This week, we’re kicking off our summer playlists. We called in some experts: The people in town actually making the music, writing about it and putting on the shows. Artist and rapper, KayelaJ, is also about to drop a scorcher of a debut, “D.Y.K.E (Don’t Yield, Keep Enduring)” and we get an exclusive listen to some of the tracks and her creative process.
Summer Playlist 2019 — 1:47
Travis D. Wiggins (Cool Flowers, Nerve Beats, and Conditioner Disco Group) and Corby Plumb (Nerve Beats and Totally Different Head) are both devoted, self-taught musicologists of the local underground DIY scene. They give an insider’s perspective, discussing their favorite summer releases which include:
“Proud Boys” by Soft Butch
“Can’t Stand Back” by The Rats
“Bruise Cruise” by Ex-Kids
“Stringy” by Pocket Rock-it
“Colder than a Wedge” by Elrond
“Sex and Violence” by All Hits
We’re also joined by The Portland Mercury’s music editor Jenni Moore. Did we mention she also helps organize Thesis, the monthly hip-hop showcase that happens every first Thursday at Kelly’s Olympian? If you want an introduction to Portland hip-hop, check out the next one July 5 (on a Friday because of the holiday) at 9 p.m. Her list of favorites include:
“Truth” by Mark Ronson feat. The Last Artful Dodgr and Alicia Keys
“Glory Glory” by Rasheed Jamal
“25 Alive” by Oh, Rose
“Depression was Trash” by KayelaJ
“Don’t Yield, Keep Enduring” Kayla — 19:19
Makayela Johnson, known to the world as KayelaJ, was on track to becoming a family counselor. But somewhere in-between orientation and the first day of her graduate program, her focus shifted to completing and producing a powerfully, vulnerable debut, “D.Y.K.E (Don’t Yield, Keep Enduring).”
Although different from her initial academic approach, her music is still a form of community outreach. By sharing the rawest of portraits, chronicling her own journey to self-love and acceptance, she hopes to reach those who might be going through similar trials. Johnson speaks candidly about her transformation and the struggles behind her highly anticipated album. Release date, July 13. The Album release party is on July 12, 9 p.m., at Kelly’s Olympian.
Twitter/IG : @KayelaJ_
Facebook : @KayelaJMusic
Website : KayelaJ.com
Carving Out Space on the Airwaves — 36:31
If you’re ever driving around on Portland’s east side, tune your radio to 96.7 FM, and you’ll find something special. The Numberz is the city’s only station committed to airing “Black music by Black people from Black Portland.” From a segment we first aired in March 2019, we speak with a few of The Numberz’ key players, including co-founder Anthony Deloney, DJ Ambush, and station manager Kayela J. To listen to The Numberz live, tune in to 96.7 FM, or stream online.