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MoPOP Announces Artists for Sound Off! 2020

Sound Off! 2020

On the same day the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2020, the Museum of Pop Culture teamed up with KEXP to make a Class of 2020 announcement of its own.

Artists were unveiled live on the local radio station Wednesday afternoon for MoPOP’s Sound Off! 2020 music showcase and competition, the 19th year of the Pacific Northwest’s premier 21-and-under battle of the bands.

This year’s group of semifinalists includes: singer-songwriter Ry Lucia, indie R&B soloist Kaia, jazz/fusion group Tiny Planet, punk/experimental duo The Human Missile Crisis, singer-songwriter Searows, R&B beatmaker thom.ko, hip-hop collective 49th Parallel, punk pairing Mr. Dinkles, singer-songwriter Mirabai Kukathas, R&B producer Talaya., saxophonist Seven Sky, and metal trio David’s Van.

Throughout February, Sound Off! artists will compete in a series of semifinal performances (February 15, February 22, and February 29), showcasing original songs on stage inside MoPOP’s Sky Church. While performing in front of their peers and the music-loving public, a panel of industry veterans and MoPOP’s Youth Advisory Board will select a winner of each semifinal to battle in a final concert to be held March 7.

We’ll get to know each of these artists on a more personal level in the coming weeks, but for now, check out a complete list of MoPOP’s Sound Off! 2020 semifinalists below. And who knows, years from now, perhaps some of these names will go on to get a call from the Rock Hall.

Ry Lucia

Ry Lucia

Seattle, WA – Singer/Songwriter
Semifinal #1 (February 15)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “I’ve never had a chance to connect on this level with other artists in this community, and to be here and to be surrounded by so much talent and so much enthusiasm is just, I go home every day and I have this huge smile on my face because I know that this is the start of something really amazing. I just get to be here. That’s super, super cool.”

Kaia

Kaia

Edmonds, WA – Indie R&B
Semifinal #1 (February 15)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “The sense of community. I think Seattle's a really, really cool place and they take music seriously and I think it's awesome to have this many connections, people who want to see you succeed and see you be a better musician. That's definitely what I'll take the most away from it.”

Tiny Planet

Tiny Planet

Seattle, WA – Jazz/Fusion
Semifinal #1 (February 15)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “It’s definitely quite an honor to just even be among all these other people. One of the best parts has been meeting everyone. We’re genuinely so stoked to be playing with all these people. Everyone’s really refreshingly genuine. We’re just really glad to be here.”

The Human Missile Crisis

The Human Missile Crisis

Tukwila, WA – Punk/Experimental
Semifinal #1 (February 15)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “It’s so crazy. It’s amazing just to be around other cool people, other young creatives. It’s really cool to be here and have all these people around us. Everyone is so kind. It’s crazy. For a competition, you do not expect people to be this kind. It doesn’t feel like a competition, and that’s kind of cool. That’s the best part.”

Searows

Searows

Portland, OR – Singer/Songwriter
Semifinal #2 (February 22)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “I’m really excited to actually get to meet people and talk to people and feel like music is a real, valid career and thing that I can do.”

thom.ko

thom.ko

Bainbridge Island, WA – R&B
Semifinal #2 (February 22)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “I’m really excited to become part of the youth arts scene, and learning, listening to everybody’s music and then seeing how that translates live. It’s just going to be a really exciting time. I’m so excited to play and share the stage with them, so it’ll be really fun.”

49th Parallel

49th Parallel

Seattle, WA – Hip-Hop
Semifinal #2 (February 22)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “We’re always looking for new opportunities and this has been something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Meeting other creatives in Seattle because there’s not a whole lot that we know of. That’s a huge thing, is this program really builds the scene and the community and we’re definitely all about that.”

Mr. Dinkles

Mr. Dinkles

Seattle, WA – Punk
Semifinal #2 (February 22)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “The lights and the stage, big stage, because we usually perform in front of like 10 people.”

Mirabai Kukathas

Mirabai Kukathas

Seattle, WA – Singer/Songwriter
Semifinal #3 (February 29)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “Anything music is about connections and making people feel like they’re understood or heard or appreciated. It’s about building community. This is just an awesome opportunity to one, meet all these wonderful people in the industry, but to perform in front of so many people who could potentially be affected by my music and maybe feel a little bit more seen or more valid or happier, or maybe sadder — some of my songs are kind of sad — but, it’s a huge and wonderful opportunity that I’m super pumped for.”

Talaya.

Talaya.

Seattle, WA – R&B
Semifinal #3 (February 29)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “The community that's going to come, especially after the shows. Talking to [other semifinalists] that I've known for a while, but haven't had the chance to work with professionally was really interesting and we were just chatting it up like we've been friends all our life, but we didn't know each other that well until now. I'm really excited to be able to share the stage with them and also see their art and their work in a more professional setting.”

Seven Sky

Seven Sky

Seattle, WA – Jazz
Semifinal #3 (February 29)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “This type of opportunity is one where we are seeing the next generation of artists come through, especially like a lot of these artists don't really have the freedom to play bars and other types of 21-and-up venues. Once everyone does turn 21, there's nothing holding them back from shooting for those stars. I'm just excited to hear everyone's stuff and to be a part of the next Northwest Sound.”

David's Van

David's Van

Woodinville, WA – Metal
Semifinal #3 (February 29)

What Excites Them Most About Sound Off! 2020: “The possibilities that can come from just being here. The possible shows to be playing. The possible music to be made.”

Learn more about MoPOP’s Sound Off! program + for contests, the latest news, and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to follow us on YouTubeFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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Tony Drovetto is MoPOP's Content Marketing Manager.

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