MEET THE PERFORMERS
The concert is wrapped up for 2021 but that doesn't mean you cannot still meet the artists and re-watch the show!
Get to know the artists who performed in the virtual concert RESPECT! 2021. All performers were asked why they wanted to join and who inspired them. Read their answers and re-watch their performances on our YouTube Page
My name is Sofie Woods and I have been performing for as long as I can remember. I majored in music in high school in Sweden where I was born and raised. After high school I traveled and performed with the international org Up With People. I travelled the world for 1.5 years and then settled down in Colorado in USA. Today I mostly perform in the living room with my 2 kids and I am very excited to get to sing and play something other than “the wheels on the bus” for this show!
Why did you want to bring this project to the US?
I saw the original RESPECT concert in Sweden and I was blown away! The talent was amazing and the cause was something close to my heart. Being a female small business owner and a mother I know the need for more support in all areas for women. With Covid limiting our time outside of the home and domestic abuse raising in numbers, I felt a need of supporting an organization that brings awareness and tries to prevent domestic abuse. To connect my love for music with this cause felt like a great opportunity and so here we are!
What song are you performing and why?
Alicia Keys - If I ain’t got you. Alicia is one of my role models especially after she made a statement of not wearing makeup. I have chosen to interpret the song as a love song to myself. It’s easy to get lost in what we need to feel happy by external things or for other to give us affirmation. But if I ain’t got myself to rely on and to love me, nothing else really matters.
Who you are and how long you have been performing?
I’ve been singing since my mom put me in church choir when I was seven. I fell in love with the arts through really established music and theatre programs in my high school and community. I now teach high school performing arts, singing with a local tribute band, have my own private voice studio and produce with a New York based theatre company,
Tier5 : A Theatre Company!
Why did you want to be part of this project?
When Sofie asked me to be a part of this project I was so pumped. The opportunity to gather some of the best artists in the Denver-area for a cause was something I knew I couldn’t pass up. Raising awareness for the Initiative and using music to do so is *chefs kiss*.
Who is a badass woman/non-gender conforming human you look up to?
Laverne Cox! She’s such a leader in self love and acceptance. The roles she’s been cast in during her career help her maintain her platform and challenge social norms. I’m inspired by how the struggles she’s faced have empowered her to educate and advocate for others.
My name is Kaz Alien (they/them), I'm from outer space! I have been playing music for earthlings for over ten years. Music has always been a passion and vital outlet of mine. Singing is my favorite form of self expression; it allows me to pour my heart and soul into a single sound, a single line, a single moment.
I believe in using my voice to uplift and empower others. The RESPECT! show allows me to do that for survivors of domestic abuse through The Initiative. When my friend approached me about performing there was no hesitation. I will jump at any chance to combine music and mutual aid.
Jeffrey Marsh is a nonbinary activist who brings me joy every day by affirming people in the LGBTQ+ community, especially those who have been abused. Their work is pivotal to me and many others.
I will be performing two original songs: "Salt", about the trials and rewards of self love, and "Hated", about the struggles of being accepted (or not) by the ones you love.
Stephanie (Steph) is a 1st generation, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Latina currently residing in Denver, Colorado! She works in the education field advocating for migrant families, and manages school based health programs and projects. Steph's love for performing started in musical theatre performances in high school, becoming a classically trained mezzo-soprano/contralto vocalist, and singing mariachi with her family. She was a lead vocalist for local Mariachi bands in Colorado. As far as performing goes, Steph has been performing since she was 8 years old.
I wanted to be a part of this project to empower myself amidst other folks who love music and share my gifts with others. I also want to continue to spread love for my culture, and the traditional songs that come with it. I always yearned to see more performers I can relate to traditionally, and who better than to start that chain effect of diversity within music than to start with myself. Sharing my love for Marichai is a new safe space for me, and I am looking forward to sharing this passion!
I will be performing "La Cigarra" from Linda Ronstandt. "La Cigarra" was the first Mariachi song I mastered and audiences would consistently ask me to sing it! It's a fun, upbeat song with a dramatic message (who doesn't love drama in performance!) I feel especially connected to this song because my Grandfather loved Mariachi. "La Cigarra" is a classic! When I sing it, I feel connected to my lineage and Mexican roots.
One of the musical women that I look up to is Selena Quintanilla. Selena sang mariachi songs and that is what inspired me to sing Mariachi; to honor her roots and continue to share culture with others. Selena not only was talented, but seemed like a kind soul and a passionate performer. When it comes to musical inspiration, Selena is someone that I have looked up to since I was a young girl.
Magic Mo (they/them) is a multiracial non-binary musician, activist, and intuitive from Denver, CO. They are passionate about social change and encouraging accountability, sustainability, and accessibility, finding avenues for musical collaboration to uplift movements for social change. Everything in our lives is intersectional and the creation and exchange of art is no different.
Domestic abuse is a serious issue in our country and has unfortunately become worse in the face of the pandemic. I am dedicated to supporting those whose voices are silenced. It is an honor and privilege to be able to share my art to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence and highlight the work The Initiative is doing to serve those afflicted.
I am performing my songs "In My Heart", a song about walking away from a relationship where boundaries are repeatedly crossed, and "Free", a song about breaking out of cycles and taking back my own power.
Someone who greatly inspires me is Tash Sultana (they/them). They are a powerhouse musician who plays every part of their songs, even live through a series of looping pedals, and sold out international stadiums doing so. They are a vocal activist in support of LGBTQ+ rights and is someone who has been to rock bottom and fought for their recovery.
SolSatellite is a name with many layers, Sol being the sun, a solfege pitch, and a play on the word “soul”, and Satellite referring to both a celestial body which revolves around a planet and an artificial body which is put in place to orbit the Earth. SolSatellite is the embodiment of this idea through music by combining powerful, soulful vocals with funkadelic rock-based instrumentals and orbiting an eclectic fusion sound. Each member of this five-piece band draws from a unique musical background with a multitude of influences in order to pioneer a new genre, coined nu-soul funk. The same way SolSatellite brings elements of several musical styles together, the band also aspires to bring people from all walks of life together to share in their pursuit of music, dancing, and spreading the love. Solsatellite begun with the longtime friendship of bassist Mo Ellis and vocalist Eve Jennings. Having been in a previous musical project together, it was a no brainer to join forces yet again after the nudge from drummer Todd Bills to start a band together. Soon after, the band became whole with guitarist Patrick Unruh and keyboardist Sean Galansky joining us. In 2018, the group released their first self-titled EP with 4 contrasting yet symbiotic tunes. Last year, Solsatellite released their newest single, sharing yet another side of their eclectic musical influences.
We love any opportunity to be able to play music as a means of bringing awareness to important humanitarian causes, especially domestic abuse.
We are performing two songs, "Options" and "Wise Woman"
We wanted to play Wise Woman because it encompasses the true strength and power in being a woman. While direct and descriptive, the lyrics take subtle mention to how much a female will overcome day to day to feel safe in a male-domindant society that was built for male success. A woman is tested at each obstacle, and if wise, will support and uplift her fellow non-males for a brighter future, paving a new path.
Our song "Options" we chose to perform because of its relevance to the time we are living in. The recognition of white privilege, acknowledging the advantage we were born into and the unjust systematic inequality that has perpetuated, and being able to stand up for people who have experienced oppression for simply being themselves. We think there is something in this song for every kind of person to resonate with and that's why it is so meaningful for us to play. We are so excited to announce that this song is our new released single. We wanted the audience of this event to be the first to check it out! We hope you enjoy it!
We really look up to Chaka Kahn as a female musician and we definitely draw inspiration from her music. She is one of few of the most iconic vocalists in our time. We each have our own personal heroes, but as a band Chaka Kahn has greatly influenced our collective style and vibe.
Colorado native by default. Meaning I was born in Durango Colorado, completely raised in Farmington New Mexico, and currently live in the Denver area with my husband and son. I love both of the states dearly and glad to call them both home.
My entire life I’ve found ways to perform. At school, at studios, at home. It was clear at a young age that I loved to dance and it was something I became dedicated to quickly. That passion grew into many years of classical training, competitions, teaching, and traveling as dancer. My local News paper even wrote an article on me titled “Angela can’t stop dancing” and that feels super relevant to this performance.
It had been 4 years since I have performed and that is exactly why I said yes to doing this project. It was time. Time for me for trust myself, trust my body, and be trusted again. It was time for me to create and see the beauty of a performance come together again. I am grateful for this opportunity and the directors who invited me to be apart of it.
I come from a very female dominate family so I have many to look up to and be inspired by, but I find it most inspiring when women come together as a unit. When all feel heard and are inspired by each other. When all hearts are shining it’s a stunning moment that holds undeniable power. I found a tremendous amount of female power in this project. I hope you feel it, and enjoy it!
I'm Cammie, and I have loved singing and performing for as long as I can remember. I grew up singing in choir, performing in musicals, and playing/writing my own songs on guitar. I continued to perform in college while earning a degree in music education, and even got to sing some opera! After college I travelled with the group "Up with People" where I got to go on the road and perform all through the US, Mexico, and Europe. When I'm not performing, I'm teaching elementary school music and working with Centerstage Theater Company to inspire and nurture passion for the performing arts by providing theater opportunities for all ages and abilities.
I wanted to be a part of this project because I think music is such a powerful way to create connection, which is something that we all need a little more of these days. I am also thrilled to bring awareness to The Initiative and their vision to create an abuse free culture for all people, regardless of abilities.
I'm performing an original song called Shadows. I was inspired to write this song when some of my friends were going through rough patches in their lives. I wanted them to know that they could escape the shadows, and that I would be right there with them if they needed me.
Sara Bareilles is a HUGE musical inspiration for me. Not only is she a phenomenal singer/songwriter, but she made history by being a member of the first all female creative team on Broadway for Waitress. I love how she uses her music and her platform to empower and lift up others!
Leslie (she/her) has been dancing, tumbling and smiling on stage since she was in preschool. Leslie believes dance is her medicine, as it is where she can lose track of time, worry, doubt. She loves spreading that joy to others by teaching GROOV3 and other fitness styles.
Why did you want to be part of this project?
It is such an honor to be a part of a project that helps, in our small way, bring a louder voice to the issue of domestic violence. I am inspired by being around other creatives and activists who share in my mission to make the world a better place.
Who is a badass woman/non-gender conforming human you look up to or has inspired you?
Can I name two? It’s the sisters of Rising Appalachia, Leah Song and Chloe Smith. Their mission is for their art to be a source of activism and cultural development, and have created several community projects to join art and justice. So inspiring!