Click here to watch the live stream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVigj7YDDGSLWCDXRhmqj6g
Welcome to Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions: Home Edition 2020! We’re so happy you’re joining us this year for the first of a select group of Sundays, which you need to mark on your calendars right now (June 14, July 19 & August 23).
Calendar all marked? Perfect!
This year Angelenos, you will be welcoming folks from around the globe who will join our dance and music community online. From Berlin and Brooklyn to the Bay area, and everywhere in between, we will introduce numerous visitors to our eclectic city. They’ll get to know us through our most talented and original musicians, and we are ready to represent.
“Ladies first, there’s no time to rehearse. I’m divine and my mind expands throughout the universe.”
– Ladies First (Queen Latifah)
LADIES FIRST, the all-female lineup of LA’S top open-format DJs, are curating the first installation of this year’s summer series. DJs Rashida, Kim Lee, Storm the DJ, Kronika, Lani Love, Novena, Bella Fiasco & Suga Shay will be the first group of creative talents we get the honor to share with the world. These women, with their diverse experiences and offerings, are just the prescription the musical doctor ordered when deciding who should premier at Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions: Home Edition 2020. The eight DJs – all women of color – know the importance and advantage that their voice and platform could add to fighting injustice, and decided to dedicate Sunday Sessions to the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“House music is black music, so it’s really fitting for house music to be part of the soundtrack for the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement. House music is just one example of how black culture has given us so much,” said DJ Lani Love, giving props to where house music originated. The importance of her giving credit where credit is due in regards to House music speaks volumes of DJ Lani Love’s true respect for the art form.
DJ Kim Lee talks about the how the community can heal and connect through music and action. “House music and music overall unites people. People of all different races and color are coming together (right now) in protest of what happened to George Floyd and music has the same effect. We can have social distancing awareness shows, Spotify live DJ playlists or a “We are the World” dance track with the top artists that would raise money for BLM and social injustice movements. Now is the time for action and love!”
And Storm the DJ adds, “Fortunately, music has been one of the few platforms for the Black community to have a voice. From James Brown’s “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” to the house music track “Follow Me” by Aly-Us, to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”. Music lifts spirts and unites, while empowering and strengthening both. Music is a sounding board for change.”
No truer words were said. Music is a sounding board for change – specially the house music scene that Sunday Sessions is deeply-rooted in. Let’s think back to any house music party, night, event, festival I/you have attended. For many of you, maybe it was at one or all of last year’s Sunday Session events. For me, I’ll think back to eons ago when I used to bartend at a venue in East Hollywood that housed a Friday night jam called “More.” Every week behind the bar, I witnessed the most diverse group of people dancing to the deepest cuts of house, soul and dance music in pure bliss; one nation under a groove, indivisible, with vodka & cranberry for all. The loving energy, the accepting people, the light vibe, everything about those Friday nights – was a microcosm of what life and society should be like – unity.
For our first Grand Park Sunday Sessions Home Edition, we expect an energetic and electric gigs from each DJ. Many, including the aforementioned artists Storm the DJ, Lani Love, Kim Lee, as well as Bella Fiasco, are doing their first sets at Grand Park ever and are humbled by the experience.
DJ Bella Fiasco on experiencing her first Sound Sessions on Sunday: “I’ve always loved Sunday Sessions at Grand Park, I’ve attended but never got to play as a DJ. Really excited to add this to the repertoire, but most excited to bring people from all over the world together through music virtually- specially those who are not in LA and will probably never get a chance to physically attend Sunday Sessions.”
Storm the DJ echoes Bella Fiasco’s sentiments. “I’ve been to Sunday sessions in the past and I remember saying how much I wanted to play at one… Now, I finally get that opportunity! Even while quarantining. This will always be a Sunday session to remember.”
Long-time LA-nightlife stalwart Rashida, KCRW’s Novena Carmel, Filipina-American Kronika from Soulection Crew, and Suga Shay from Philly round out the incredible line-up for what is sure to be a Sunday Sessions to remember.
Dear Los Angeles, I guarantee that all the DJs in Sunday’s lineup are going to rock their sets June 14th to give you the best shows from their repertoire. Music is a salve for the soul especially during tumultuous times. These amazing DJs’ collective energy and genius will be a welcome Sunday vitamin for all of us. The power of music is immeasurable. It can inspire people beyond what they think they are capable of.
Music can inspire people to dance. It can motivate people to gather around and move. It can encourage someone to cast a vote, to cook a fabulous meal, to ask someone on a date, to run for office, or make a new friend. As we foray into our first Sunday Sessions, we now need the power of music, dance and the arts more than ever, to connect with each other. We need music to connect with nature. We need music to get lost in so we can connect with ourselves. We need music for our children to lose themselves into, and maybe find a new way too.
And now, more than ever, we need music, dance and our Sunday Sessions as a respite during the Black Lives Matter fight and other movements.
Stay strong and keep dancing, L.A.
Haydee Vicedo is a Manila-born, Los Angeles-bred, and Torrance-based freelance writer (fittingforty.com) and budding social entrepreneur (pinayclothing.com / IG: @pinay_clothing) – just trying to live her best life. For the fantastic health insurance that helps her live said best life, she works from home for a huge corporation. Ask anyone who knows her, Haydee LOVES L.A. – pure and simple.
The interviews have been edited for length and clarity