On April 19th, American University’s student-run label, Second District Records, hosted a performance of several of their artists at Union Stage. After coming off being online from the pandemic and starting the semester with merely 3 members, the label saw explosive growth, adding nearly 70 members and 6 artists in 2022. Like the label itself, the performance was artistically and stylistically diverse, with artists from many different genres sharing the stage.
Opening for the concert were DMV artists Mo Sella and Dre Wave$; Mo, himself an AU student, wooed the crowd with smooth neo-soul, while Dre Wave$ rapped confidently over luxurious trap beats. Following them was Wrenmo, a deliriously fun hyperpop artist whose autotuned vocals zigzagged between bright and bubbly production.
Next up were Livvy and Liv Wood, both singer-songwriter pop artists with very thematically different performances, despite their similar names. Livvy performed her unreleased single ‘Make Boys Cry’, an anthemic pop song serving as a reproach against the men who did her wrong, while Liv Wood sang ‘Home to You’, a sweet ballad for her boyfriend.
Next came Scuttlebus, an unorthodox rock group comprised of classic rock instrumentation such as guitars, vocals, and drums, but also a cello. Following them with a surprise performance was singer-songwriter and SDR co-president Grace Becker, who sang ‘idk y i’, a breakup-inspired banger produced by fellow SDR artist Landward Edge who closed the night with an exhilarating DJ set of experimental and dance electronica.
Seeing such a vibrant and diverse display of artistry was truly inspiring and a testament to the passion of these young artists and the Second District Records team. The show truly felt like a revival, and more than that, a celebration of the DC music community by artists who are at the beginning of their musical journeys.