Discover the next Northwest sound
WHAT IS SOUND OFF!?
Now in its 19th year, MoPOP’s Sound Off! is the premier 21-and-under music showcase and competition in the Pacific Northwest. Participants get the opportunity to showcase their original music in MoPOP’s Sky Church, a world-class venue, connect with peer musicians, and are mentored by industry leaders and an artistic community invested in welcoming them as full-fledged members of one of the nation’s most vibrant music scenes.
Seattle, WA — Singer/songwriter
A former concert pianist in-training and native of Seattle, Ry Lucia has been writing songs since age 14. With clever piano hooks, soft guitar, and honest lyrics, her music conjures up a feeling as cozy as sitting by the fireplace on a rainy day, and as raw as reading straight from someone's diary. She has been involved in Rain City Rock Camp for 11 years and has released one single, “General Welfare.” She is in the process of recording her debut album.
Edmonds, WA — Indie R&B
Raw and soulful, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Kaia’s vocals float effortlessly over melodic guitar and piano instrumentals. Drawing influence from artists like Clairo, Kehlani, and Jimi Hendrix, Kaia manages to deliver sultry, digital-age R&B laced with old school vibes. Having played the guitar since she was eight, she applies her technical experience throughout the creative process, and her authenticity can be felt and heard throughout each song.
Seattle, WA — Jazz/Fusion
Fusing jazz harmony, metal-inspired rhythm, chill vibes, funk, and traces of cyanide, Tiny Planet's sound is full of exciting musical contradictions and surprises. Since forming to play a benefit concert for refugees, the quintet has become not only a metaphorical spaceship for exploring far-reaching musical terrain, but also an excuse for them to simply hang out, go on adventures, and, as they explain it, be idiots together.
The Human Missile Crisis
Tukwila, WA — Punk/Experimental
Your first thought when listening to The Human Missile Crisis? There’s no way just two people could make a sound that big. The drum and bass duo blast out constant noise that swells, chirps, and moves with such frenzy that you expect it to come from a stage full of people.. Incorporating Hispanic and islander culture into raw, energetic, and heavy riffs, The Human Missile Crisis pushes the envelope of what experimental hardcore can be.
Portland, OR — Singer/songwriter
Searows is an indie pop/folk/rock project created by Alec Duckart, a 19-year-old singer-songwriter from Portland, Oregon whose lush vocals and reverb-drenched soundscapes could soothe the most savage listener. Alec began writing music in middle school (in lieu of doing any schoolwork) and never seemed to be able to stop. Alec names artists like Phoebe Bridgers, James Blake, Soccer Mommy, and Tamino as significant influences.
Bainbridge Island, WA — R&B
Armed with a few years of piano lessons and a love of confessional songwriting, Thomas Crowley (thom.ko) began creating beats and melodies in his bedroom, and released his first demo while still in high school. Since those formative years, he has traded his bedroom melodies for a more focused approach and continued to grow as an artist, carving out a distinct sonic niche for himself. With a distinct ear for arrangements, thom.ko deftly mixes genre and mood, creating songs that are unpredictable and endearing.
Seattle, WA — Hip-Hop
49th Parallel is a rap collective comprised of five friends who have been hanging out for as long as they can remember. Fun and friendship are at the core of everything they create, and their goal is to share that collective passion with everyone. Their debut album was the result of an artist residency on Lopez Island and a partnership with YouTube channel Yes Theory. Since then, 49th Parallel has set themselves on a path to build their community and share their music.
Seattle, WA — Punk
Mr. Dinkles is a power punk duo made up of Mac Rettig and Gretchen Elliot. Having met at School of Rock in Seattle, the two were always more interested in rocking out than high school drama. So they linked up and started writing songs about it. With influences like the Dead Kennedys, TacoCat, Bikini Kill, Rush, and SWMRS, these two bring classic punk together with current pop melodies, loud crunchy guitars, and plenty of catchy lyrics you can scream all day long.
Seattle, WA — Singer/songwriter
Mirabai Kukathas is a storyteller, playwright, spirited conversationalist, and singer-songwriter. She loves nothing more than telling an absurd story with an honest emotional core. People often tell Mirabai she was born in the wrong millennium, but she’d much rather be in this one, where she can vote and marry who she likes and watch WALL-E for the millionth time. But she does pull plenty of musical inspiration from the past, finding ways to blend ‘60s folk with contemporary pop and everything in between. Mirabai’s music is an act of healing; a confusing celebration of her culture, identity, and life.
Seattle, WA — R&B
Talaya. uses space and time as a three-dimensional canvas, painting depth into her music with powerful instrumentation, lyrics, and a keen ear for production. After joining The Residency in 2017 with no formal training and YouTube as her teacher, she embarked on what is now a life-long journey of connecting ears with hearts. As a testament to her quickly developing artistry, in May of 2019 she released a five-track self-produced EP titled “The Space Between.”
Seattle, WA — Jazz
For Seven Sky Spillios, life is music. He plays saxophone in eight Seattle-area bands, teaches 20 students a week, and still finds time to work on his own music, which is a dynamic fusion of classical composition and jazz-influenced improvisation and harmony. Not content to simply rest on his own work, he also writes music for other groups — including chamber and jazz ensembles— to perform, living out his belief that music is about connection and communicating where words often fail.
Woodinville, WA — Metal
David’s Van bring a lighthearted yet seriously technical approach to their comedic metal originals. The three met at School of Rock Seattle, leading their house band at local shows on national tours. They formed David’s Van in Spring 2019 to “put the fun back in metal.” No strangers to the stage, the three self-described “nice, goofy fellas full of shenanigans” are fresh out of the recording studio with a forthcoming release that is sure to delight their head-banging fans with their serious musical chops, infectious lyrics, and unmatched volume.
MoPOP’s Sound Off! is designed to support up-and-coming musicians and set them on a path for community building and professional growth.
Over the course of three weeks, 12 semifinalists are selected to work with and perform for a panel of industry veterans. From there, the panel, alongside MoPOP’s Youth Advisory Board, chooses four finalists to play the closing concert.
All twelve semifinalists receive professional development from industry veterans, take part in a professional photoshoot, play in a world-class venue, and join the growing community of Sound Off! alumni. The four finalists participate in a live recording in KEXP’s performance studio, receive mentorship from industry professionals, with a chance to win top prizes. Sound Off! alumni have gone on to perform at top Northwest music festivals, including Timber! Music Festival, Northwest Folklife Festival, and Bumbershoot. They also receive promotions via MoPOP events, collaborations with local producers, and studio sessions.
SOUND OFF! HIGHLIGHTS