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August’s Chi Sounds Like Showcase Wrap-Up

Written by on August 5, 2022

Vocalo’s third Chi Sounds Like Showcase was last night — featuring performances from Chicago artists Joel Q, Heavy Crownz, nombreKARI and Christian JaLon.

Afternoons host Nudia Hernandez kept the audience moving all night long with an energetic mix…
Photo by Makenzie Creden / Vocalo Radio, Chicago Public Media

Vocalo’s Chi Sounds Like Showcase went down at the Subterranean last night, and it was a night to remember. The Chi Sounds Like Showcase event series highlights the rich creative talent of Chicago, aiming to amplify local artists and foster connections between Vocalo listeners and the music community. 

Our third showcase, the second held at historic Wicker Park venue Subterranean, featured performances from Joel Q, Heavy Crownz, nombreKARI and Christian JaLon. With these four local talents, MC’d by our mornings host Bekoe and DJ’d by afternoons host Nudia spinning fire tracks between sets, the Subterranean was filled with the freshest music and best vibes last night.

Here’s a recap of the night in case you missed it… or want to relive it all over again.

Christian JaLon opened up Vocalo’s third Chi Sounds Like Showcase on the warm evening of Thursday, August 4.
Photo by Morgan Ciocca/ Vocalo Radio, Chicago Public Media

Christian JaLon

As Bekoe said when he introduced her to the stage, Christian JaLon has got bars. Her set opened the evening as audience members crowded around the stage to hear her soulful R&B melodies. Christian began the set with her first ever live performance of the affirmation song “Mine.,” the first track on her 2020 EP Unmixed Unmastered (Mine). A few more tracks like “Nova” and “GHOST” lamented on love and heartbreak, both 2020 singles, and she concluded her brief set with a stunning a cappella cover of Beyoncé’s “Why Don’t You Love Me.” Listeners danced and cheered the whole set long, and we can’t wait to see new releases from her hopefully soon…

nombreKARI welcomed his girlfriend and two other friends and collaborators onstage to perform alongside him for several songs throughout his performance.
Photos by Makenzie Creden/ Vocalo Radio, Chicago Public Media


The second act of the night was nombreKARI, who brought the heat with special guest features and played tracks off his mixtape Children Play With Fire — which this March received the Chicago Reader’s title for best local album of 2021.

As soon as Kari took the stage, the energy immediately rose in the Subterranean. That being said, Kari is no stranger to delicate sentiment. His girlfriend joined him on stage for a soulful performance early on in the set. Following that, Kari requested the lights be turned to red: it was time to turn up the heat as friend and fellow Chi artist SONNY joined him on stage. The second half of the set was filled with hype as Kari got the crowd moving. It was a set to remember.

Heavy Crownz turned 30 about two hours after his set, but that didn’t stop the crowd from singing him “happy birthday” before he left the stage.
Photos by Morgan Ciocca / Vocalo Radio, Chicago Public Media.

Heavy Crownz

Heavy Crownz is a Englewood-based musician, activist and multimedia creator. His mission as an artist is rooted (pun not intended) in the concept of planting seeds for success, constantly promoting openness and personal growth. His set featured two collaborators, Odi Loss and Dawn, onstage alongside him as he performed, discussing his own personal growth and the necessity of uplifting your community. On the stage around 10 p.m., he also let the audience know his 30th birthday was in about two hours — so, of course, Bekoe and Nudia led the crowd in singing “happy birthday” in unison before he could leave the stage after his set. 

Joel Q closed out the night, telling listeners the story of how he manifested meeting Big Sean at Lollapalooza the prior weekend.
Photo by Makenzie Creden / Vocalo Radio, Chicago Public Media.

Joel Q

The night closed with a set from, quite possibly Bekoe’s favorite, Joel Q. Joel wrote Bekoe’s theme song that he sings along with every day on air, and it’s no wonder he does: it’s a catchy track. Joel was last, but most certainly not least. He recently came out of Lollapalooza weekend with a memorable experience with Big Sean. While working the artist transportation at Lollapalooza, he was able to spit some bars for Big Sean ahead of his set. It later ended up on the superstars Instagram. He recalled that he manifested this, right before closing his set with “Law of Attraction,” a song about manifestation.

Follow Joel Q, Heavy Crownz, nombreKARI and Christian JaLon on Instagram.

Written by Makenzie Creden and Morgan Ciocca

Photography by Makenzie Creden and Morgan Ciocca

Interviews by Bekoe

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