by The People’s Minister of Information JR
This Saturday, Dec. 19, a dance showcase and party called “Sun Rhythm” will be held at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley. The main organizer is the young artist extraordinaire Stoney Creation, aka Zuna, who has been ripping stages in the Bay with her mic and dance skills.
People like to comment on the youth messing up. Here is an opportunity to support positive youth in our community. Check out Stoney Creation in her own words.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell people when did you fall in love with Hip Hop? Who were your favorite artists at the time?
Stoney Creation: My mom used to slap Mos Def, Black Star, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Tribe Called Quest since my conception. I remember how the feel of the music made my spirit happy and took me to another place. My mom’s favorite artists became my favorite artists. Today, I see these artists as my foundation and my inspiration.
M.O.I. JR: When did you start writing poems and songs, and what is the story behind that?
Stoney Creation: Music was always around me, so at a very early age I began writing songs. I remember at sleep-overs, probably when I was around 8 or so, me and my friends would get together and write songs. The songs were mostly about dancing and how boys were stupid, you know, young girl things. They were very fun and free in form.
When I attended a performing arts school from sixth to eighth grade, that is when songwriting took on a more serious tone. I learned more about the structure and placement of words.
M.O.I. JR: At such a young age, what made you want to start recording? How long have you been recording?
Stoney Creation: During the summer of 2014 I soaked up so much inspiration and knowledge from the people I interacted with. It was like a switch went off and I began to meet all types of people that shared knowledge and wisdom on how to help the community and how to empower ourselves and make change through art.
I started performing with my great friend and soul sista Jada and together we formed a group. In October of that same year, my mother’s friend asked us to perform at an upcoming event. We excitedly created a song titled “Insanity Illusion.” We recorded it in Jada’s living room with her brother Maleik’s equipment.
My 16th birthday was also coming up soon and I wanted to share music Jada and I created and songs I’d began to write on my own. I decided to have a party that showcased many of my new talented friends.
It then hit me to also drop my first ever music project on my birthday. Turning 16 and dropping a CD, I felt on top of the world. My mother found a great engineer and music studio in East Oakland called Slap Wagon.
I fell in love with the mic and the booth! I recorded a total of six songs and dropped an EP called “This is a Stoney Announcement” on March 4, 2015. I have been recording ever since.
M.O.I. JR: What is the difference between being an artist in your room or in class and being recognized in the streets? Are there different kinds of pressures?
Stoney Creation: I am an artist; music is me. To me, there is no difference, but it is a process. My room or class symbolizes the beginning, the creation. The streets represents kinda like the birth. This is where I give forth, share and receive. But from beginning to end, I am constant and consistent. I am me, Stoney Creation.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming show at La Pena? Who are some of the dancers who will be featured?
Stoney Creation: My upcoming show, “Sun Rhythm,” at La Pena in Berkeley, is a fundraising dance showcase and party. There will be performers representing many forms of dance like Hip Hop, Modern, Salsa, Turf, Samba etc.
There will be 12 performers, including Africa We Dance, Mix’d Ingredients, Dance-A-Vision, ReMac, Deaunte White, Amber Lee, Intricate, Medea Sirkus and more! For the last hour of the event, there will be dope, soulful, house music playing for people to gig to!
A portion of the door sales will be given to an organization titled Negus World that will share the funds with an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, called Fortune School.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us a little bit about your dance pedigree? Who have you danced with?
Stoney Creation: I have been dancing since I was in diapers but officially started taking dance classes when I was 5 years old at a dance company called Dance-A-Vision. The dance company and school is founded by one of the most awesome beings in the universe, Carla Service.
Today, I still perform with Dance-A-Vision at various events, most recently at a KBLX Lexus event in November. At Berkeley High, I am in dance production, where I am currently working with my classmates on a piece I choreographed that we will perform sometime in January.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell people about your event that you do on First Fridays?
Stoney Creation: I am one third of a collective of solo artists, and we call ourselves Tatu Vision! On First Fridays, we host an event at The Alan Blueford Center for Justice in Oakland that showcases local talented artists from the Bay. Our mission is to build and unite the community with love, peace and awareness through self-expression.
M.O.I. JR: How can people stay up with you and your events online?
Stoney Creation: People can stay up with Tatu Vision events by following and liking us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Search Tatu Vision and you will find us. My personal connect on social media is @stooneey on Instagram, Zuna Renai and Stoney Creation on Facebook, and @stoneycreation on Twitter. Stay connected!
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.