H1GHR Music took it’s SXSW showcase on the road for their first North American tour, and we went to the NYC stop to get our own look and listen of the highly anticipated new Jay Park label.
New signee, Ted Park, fresh off making an appearance on Dumbfoundead’s Yikes Tour, kicked off the show (which started earlier than advertised), performing his recent releases “Broke” and “Hands In The Air” . You can now listen to his new new EP, “Plugged In” on Apple Music.
Next up was Avatar Darko a Russian-Ukranian rapper and self proclaimed “Bad Boy of H1GHR Music.” Of all his label-mates he was most interactive, taking time between each song to ask the audience to film and tag him on instagram, and give out a few T-Shirts.
The first crowd favourite, Woodie Gochild
Phe Reds took the stage to shake up the flow with a set full of slow, pitchy, R&B numbers including Woodie Gochild produced “Smile.”
After the DJ took a short moment for a soundcheck Raz Simone came on stage. His songs were a bit more raw, lyric-oriented, and slow then his label-mates but that didn’t stop him from hopping up on the side rails, and opening the crows so he could run down to the back of the club before settling right in the middle of the crowd for most of his set.
Cha Cha Malone slowed it down a bit with his set before announced his first album would be coming on May 25th, and then transitioning into a short b-boy battle with Phe Reds.
Jarv Dee was the biggest surprise of the night, delivering the most energy and stage presence of the group. He was super high energy, dancing and taking full advantage of every corner of the stage while performing his weed centric songs.
PH-1 took the stage next. PH-1 talked a bit about being back in his hometown of New York City to perform to a sold out show after leaving to go to Korea to pursue his dreams before starting his set with “Penthouse” and “Christ.” Before heading into his song “Perfect” he talked about his outfit and how it needed one change to be perfect and then switched into a NY Yankees cap. He rounded out his time with “Game Night,” crowd favourite “Donut,” and a performance with Ted Park.
SiK-K was the last artists to hit the stage to a roaring crowd. He was clearly who most fans were there to see, every phone came out. He started off with “Rendezvous” then Cha Cha Malone made a reappearance to perform their song “Ex.” He continued through a few more of his better known songs, until the crowd started chanting for the piece de resistance, “iffy.”
Finally, Sik-K, Jarv Dee, and PH-1 performed one more song before the whole label came back out and performed while getting absolutely hyped. Woodie was hopping on rails, water was being thrown, everyone was bouncing.
Self promotion was priority of the night. For the most part people would take their phones at the beginning of each artist’s set or during their favourite song, snap a pic or a insta story, and get back into it, but every artists, would take a moment in the middle of their set to ask everyone to take their phone out again and film or take a picture and tag them. It usually broke the flow of the concert so perhaps it would have been more effective to display their social media handles on the screen behind them. The artists even seemed aware that it was a bit weird, because Raz Simone, while asking fans to follow and tag him, said “Jay Park told me to do this,” as if asking us to bare with. Jay Park, despite not being their in person, was certainly there in spirit. Fans on the way to and in the venue wondered if and hoped for Jay Park to make a surprise appearance, and the H1GHR Music artists played on that by mentioning him every other chance they had.
Despite there being an overall lack of performance polish, this performance was oozing in gratitude. Every artist mentioned their amazement and appreciation for the NYC show being sold out, many performed an upcoming song, and mentioned their albums in the works. PH-1 talked of the surreal feeling of being back in his hometown and performing to a sold out show, Ted Park before performing “Broke” talked about how his financial situation has changed singe working with H1GHR Music and Jay Park. All this contributed to the overwhelming sense of thankfulness, enthusiasm, and excitement for the future that this concert was rooted in. The eagerness and energy for their future endeavors that each artists clearly only builds anticipation for what this new label has in store.