Powerhouse performer Chantel SinGs steps from behind the mic to the driver’s seat to present “Divas on the Rise 2016,” an event billed as a “celebration of women empowerment, strength and success.” She first staged the showcase in 2010 in what she described as, “a platform for some of the hottest female talent in Minnesota. Ultimately, the goal is to take it nationally and worldwide to find the hottest talent in [other] markets.”
This time around, Chantel will not be putting in an appearance — though it’s probably worth looking around to see if you spot her hanging out before or after the show. “I normally would be singing, but this time I’m gonna hang back and watch the ladies do their thing.” There will, just the same, be no lack of first-rate stars on stage.
For one, the host is nationally noted actor-singer Keith Robinson. Robinson, who broke into the big time as, of all things, Green Lightspeed Ranger in the television series Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, and portrayed Baby Roy in the James Brown bio pic Get On Up. He marks as his current triumph the role of Miles Calloway in the hit series Saints & Sinners, and is filming The Products of the American Ghetto in which he plays Silk.
Headlining the bill is Ashley DuBose, featured in season five of The Voice (NBC) and lauded by City Pages as Best Female Vocalist of 2014 in their annual Best of the Twin Cities edition.
Layce Dreamz has been performing locally, nationally, and internationally since 2005. She is an accomplished songwriter and has been involved in music projects that have won Grammy’s and NAACP Image Awards, and performed with the Sounds of Blackness. Dreamz is multifaceted, having acted at the Guthrie Theater, Fitzgerald Theater and Capri Theater.
Also appearing are Anjanie Da Artist, Shaiana Ginea, Miracole and the comedic styling of Ashli Henderson, whose wryly hilarious standup routines are a must-view on You Tube. There’ll be sounds provided by DJ Phoenix and DJ Don Dadda.
Chantel states, “The reason I created ‘Divas on the Rise’ is because I feel there needs to be more of a platform for females. Whether you sing, rap, dance, do comedy. I think that I’ve seen too many events or concerts where there aren’t enough female artists represented on the bill. I just want to be a part of getting them more exposure, basically.”
Henderson adds, “I see it as great exposure. Not just as a Black female comedienne in our community but as a Black woman period. I think that’s what’s exciting me the most. When you look at the list of women that are blessing the stage, to be a part of that is dope! So I’m truly honored and grateful to have been considered.”
Asked to reflect on her status as a national star benefitting local talent with, as it were, exposure by association, DuBose answers, “I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s always a good feeling to help shed light on others’ work, especially other women with similar interests and ambitions.
“I am still a ‘local’ artist in the Twin Cities, however, and just as my fans that come to the show will see and hear artists that they may have never heard of, the other artists will surely bring in those who may have never heard of me or seen me perform live. So we all are [providing exposure for] each other by participating in this event, and bringing fan bases together to enjoy a night of live music!”
It’s a regrettably telling reality that in this day and age of Michelle Obama, the Beyoncés, Nicki Minajes, Rihannas, Tracey Ashleys and Wanda Sykeses of the world are exceptions that prove a longstanding rule. Fortunately, Chantel SinGs is doing something concrete about that with “Divas on the Rise 2016,” Sunday, June 12, from 8 pm to 1 am at Pourhouse, 10 South 5th Street in Minneapolis. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, available through email@example.com.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.