PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For over a year, producer and DJ Dontā Laneil has played sets at parties, venues and his own events in and around the Portland area. Now, Sounds by Dontā is taking a back seat by highlighting other artists at the premier Soundcheck.
On Wednesday, Dec. 14, Soundcheck will feature spoken word and musical performances from six artists. Whereas Sounds by Dontā’s events like Brown Sugar and All Love offer more of a party atmosphere, this event gives attendees an opportunity to wind down and enjoy a soulful, live show.
“I love the Tiny Desk platform and other platforms that do intimate performances, so it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do,” Sounds by Dontā said.
He had never anticipated being a DJ in addition to being a producer, so he spent his jam-packed debut year on the turntables establishing himself in the music scene. The upcoming Soundcheck marks his first endeavor to put singers and poets on the center stage.
“I feel like Portland’s a place where we really have a lot of dope creatives here, but unfortunately, we don’t have an industry here. I think that’ll change in the years to come,” he said. “I think [Soundcheck] is dope because it has really nothing to do with myself. It just has to do with just giving the platform to creatives in the city for them to showcase their talents.”
Shayla Noil, Trilllaaaa, Brianna Renae and Izzy Is Real will perform spoken word poetry on Wednesday night. They were all handpicked by the DJ and producer, after he received feedback from his Instagram followers about who they’d want to see at a show.
“Some I knew, some I hadn’t heard about before. But after just seeing everybody’s work, I was like, ‘These people are amazing,’” Sounds by Dontā said.
Artists Imani and Zyah Belle will sing for the musical portion of the event. The organizer describes Imani as a rising star with raw talent and one of the most amazing voices he’s ever heard. Zyah Belle is also a star on the rise and has been recognized by Missy Elliot, toured with Alex Isley and performed with Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir.
Soundcheck will be held at Southeast Portland sports bar Jackie’s, where Sounds by Dontā has already held a few parties. According to the DJ and producer, the Jackie’s owners — who are also behind Two Wrongs and Sugar Hill — have been open and supportive with his new creative undertakings in Portland.
Jackie’s doors open at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Tickets can be purchased for $10 online or at the door.
“It’s a different vibe,” Sounds by Dontā said. “This is more intimate [and] chill. Get some good music, get some good poetry, be home by 10:30 or 11 p.m. and make it to work the next day.”