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The new initiative will give local artists a chance to showcase their skills. Photo: wikimedia.
The new initiative will give local artists a chance to showcase their skills. Photo: wikimedia.

‘SEPTA Sounds’ to highlight the musical talents of Philly in new virtual concert series

The minute-long performances can be found online and took place on a number of transport platforms across the city.

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Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, and Teddy Pendergrass are just a few of the legendary musical artists born and raised in Philly.

It's safe to say that Philadelphia has many artistic voices, which is why SEPTA is launching a new initiative called, “SEPTA Sounds” to highlight the city’s talented locals.

The virtual concert series will feature local music artists performing on different SEPTA transport platforms. The videos will be uploaded on SEPTA’s social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The videos are recorded on empty SEPTA spaces, with music artists showcasing their vocal talents.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic brought live performances to a halt, local artists have been struggling and finding new ways to perform. SEPTA Sounds came at a perfect time to show off those diverse talents of the city.

SEPTA collaborated with Dan Rouse — a local musician and creative, to develop the concert series. Rouse considers music as a life saver, and a strong force to help people express themselves. 

He is a keyboardist, producer, and a composer, and Rouse’s skills have caught the attention of many stars like Jennifer Hudson, Demetria Mckinney, and the Village People.

"Philly is regarded as a top-tier city in respect to talent, caliber and ability throughout the music industry and is continuously represented on the world’s biggest stages," Rouse said in a press release.

He has been dedicated to showing the importance of local musical talent, especially since the pandemic caused the termination of many music festivals and closure of several venues. 

Rouse has also received praise for being a gifted musical director and mentor.

He said he is grateful SEPTA is giving a unique opportunity to artists in the city, and hopes more musicians will soon take part in the new program.

"Even still, the platforms SEPTA Sounds is offering to our local musicians and to our city are just as rewarding, and I can’t thank SEPTA enough for supporting our diverse scene,” he said.

The program launched in early May, and has 20 performances on its YouTube channel displaying many different talented performers, including Ben O’ Neill, a Grammy-nominated guitarist and singer. O’Neill has worked with artists like Kid Cudi, Musiq Soulchild, and Jordin Sparks.

Another performer is alternative indie soul singer Jakeya Sanders, who is also a voice coach in Philadelphia.

Her voice can be heard singing an acoustic rendition of “You Gotta Be,” by R&B artist Des’ree. 

Sanders’ career spans over 25 years in the music industry. In 2018, she became the voice coach for Philadelphia’s own Jazmine Sullivan.

Each performance is a minute long, just enough time for viewers to fall in love with the performances. They are also to catch the attention of music producers looking to find new talent.

SEPTA hopes these performances will spread more joy across the city as locals continue to reel from the effects of the pandemic.

Check out more performances by visiting iseptaphilly.com

Artists interested in participating in SEPTA Sounds can email [email protected]

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