Traklife’s Live Sessions Provide Opportunities For Emerging Artists

Kate Kotlyar

When I first applied to be an intern with Traklife, I thought it was strictly music journalism: reporting on what’s happening in the music world, concert reviews and artist interviews. However, the live session I attended on Aug. 19 proved otherwise.

Traklife’s live sessions give emerging artists the opportunity to perform in a professional production setting where they can create content to share, as well as give Traklife the ability to connect with these emerging artists. The artists that perform during the sessions have a variety of musical styles, from Yesla’s rock stylings to Ray Champion’s rapping prowess. The sessions have been happening for nearly six years and Traklife is now at over 100 live sessions. 

My personal experience with the live sessions was a sense of mixed emotions. I parked my car on a side street outside the studio nervous, excited and scared —  most emotions you feel when starting a new job. As I walked closer to that red door on the side of a building in Burbank, I became increasingly tense, mainly because I was afraid that I was going to make a bad first impression with my new colleagues, but also because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Originally, I thought I was going to an office space to take some photos and write some articles, however, as soon as that red door opened, I was immediately confused by what I saw. 

I entered a dark room with someone working on his computer on some audio production software, another person working behind a camera and setting up lighting and another person writing an article on her laptop. I immediately understood the versatility of Traklife and how the company does not only consist of blog posts and concert reviews. The company is about supporting musicians in any way possible, such as creating visual and audio content through live sessions, videos and podcasts, creating written content through blog posts and even social media posts promoting various artists.

Yesla tunes her guitar and prepares to perform her first song, "Desperado."
Videographer Mac instructs Surveen how to stand and face the camera.

My initiation into Traklife was not only met with the fantastic staff and people who work behind the scenes but also met with incredible artists. Yesla performed her two songs first, original “Desperado” and a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” While her music is arranged for a full band, hearing her perform acoustic with simply a blue guitar that matched her hair gave me the opportunity to appreciate her raw skill and vocal abilities. Next, Surveen recorded her original song, “Do What I Want.” She not only had positivity radiating from her, but she also showed us her incredible vocal range with adlibs and vocal runs at the end of her song. Her creative and funny lyrics such as, “homie be ghosting like Casper,” made her performance even more enjoyable to witness. Kirsten Collins was the third of four artists at the live sessions and the thing that blew me away most about her was not only her powerful and gorgeous songs, “Take It All” and “Exposed,” but how much control she has over her voice. Collins’ dynamic control elevated her performance which sent goosebumps down my arms. Finally, Ray Champion performed his original song, “BET.” He captivated me with his catchy chorus and his ability to not only rap but sing. The beat of his song had me bouncing my head along to the song and wanting to hear it again.

Kirsten Collins soundchecks before performing during her live session.
Ray Champion stands ready before he performs his original song, "BET."

For the past 10 years, Traklife has been able to create a space for not only artists to grow, but also create a space where people who want to be a part of the music industry- such as writers, photographers, videographers, producers and audio engineers- can channel their abilities and creativity into producing quality content. 

Follow Traklife on Instagram to keep up with the live sessions and see videos from the most recent session with Yesla, Surveen, Kirsten Collins and Ray Champion