aural advocacy*Over the course of the month of June, one term you’ll hear repeatedly is “Black Music Month.”

Since 1979, we have celebrated and appreciated the artists, musicians and executives who create what has alternately been called “Black music,” “race records,” rhythm and blues and scores of other titles, many of them inappropriate and others seemingly just right for the emotions conveyed through the music. The music and those who make it will be commemorated in many ways throughout the month, but one very unique idea was created by Kayenecha Daugherty of Gypsy Soul Entertainment and that idea presented itself in the form of Aural Advocacy.

Aural Advocacy is a month-long celebration of Indie artists who put their blood, sweat and tears into the music they love as a way to introduce or get visitors reacquainted with a talented crop of artists that aren’t always standing in the spotlight. The project was born out almost out of necessity for Ms. Daugherty, who since taking a job with the D.C. chapter of the Recording Academy, hasn’t had the time to continue with the Ear Candy series she began a few years back to showcase talent in the Mid-Atlantic area. As many of us can attest, the calendar flips forward at a much faster rate these days and time always seemed to get in the way of getting the idea out of her head and into reality, but this year Ms. Daugherty was able to get it done.

kenny wesley

Kenny Wesley

She assembled a team, shared her vision and then the work began; they entered into war room like debates about what artists should be included, which direction to go artistically and finally how to make it all happen logistically. The result launched Saturday at http://auraladvocacy.tumblr.com/ with the spotlight centered on the “Soulful Nerd,” Kenny Wesley, and will continue to unveil a new artist each day until the calendar flips again.

As with every project, meeting the scheduling needs of the artists and those involved is never easy, especially when photo shoots are involved, but Broady Brown of Gypsy Soul was instrumental in pulling it all together. Brown, along with remaining team members Mansa Johnson, Leo Wilson, Diamond Dixon, Tiffany Means and Marshall Sims brought the vision to fruition with keen eyes and creativity that will continue in the Gypsy Soul tradition of showcasing not only great talent, but familiarizing music lovers with great people. That quality is important to Ms. Daugherty; part of her mission was to involve artists and musicians who worked as hard on who they are, as the music they create, that’s not always a marriage musicians make, so it was of supreme importance to make the public aware of thirty who do.

“Black Music Month is about celebrating the creators of all forms of music; artists and producers who remove the box and make music, but happen to be of African-American descent,” is how Ms. Daugherty explains what Black Music Month means to her, but it’s also about supporting those who aren’t part of the machine of the mainstream, those who put their everything into crafting music from their hearts and souls. The true purpose of Aural Advocacy is raising the awareness level of music lovers and encouraging them to become more familiar with the brands the website will present throughout the month.

Thank you Kayenecha Daugherty for taking the necessary steps to ensure you kept a platform for good music and great people.

Stay in tune with Gypsy Soul Entertainment’s Aural Advocacy celebration of “Black Music Month” at http://auraladvocacy.tumblr.com/.