that, when you follow the route of a career in those spaces, it typically comes with a lot of invalidation and isolation.
I have been to so many hardcore shows, rock shows, punk shows, all in the Pacific Northwest, where I've been the only Black person in the room. Don't get it twisted, I still had a blast, but it's not difficult to recognize when you're isolated in a music community, especially one that you really care about and want to be a part of.
So fuck that. Black folks and everyone a part of those musical spaces deserve better.
Black kids deserve to see themselves represented in heavier music. Black folks deserve to create heavier music without being compared to whiteness. That means if they want to be alternative, abrasive, as long as they're taking up space and being loud as fuck, they should be able to do that without any scrutiny. That's been a huge part of King Youngblood's mission, to remind people that Black people did not only invent these genres, but fucking destroy at em too. If you ain't been knowing either, Black women have been at the dawn of these genres. Namely, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Seattle's own Tina Bell are not credited properly for their defining artistry that created what we now know as Rock and Roll and Grunge respectively and that STILL barely scratches the surface of the known and credited historic contributions Black women have made to music. We have to make sure folks get their flowers, especially the folks changing the landscape of what is possible, being intentionally different, trying something different.
Black and Loud Fest is centered around creatives going against the grain. The festival is about reminding the Pacific Northwest that the Black community not only here existing in those spaces, but they're talented in all realms, including the white-dominated ones. So pull up on September 10 for Black and Loud fest. It's free, sponsored by Jack Daniels (shoutout <3), and runs from 3pm to 10pm. It's over at LTD Bar & Grill in Fremont and includes an incredible lineup of talented Black creatives like SUSU, Down North, Black Ends, King Youngblood (hey that's us!) Payge Turner, Jaiden Grayson, and so many more. Come support Black artists in the Pacific Northwest getting loud.
Thanks for reading, friend. Hopefully, I'll see you around.