Scratchin’ the Surface of Charlotte Arts and Music with DJ Fannie Mae

DJ Fannie Mae performing a ground-breaking live set with the Charlotte Ballet in 2015. Credit: Peter Zay – Zayphoto

Any DJ can press play on a pre-made mix of music and hope for the best. But a good DJ is equal parts performer and listener, taking a pulse of the room and translating that feeling into a living mix of songs that taps into the crowd’s mood. And a great DJ is more than just an act, but also a community builder and an advocate for inclusivity.

Charlotte’s DJ Fannie Mae is most definitely in that “great” category, breaking ground as the first DJ for the Charlotte Ballet, as well as the go-to DJ for the Queen City’s museums, clubs and festivals.

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Ink Floyd On Being A B(r)and Advocate For Charlotte Music

An Ink Floyd employee prints a design on the printing press. Photo courtesy of Ink Floyd. 

Since opening shop in 2006, Ink Floyd has become a visual center for the Charlotte music scene, designing and printing up thousands of posters, shirts and stickers for regional musicians and venues. But it’s more than just promoting audio through visuals. As Ink Floyd owner Dave Collier puts it, it’s about encouraging brand awareness (and support) for bands.

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Amigo’s Alt-Country Finds the Humor in the Heartache

Credit: Lauren Lothery

With such friendly faces and such a friendly band name, you wouldn’t expect Amigo to be one of the darkest rocking country acts in Charlotte. Amigo’s punk-infused-country music highlights the struggles of life (and the light that can be found therein), earning rave reviews along the way from the music magazine No Depression and recognition from Creative Loafing for having the “Best Release of 2018.”

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Lonnie Davis on Planting the Seeds for ‘America’s Classical Music… Jazz’

Credit: Logan Cyrus

Some may recognize jazz as being the lifeblood of New Orleans, but what of Charlotte?  President and CEO of the Jazz Arts Initiative Lonnie Davis shares what it takes to sustain (and evolve) “America’s Classical Music” in the Queen City.

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Neo-Soul Artist Cyanca on Finding Her Way: ‘Your Pain is Equal to Your Breakthrough’

Self-taught on the drums at the age of six. Raised on a mix of A Tribe Called Quest, Chuck Berry, and Lauryn Hill. Taking meetings with Jay-Z’s record label Roc Nation before her debut release even dropped in 2017. Just like her music, the stories of up-and-coming R&B star Cyanca are anything but ordinary.

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In a World of Music Streaming, Charlotte’s Lunchbox Records Keeps on Spinning

Lunchbox Records is one of the most recognizable record stores in the Charlotte area, not only because it’s painted a very bright blue, but also because of its impact in the music community.

It’s known for hosting in-store performances for all ages, stocking records from local acts and even selling concert tickets for Charlotte venues. It may seem like we’re in an age of music streaming, but Lunchbox Records owner Scott Wishart shows that, in actuality, we’re in a record renaissance.

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Melinda Whittington On ‘Amplifying the Human Experience’ Through Opera

Melinda Whittington in “The Ghosts of Versailles” at Wolf Trap Opera

Halloween is the one day a year where it’s more than acceptable to heighten the drama of life through elaborate costumes and wigs… that is, unless you work in opera. In which case, your day-to-day career combines costumes and characterization with a love of history, languages, cultures and singing.

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QUISOL Wants to Restore Power to the (Music) People

Photo courtesy of QUISOL

Queer and Trans People of Color often face issues of equity in their communities, and the music industry isn’t any different. QTPOC artist QUISOL is using his music (as well as his DIY music space Queens Collective) as a vehicle to try and change that.  Continue reading “QUISOL Wants to Restore Power to the (Music) People”

Jamie Hoover Soaks Up Nearly 40 Rock’n Years with The Spongetones

The Spongetones Jamie Hoover
Credit: Daniel Coston

If the opportunity doesn’t exist, create it. In the case of one Charlotte resident, if you can’t join The Beatles after being inspired by their landmark 1963 performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” then you join the next best thing:  The Spongetones — hailed as one of the best American bands to perform Brit power-pop music. The Spongetones’ Jamie Hoover has been rocking ever since.

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