Souls In Action, which bills itself as “a Denver-based collaboration of young, hungry, like-minded individuals creating change through music, art and social activism,” was selected as one of the local curators (along with The UMS, DJ Low Key and Holy Underground) for the Red Bull Sound Select Series in Denver. This show will feature Souls in Action artists Inner Oceans and Povi Tamu, along with touring artist MØ.
“I think that what they’re doing is exactly what the industry needs on the artist side right now: utilizing this bigger infrastructure and bringing it down to the ground level,” says Souls in Action CEO and founder LuLu Clair. "What they do is they focus on finding talent in these markets that they see a lot of potential in and then utilizing the shows’ curators to build them exposure.”
Clair said that this series, though controlled by Red Bull, allows the curators “a lot of creative control” in terms of producing a show as well as helping provide much desired exposure to the local artists.
“It’s creating a development system for some of these artists who have a ton of potential but may not have otherwise gotten a second glance,” says Clair.
The Red Bull Sound Select Series is about a year old in Denver, and it has brought in artists like Bun B and the Joy Formidable while also putting local acts like Kitty Crimes, Rose Quartz and more in front of sold-out crowds.
Red Bull is a giant corporation, while Souls In Action is an independent organization, so the partnership may raise eyebrows at first, and it felt odd to Clair initially as well. But she said that the company’s intentions changed her mind.
“At first, as an independent promoter and independent professional in the industry, I was a little hesitant, but after having spent some time working with [Red Bull] and really watching the program, it really is more to the needs of the independent than it is to even the headliners they bring on,” she says.
Clair says she feels that while different, Red Bull Sound Select and Souls in Action “absolutely align.”
“I think that my goal is just to create a sustainable system on the independent level in Denver,” she says. “That goes for both the independent promoters and the independent artists. What Red Bull is doing with the Sound Select program is pretty much exactly that. They are really empowering the independent promoters and the independent artists on all fronts.
Clair says she sees Red Bull as not a big corporation taking over a local scene, but as one of the multiple forces helping give independent artists a “little extra push and a little extra love.”
“We all know that we can sell out these big shows with these national headliners and whatnot,” she says.” But we’re sitting on a gold mine of talent, so we might as well create a system that really brings that to the surface.”
The latest show, which is Wednesday, April 15, at the Larimer Lounge, does exactly that, as does the whole series here in Denver, at least according to Clair.
“Because of Red Bull’s name and their reputation and what they’ve got going on, it gives us the chance to pull down some of these acts and put these other local artists in front of them,” she says. “I think it creates this really well-working system where everyone gets to benefit from it.”
You can RSVP to Wednesday’s show here.