Social Encore: Celebrating girl power
(NOTE: This post has been corrected. Click here.)
BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
There are only a handful of females with regular DJ gigs in Honolulu. Riana “DJ Tittahbyte” Stellburg is one of those ladies, and she’ll be part of the lineup with a number of Hawaii hip-hop acts at Crossroads at Hawaiian Brian’s on July 31.
» Where: Crossroads at Hawaiian Brian’s, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd.
Stellburg’s fascination with music started at very young age when she was exposed to different genres. She started writing down her opinions, sharing them online via her social networks. Instead of just being behind the scenes, however, she wanted to become more involved.
“One day Robin (Taclas, aka DJ Revise) told me I should just learn how to mix and the rest is history,” she said.
Since then, Stellburg has established residencies at events like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The Safehouse, First Fridays at Nextdoor and Dash Gastropub. With her involvement in Hawaii’s hip-hop scene, she thought it was essential to inspire other local artists here.
Green Leaf Check started as a podcast that Jonathan “DJ Cozy” Sucaldito started over a year ago. Local DJs, producers and MCs started to use it as an outlet to share their opinions and what they were interested in.
Sucaldito then asked Stellburg to join the podcast as a resident DJ. She was inspired to bring another element to the podcast after watching “Boiler Room,” a YouTube show that showcases the world’s underground hip-hop scene.
“They record the producers and DJ sets as if you are there standing in front of them watching,” Stellburg said. “The best part is that there are no limits or any boundaries to what the artists could play.”
Wanting a similar vibe for Hawaii, she talked it over with Cozy. They were on the same page and thought it would be a great opportunity for Hawaii to experience.
“One great example is producer Mr. Carmack, who is now with Mad Decent (an EDC artist on Diplo’s record label) and is now based out of California. If it wasn’t for the Lightsleepers’ annual Beatroot event two years back, I wouldn’t have known about him,” she said. “That’s exactly the kind of event we need more of, to focus on bringing up and giving opportunities to these local artists, producers and DJs.”
Stellburg said future events will also showcase producers and DJs from the mainland. This weekend’s show will be a test-run of sorts, kicking off with the return of YouTube sensation Jeni Suk, whose performances include vocals, a keyboard, a guitar and looper/processor. She has over 280,000 YouTube subscribers and her videos have appeared on websites such as World Star Hip-Hop and Reddit.
Stellburg said she hopes events like these inspire people to support Hawaii’s music scene as well as help cultivate a network for artists. For local artists, she wants the event to give newcomers encouragement to release their music as well challenge artists to push the creative envelope. In order to help inspire creativity, a Kickstarter fundraiser will soon launch to help create music workshops with Green Leaf Check’s featured artists, giving Hawaii artists a chance to collaborate and learn from some of the new and upcoming artists across the nation.
“What I really want are people to step out of their comfort zone and (support) Green Leaf Check,” she said. “Our whole mission is to expose the local artists’ music and hopefully gain them some new fans.
“I know that there are people out there in Hawaii looking for this kind of event and we’re here to put it on for them.”
The monthly event will bring down artists such as Aaron “Mr.Carmack” Carmack, Soulection’s Francis “Esta” Estaban and Samantha “So Super Sam” Duenas alongside Green Leaf Check residents DJ Cozy, DJ Kowai Kowai and Stellburg.
CORRECTION: The July 31 concert featuring Jeni Suk is not an official Green Leaf Check event. The show is a preview of the type of events Green Leaf Check aims to produce in the future.
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.