Friday, 22 October 2021 17:13

Introducing the State 2 State Independent Artist Discovery Project Spotify Playlist

Written by
Latasha Latasha


In 2018, Diversal Founder Alex Jackson embarked on a three-month long cross-country road trip so that he could sit down and have a chat with independent acts on what it is like to be an independent artist in this musical climate. Jackson documents the interviews in a documentary that he calls The State-2-State Independent Artist Discovery Project. As a part of the content-creation roll-out, the Dream Collab Series is the first in this series. You can check out a few of our spotlights on the series on the site.


Jackson interviews 49 independent acts in 48 states (not including Alaska and Hawaii) and each artist was very eager to share with Jackson their experiences.


Jackson put together a Spotify playlist that complies tracks from the artists he interviewed. Not all the artists he interviewed are on here, since some of them don’t use the platform.


The playlist gives us a look into the immense talent that Jackson got to witness firsthand. Everything from hip hop, R&B, soul, pop, electronic, rock and acoustic, there is so much to discover here.


I’ve listed below a few tracks, starting with track number, order of interview, state, song title, artist and song description, so that you will know a bit of background behind the relationship between the artist and State-2-State project. Be sure you explore the rest of the playlist on your own time. It is definitely worth it!


  1. Artist #1: New York, "Gogo Wyne" by Latasha: Filled with syncopated beats, the energy of this piece is dynamite. Thumping bass lines ignites this track. Latasha’s fierce flow shows an assured artist coming to her own.


  1. Artist #20: Montana, "POTUS" by Eddwords: Eddwords’ whirlwind rap style comes in like a cyclone of energy. He raps with sure-fire style. The flow here is definitely ridiculous.


  1. Artist #38: Georgia “Coolin” STNDRMS: With a real cool laid-back style, STNDRMS lays out his music with confidence and ease. The vibe feels relaxing and feels like something great to chill out to with a glass of wine.


  1. Artist #2: Connnecticut, “Oceans” by Shiwan: This soulful R&B singer’s evocative vocals comes in filled with flair and feeling. His smooth vocal styles prove to be a very enjoyable listening experience. Shiwan shows he has flow here.


  1. Artist #5: New Hampshire, “Saying Amen” by Sam Robbins: Immediately, Robbins’ warm acoustic sound comes in. Feeling very folksy in mode, Robbins sings in a very vulnerable and unguarded approach. I enjoyed this up-close-and-personal performance.


  1. Artist #10: Michigan, “Don’t Try” by The Lobby: Starting off with some glitch-y backbeats, some smooth R&B vocals comes through. Next, some whirlwind rapping erupts with an evocative flow. The Lobby takes hip hop to the next level with their smooth style.


  1. Artist #9: Indiana, “Slow Down” by Los Lemons: Some great indie rock tunes great realized here. The shimmering melodic guitars really sounded great here. The warm subdued vocals were another highlight. Really loving the reverb on this track.


  1. Artist #21: Washington, “Country” by Racoma: Once the vocals and music hits you, you can tell right away that Racoma has a great indie rock and alternative sound. I was loving the slow burning energy of this band!


  1. Artist #12: Wisconsin “Falling” by Cullah: Some glitch-y chip-tune arises from the start of this track. “Falling” had a very memorable retro ‘80s vibe to it. Once Cullah’s soulful vocal abilities come in, you can really feel his warm timbre embracing listeners. Audiences will be ‘wowed’ by his distinctive vocal styles.


  1. Artist #8: Ohio, “Gratitude” by Case Barge: Coming in at you with some ethereal sounding synths, once Barge’s energized rap style comes in, you can’t get away from his great delivery. He spits his rhymes out one after another, in sure-fire succession. His flow is non-stop.


  1. Artist #13: Iowa, “Ga$ Money” by Xavy Rusan: Some whistling and finger-snapping keeps the rhythms to this piece. Next, some sizzling and hypnotizing beats comes in. Rusan spews out his verses with show-stopping force. This will definitely leave audiences entranced.


  1. Artist #11: Illinois, “Hallucinations” by Xavier Keyz: Feeling very airy and free-flowing, Keyz silky smooth vocals comes in. Sounding very soulful and enticing, Keyz ups the heat factor with this sizzling hot jam.


  1. Artist #15: South Dakota, “San Quentin” by Rascal Martinez: Starting off with some radioactive guitar riffs, once Martinez vocals comes in, you can’t get away from his dynamic energy. Packed with the smoky blues, this was a compelling rock n’ roll piece from start to finish. I was reminded right away of The Raconteurs.


  1. Artist #6: Maine, “I’m Not Tryna Smoke” by B. Aull: Some synths enter here, for an airy start. Once B. Aull’s smooth and soulful R&B vocals comes in, you will be arrested right away. Brendon Bennett and Bensbeendead also contributes with their compelling vocal styles. This felt like an addictive pop track packed with great melody and feeling.


  1. Artist #44: Virginia, “Monies” by Farma Wes: Moody beats and synths comes in here. The ominous notes continue as the music rages on. Farma Wes’ somber rap style will entrench audiences with his hypnotizing flow on this track.


  1. Artist #29: Kansas, “Thanks” by Marrice Anthony: Some horns struts across the opening of this track. As some beats gain traction, Anthony’s vocals prove to be a thrilling release. His sure-fire rap style shows an assured artist perfectly comfortable in front of the mic. His rapping recalls an old school hip hop style juxtaposed alongside some modern vibes. A little bit of both worlds, I thought he had a great sound here.


  1. Artist #28: Colorado, “Before It Runs Down” by Kid Astronaut: Some acoustic guitar and percussive beats makes for a simmering, smooth flowing sound. I was definitely carried away by the ebb and flow of Kid Astronaut’s soulful vocals. Kid Astronaut’s performance here proved to be very memorable here.


  1. Artist #33: Arkansas, “Whatever” by Qiuntelli: As airy synths and beats come through in the background, Qiuntelli’s evocative vocal abilities comes through. Recalling a very Usher and Ne-yo vibe, I can’t get away from how soulful and emotional he sounds.


  1. Artist #19: Idaho, “Apartment” by River Merrill: Starting off with some noodling on the electric guitar, the sound soon grows for a fuller band backing. The sound feels very retro in vibe like music from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Once Merrill’s gritty vocals comes in, the contrast between his singing voice and the guitars sounded really great. Though there was a bit of dissonance in the vibes, the juxtaposition created a very compelling vibe.


  1. Artist #16: Minnesota, “Nowhere New York” by Eleanor Elektra: An acoustic piece, Elektra’s vocals are simply accompanied by the acoustic guitar. The simplicity of this track gave more emotional resonance in the end. I was greatly moved by the mood and feeling behind the lyrics and music.


  1. Artist #7: Vermont, “Down (Wonderland)” by Ali T: This is another fresh acoustic piece. Once Ali T’s sass vocals comes in, there is no doubt in your mind that she has a great voice. As she coos and croons on this track, her warm vocals embrace a great indie rock and pop rock vibe that sounds a lot like Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson.


After this roadtrip, Jackson is already thinking about round two. About possibly seeing how these artists evolve and grow and how their outlook on the industry changes in five or ten years. The possibilities are surely endless. With so much on the horizon, be sure you check out this playlist for any further updates. There is a definitely a whole lot to explore here!






Last modified on Friday, 22 October 2021 17:43


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