Transforming luxury boutiques into speakeasies, and galleries into soapboxes and stages, Site-Specific is a unique and ephemeral exploration of the Design District. The performance-based series offers a fast-paced platform for any combination of genres in dance, music, theatre and poetry where guests are invited to a series of events taking place in locations all throughout the neighborhood. From de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space and Theory boutique, to the former showroom of Cartier jewelers and still-new Palm Court, Site-Specific returns this Saturday with a parcour of events throughout Miami Design District.
For this special Site-Specific edition, Miami Design District enlisted nonradioMusic Projects founder and creative director RM Crews, and producer, vocalist and songwriter Derin Young, to present their unique blend of artists, and also tapped curator and cultural event producer Nathaly Charria of Natology Projects to round out the program.
Like so many Magic City transplants, the circumstances that brought Young to Miami were completely unexpected. It has been 10 years since Young first arrived, and in addition to working with RM Crews at nonradioMusic Projects, Young performs with her band dei 7.
Miami Design District: You've performed with world-class artists Lenny Kravitz, Living Colour, and MC Solaar, to name a few. Why stay in Miami?
Derin Young: There is something special about Miami. It’s in the air -- the weather, the mix of people, and in its close connection to the ocean. It’s also present in the need for artists to make contributions that enrich the cultural landscape of this city.
MDD: How do you see the evolution of arts taking shape?
DY: There has been an effort over the last several years to turn Miami into a cultural destination. The city's art scene is now beginning to change with the influx of residents and visitors from the global community, however Miami is still known as an events town and for its club scene. For the cultural scene to further grow and develop, there needs to be an investment at the local level for structured support and insightful critique and evaluation.
MDD: As an accomplished producer and vocalist with dei 7, what are some of your musical influences, and how do they reflect in your collaborations?
DY: African music and what people call “World Music,” as well as American styles, have been influences for me - blues, folk, jazz, soul and experimental sounds. I've always appreciated mixing and blending genres, leading me to work with various artists interested in combining their own native styles with other forms of music.
Also, when I worked in Europe, audiences liked my clear tone and soulful delivery, which inspired collaborations with MC Solaar and others. I still bring that tone and delivery to the work I do now when performing in Miami, and enjoy creating ensembles that allow older and younger musicians to perform together.
MDD: How would you describe the dei 7 set that you'll be doing on Saturday night?
DY: It’s “continental”: a relaxing, modern blending of genres that will allow audiences to enjoy their moment. Whether they fully engaged in our presentation or get lost in their conversations with friends, our music will be the soundtrack.
MDD: The name of MDD's program, "Site-Specific," very much puts an emphasis on how the artist uses the space or relates to their surroundings.
DY: In conceptualizing this project, we found ourselves connected to Miami Design District’s vision because of how they used space to get people moving and investigating the neighborhood. For us, space is the container that we put our content in: we're always on the hunt for it - not just any space, but the perfect space.
Nathaly Charria, has recently returned to Miami after making her mark in the Los Angeles art scene. While in L.A. Charria made connections to up and coming artists, performers and musicians and plans to cross pollinate talents between the cities as Natology Projects. Natology will be producing the third act of the program, PROST (Short for PROSTITUTION) in the recently vacated 40th Street Cartier store. When asked why she wanted to participate in this month’s Site Speicifc Program, Charria states: Performance in its very essence is an experience reflecting the ephemeral aspects of the present moment, the now. I am honored to be a part of Miami Design District's Performance Series and inspired by the neighborhood's growth, vision and future. PROST represents the synergy of music, performance and fashion. It is the next-wave and I'm delighted to collaborate in making Miami the first place in which their sound will be heard.
Where to go:
Performance Time: 8:00 p.m.
23 NE 41 Street (de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space)
Free range music at de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space is explorative, mature and thought-provoking
Performance Time: 8:30 p.m.
101 NE 40th Street (Theory)
Spoken word artist who connects her cosmic style and energy to Miami Design District's polished urban landscape
PROST (PROSTITUTION), produced by Jean-Marc Virard (JMV) of Le Branché Records
Performance Time: 9:00 p.m.
151 NE 40th Street (former Cartier showroom)
Blending the rhythms of Chicago and Detroit house music with soulful melodies of the 80s and 90s, PROST effortlessly infuses hints of New Wave, Soul, House and Techno with an elegant rawness and hypnotic performance
Performance Time: 9:30 p.m.
140 NE 39 Street (Palm Court)
Performing excerpts from their Hip-Hop Flamenco piece, "Beats and Compas," which mixes traditional Flamenco with Hip-Hop dance styles
For more information about Site-Specific, visit the event page.