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Minds & Rhymes Feat: Newman // Benny Okoto // SIYAH

Newman is an American rapper, singer/songwriter, producer, and co-founder of the digital media/art/music collective TEN $TEPS AHEAD from Raleigh, NC. He has worked on his live show through experiences such as open mics, rehearsals with friends in bands to house shows and venue shows — showcases hosted by Virginia Tech's college radio WUVT FM and the Students of Hip Hop Legacy (SoHHL), 250+ capacity venues such as King's Barcade (Raleigh, NC) and Sycamore Deli (Blacksburg, VA), — as well as opening for artists such as Chaz French and Chance The Rapper (Verge Campus Tour at Virginia Tech).

Through open mic events, contests, showcases, and festivals Benny has performed with a wide variety of artists for a wide variety of venues and audiences. In performing in house venue shows in Virginia to live performance shows that were 250+ capacity such as King's Raleigh (Raleigh, NC), Spider House Ballroom (Austin, TX), Sycamore Deli (Blacksburg, VA), etc. , Benny has been able to build a powerful stage show through years of experience.

Local mastermind, SIYAH (a backronym for Strugglin' Improves Your Ambitious Hustle) is a lyricist and Hip-Hop artist whose aim is to promote positivity in his message, honesty in his storytelling and originality in his composition. Originally from Oakland, SIYAH spent summers in Los Angeles until his permanent move to the Carolinas. He currently dwells along the eastern seaboard in Asheville, North Carolina where he’s taken to the craft of songwriting and performing at a local level.

The goal of his music is to preserve the artistry of hip hop by returning to lyrical traditions in the rap genre. As he pursues a career in music, he wants to be more than a persona, seeking to be true to himself, as a man of faith, family and community.

Mountain Xpress Write-Up:

Later Event: May 7
2 Year Anniversary Show