In these unprecedented times, the absence of night life, social gatherings and live music are hitting the communities they’re built around heavily. In the spirit of optimism, we’ve also seen a beautiful side of this isolation – it’s allowed space for an abundance of creativity to come into play with event production. Just because we are social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy top notch musicians and mind blowing art! Sofa Sessions is a result of dedication, innovation and the pure love of music.
With a lineup boasting Kursa, Ooah, MartyParty, Vibe Street and more along with some of the best visual masters in the game (Android Jones, Pickles), we’re looking forward to having the sofa to ourselves for the weekend. Read on as we catch up with one of the festival organizers, Jallal Abdelhadi, who helped make Sofa Sessions a reality.
How did Sofa Sessions come about?
Sofa Sessions started as a small idea between the Rhizome Creative Team, Dial8Visuals, Massive Ideas team, & Beyond Us nonprofit. Our intentions stemmed from boredom and missing the community that came with live arts. There has been lots of amazing streams, but one thing we wanted to emphasize with our project, is the visual experience for people at home. This is a really unique opportunity for visual artists to showcase their art on screen for everyone at home, everywhere.
Was there anything in the works previous to the pandemic or did you have to tailor the event to be virtual?
There was nothing in the works before. We all have experience in the music industry, but our friendship and the pandemic-driven timing birthed this happening. The biggest obstacle for us, and many others who recently started streaming – is how they heck do you stream? Rhizome creative has spent several weeks crafting this. Something that makes us stand out is that we are operating on our own server and have even made a website for streaming other music events in the future. The problem with Twitch is that say 10pm on Saturday, if their servers get overloaded, they will decrease the quality for everyone. We are ensuring a high quality experience for our artists and viewers by allowing them the option to view on VYRAL.LIVE, where we are in control of the server. This took a ton of extra work by Rhizome Creative to manifest, but that’s what makes Sofa Sessions unique – a well-curated visual and audio experience streamed in high quality.
Which artists are you most excited about that some people may not know of?
Ben Encanti (of ZEE) has teamed with Princess Leah during the quarantine time for a special side project called, “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Text”. They just created this group and will be doing some interesting new visuals that integrates the ‘chat messages into the visuals on screen’. This will be new for everyone, and we are happy to showcase it. Also, we are excited for the special A/V collaborations we are hosting. For example, Mimosa will be joined by Fractaled Visions. Android Jones is doing visuals for a member of the Glitch Mob, Ooah. We have the G visual artist W // Double You, doing visuals for the west coast legend An-Ten-Nae.
What’s next for Sofa Sessions?
Currently, we are being present and focusing all our energy on this first one.
If all goes well without ruining our secrets, you can expect to see more events from Sofa Sessions.