Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just what is THE VORTEX?

The Vortex is a privately funded Community Center in southeast Downtown LA, and has been the happy home of Soulophonic since early March of 2011.For more info check out their website or [click here]This amazing, renovated warehouse space that we get to create our own unique open mic in once a week, is available for events of all natures, commercial shoots and filming, plus community gatherings, classes and soiree's of all types. Peep this 50 second video where you can see a time lapse of The infamous "Vortex" art piece being created:


"The Vortex is a privately funded venture. Its
purpose is to promote, facilitate, and empower the grass roots through
providing a venue/event center at low cost.

Our purpose is to support individuals, groups, or organizations who
seek to raise the level of consciousness in the community through
their work. We seek to encourage individuals to explore the idea that
we are all connected. That we are one.

On a deeper level, we invite all participants to think of solutions in a
long-term model of sustainability... How are we going to transform the
way we think and live?"

HustleEveryDay Episode 4: Behind the Scenes of Axel Mansoor's Music Video shot at the Vortex's Soulophonic

Elliot VanNest, VP of A&R for takes you behind the scenes of 2nd place winner Axel Mansoor's Official Music Video Shoot for Gotta Let Go.

Watch the official Gotta Let GO music video today at


* hustleveryday
* elliot vannest
* official music video
* behind the scenes
* making of
* axel mansoor
* gotta let go
* got to let go
* hype hustle
* music contest
* vortex los angeles
* soulophonic tuesdays
* open mic
* free music contest

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Beyonce's Pregnant" and other funny things.

Tuesday Night, November 8, 2011 - The Vortex, Downtown LA

Every Tuesday night we hold Soulophonic, an open mic in deep Downtown LA. At the start of the night, we often warm up the stage by inviting members of the audience to come up and take part in a GROUP IMPROV POEM. "Beyonce's Pregnant" was the topic given to us tonight by an audience member. Performed by The Wordsmith, Host Mataji Booker, Zsoveonne, Gloria Simpson, J The Man, Eric Hagelman and Clive Aden.

Soulophonic has been host lately to a handful of young, fresh, hilarious comics! More actor's are starting to pop up and in, as well as Hip Hop MCs bringin' in their tracks ready to rock it. The only grudge I am holding of late is that we still are in a despicable drought for female performers to regularly take the stage. Other than that, the word on the street has been getting out and we are building a nice group of regulars that love the space and vibe as much as we do - they keep coming back - making our humble little open mic in a big space, a weekly success! Take a look at whose been coming and who's who in the new.

Newcomer Chris Webb kicked off the night with a passionate and epic original poem.

Comic Casey Gullickson returns for the second time to Soulophonic.

Veteran Soulophonician, Poet/Singer/Songwriter Darius Shipp.

J The Man joined us for the first time tonight. Awesome Poet. Awesome Hip Hop MC.

Zsoveonne, dubbed "The Urban Dr. Zuess" at Soulophonic, is an OG when it comes to the Soulophonic Family He was there with us when hardly anyone was coming in the beginning.

Actor Riel Paley work shopping his one man show ANTIMAN each week, where he plays four characters: His self as a child growing up on the island of St. Croix, his mother, his step-father and the island itself. Good sh-t.

Though it was his first time in the space, The Wordsmith, (above) along with first timer's J The Man and comic Eric Hagelman, jumped up at the chance to perform in the Group Improv bit (see youtube video, top)

Eric Hagelman (above) is not pictured here performing, but we have some video that his friend shot with his phone! He's also a new comic; only at it for a couple of months and he really had us cracked up with laughs. Photo op next time buddy,He had so much incredible energy that he was moving too fast for me to get a clear photo with out my flash! next time.
Check out the vid:

Above: Comedian Eric Hagelman, first time at Soulophonic.

One of a kind artist, Clive Aden has been a great supporter by referring a handful of folks to check us out each week, ever since his first night with us during the Hype Hustle Axel Mansoor shoot about a month ago. We love ya Clive "Mr. Impossible"

Newborn Comic Zeke Nicholson is h-e-l-l-a funny. Hard to believe he only started less than a month ago. The man is fearless, I say fearless. And yeah, funny.

Our "First Lady" (and only lady) of the evening, poetress Jenna de Mase - who pops in from time to time amidst a full school schedule. She was present on the night of our Maiden Voyage (first night) back in March of this year. She truly is the first lady of Soulophonic!

Comic Jesse Gordon is the business. Along with Zeke, he's become a regular fixture representing comedy with a fresh take on the stuff he take's on. He consistently leaves us thinking, laughing and wanting more.

Twas a very good night at the Vortex...


Monday, November 7, 2011

Hype Hustle Contestant Winner Axel Mansoor shoots video for "Gotta Let Go" at Soulophonic!

To get a taste of what to expect on a busy night at Soulophonic, check out this incredible video shot by incredible folks [directed by the very talented James Mills and his fantastic crew, and Produced by the Hype Hustle family we have grown to love - with music by an incredible up and coming artist and first runner up in last months online Hype Hustle Competition, Axel Mansoor.
His single "Gotta Let Go" will leave you head bopping and the tune stays in your head, your heart and your bones. We were so fortunate to be able to host and support such wonderful talent!

So this is our spot : The Vortex is located off Olympic and Santa Fe in yes, a very industrial part of the city; the perfect tucked away place for you to come and express it, get it out, work it out and discover new tricks as you take to the mic for the first time, since that last time or for the upteenth time. Musicians, Poets, Comics, Actors: We take all types here at the Vortex each Tuesday night - and as you can see from the above video (which by the way is more Live footage than acting) - we are a happy and supportive lot! Come and see us soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Soulophonic meets LA VS WAR: A unexpeceted match made in Open Mic Heaven...

Piel's Tiki and Jawnee performing a moving acoustic
version of thier underground hit "Speakers."

This weeks open mic session found itself immersed in what was left up from the previous weekends Multi-Media exhibit and event "LA VS WAR". This epic, 3 day Anti-War event brought in viewers and artists statewide and was all ages. There were over 100 participating artists, Live Art, Live Video Art. Round tables and workshops were held and more than 50 Dj's and Live Performances rocked the renovated warehouse space we call home to Soulophonic each Tuesday night. For more info on this important organization click here.


Art [above] by my one of my favorite artist's : Chase.


Soulophonic resident music provider, DJ 5 min.
on his old school wheels of steel warming up the vibe.

The Soulophonic crew set up around hundreds of Anti-War & Peace driven art,
creating an experimental and intimate space which was definitely fueled by
the energy of the weekends happenings - as well as the art surrounding us itself.

Boyle Heights/Corazon del Pueblo poet Sammy
opened the night with just the right tone.

Local poet/singer Roger Nduku, has become a
welcome and regular fixture at Soulophonic.

Align CenterA special treat to all present was this immeasurably talented
singer/songwriter and guitar player William Hawkins of Downtown LA.

Back for another round of poetry, Patrick Thomas shared
new poems written on the fly in days leading up to Tuesday.

The rediculously talented Actress/Writer and yes, Spoken Word Poet Chastity Dotson performed a personal piece which explored some serious issues we could all relate to: being an artist and creative person, trying to get ahead and make a living and succeed in the entertainment industry etc etc. Three E's to describe her performance. Engaging. Explosive. Epic.

Local LA Painter Eloy Torrez rocking the guitar, killing us with lyrics
and keepin' the heads boppin' with his melodic and sweet original tunes.

Performer Will Hawkins [above] taking it all in from the back of space perspective.

Folks. Art. Love. Music. Support. Poetry. What more do we need?

Myself and Beat Boxer Joshua Silverstein at it once again.

Mataji Booker and Joshua Silverstein performing a cult classic original "Molded".

For the first time in the short history of this event since its launch in March, Soulophonic, which has primarily been home to Poets and the Spoken Word, was out done in great numbers by musical/acoustic acts! It was a night filled with music, art and stripped down to the bone talent - each performer unique, from the heart and bringing a level of feeling to the already tense Full moon night. Many remarked after wards that this particular Soulophonic session was like "going to therapy."

Danny came with performer Patrick Thomas not sure if he wanted to perform since it had been all whole 3 years. He did, however bring his guitar, and once he got inspired to step up to the mic (they always do), he could not - get off! And he rocked it. It was a revisit and re-opening witnessed by all, and this is exactly the kind of platform that we strive to create each week.

Hype Hustle's Phil Irwin wrote not one, but TWO new songs since he first came to Soulophonic last week, and they were nothing short of simply beautiful. Such a gifted songwriter and musician, thanks Phil for allowing Will Hawkins, myself and others to use your sweet baby (guitar).

DJ 5 min aka D Thrice on the mic: reading"Some Movies"
- a poem that has become a favorite of mine - was super in synch
with the art exhibited around us. Very moving. Man of many gifts.

Singer/Songwriter Jawnee - bass player for the awesome, socially concious indie rock/punk band Piel made a surprise appearance with partner and Piel front woman Tiki. Jawnee rocked a sweet version of "Summer Time", complete with a built in trumpet and bass player! Then he took us home with a fierce and soothing original song about us all being Love and shit. Hot damn Jawnee!

Street Poet Jason aka 23 Skadu closed the night with his highly charged, entertaining, educational spoken word rants at their finest. The perfect way to end a perfect night in the hyper politically aware creative surroundings.

It was a howling Pisces full moon night and there was emotion after emotion brought to the stage yes including tears - healing energies brought to the space like never before at Soulophonic. As we continue to build and grow we can only hope to keep this kind of platform open as a safe space for every walk of life to come and exercise our creative "writes" and or exorcise our individual and collective plights. Thanks to everyone who came through and stayed the night and a special thank you to the LA Vs WAR crew for being willing to share space while they were breaking down their event.

Check out the global [PEACE PROJECT] which was started a few years back by photogapher/dj Azul. I got in on this engaging and powerful photography based movement the very last night of the event. It was a real honor to stand up for peace with long time aquaintance Azul, especially doing it in the space of our weekly open mic, The Vortex. Power to the Photoz of the People!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

HYPE HUSTLE to Join forces with Soulophonic!

We'd like to introduce an awesome company fueled by talented young people doing big things for raw talent and artists throughout LA. The HYPE HUSTLE is a promotional platform for developing musicians! They run a contest online that rewards it's top contestants with high-end studio recording, music video, and photograpy packages.

We first met the team when they came by the first Tues in September to check out what we do and to perform along with one of their applicants, Megan Ochoa. [see following blog entry] We look forward to what's looking like a pretty sweet exchange of energy, space and cross promotional opportunities with this innovative group of inspiring and driven hustla's.

Click here for information about this super dope music contest.

Hype Hustle Artist/Contest Applicant Megan Ochoa.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Heat

Our first Tues in September took off with a bang! Several regulars and returnees showed up as special surprise guests, as well as a handful of "virgins" performing for the first time on our stage - including not one, but TWO females. A big deal for us because as you all know, we have primarily had gentlemen poets for several months now. We're feeling more confident than ever about the increasing presence of the ladies at our ever expanding night on Tuesdays at the Vortex in Downtown LA. Check it out!

Pasadena Poet Patrick Thomas swung through
for a second time to the open mic.

Hype Hustle Artist Megan Heavlin Ochoa
brought some hot and heavy tunes to match the heat of the night.

Painter/Muralist Eloy Torrez surprised us with a second visit to Soulophonic -
his first being at the very start of the open mic back in March of this year.
His original music, as well as his paintings are just super.

Cal Arts Senior Scott Oshima reading from his little red notebook.

Old School DJ in residence, Dan aka DJ 5 min, D Thrice.

The Lovely articulate and profound
Poetess/Writer Xitlalic Guijosa Osuna
making her first round at Soulophonic.

2 weeks in a row we were Blessed to have
Poet/Singer Roger Nduku "break it down."

Group Improv from left to right: Film Maker Louis Easton, Host Mataji Booker, Soulophonic team member Mark, Patrick Thomas and Hype Hustle's Phil Irwin.

East LA's Bus Stop Prophet bringing the love, wisdom and
inspiration his performances are known for.

Members of the audience watching Bus Stop Prophet.

Soulophonic Host Mataji Booker

Poet Sammy rockin' it.

Parou Banayan came by to check out the open mic and
couldn't resist coming up to read a poem from his phone.

Hype Hustle's Danny Reaume & Phil Irwin
dropped by with one of their artist's Megan Ochoa.

Phil Irwin