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Tiny DAP concert series showcases local artists

Celina Colby
Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Tiny DAP concert series showcases local artists
Tiny DAP concert with DJ WhySham (right). PHOTO: COURTESY OF DORCHESTER ART PROJECT

Despite its immeasurable damage to the local art scene, the COVID-19 pandemic has also forced innovation in arts organizations. The latest example of that innovation is Tiny DAP Concerts, a season of intimate concerts styled after NPR’s Tiny Desk program and developed by Dorchester Art Project and Boston Compass Newspaper with funding from The Boston Foundation.

Once a month, from June 17 to October 21, a new episode will drop. These 10-15-minute prerecorded concerts, professionally produced by The Loop Lab, feature local artists in a raw, cozy setting. The series serves multiple purposes: employing artists and creators during a challenging time, getting their names and music out there, and bringing impeccable performances to the Greater Boston audience.

“Artists in the community need the opportunities. It’s hard to find places to perform at,” says Tiny DAP Creative Director Jay Hunt of Smokehouse Media. If the first season is well received and funding can be procured, Tiny DAP could become an ongoing series serving the Boston music industry. “We would like to do it as often as possible, as there are so many artists who haven’t gotten a chance to participate,” he says.

Hunt brainstormed the idea for Tiny DAP several years ago after watching a Tiny Desk episode with T-Pain that brought a whole new light to the artist. When Hunt came to the DAP team with the idea, he was struck by how quickly they jumped on board.

DJ WhySham PHOTO: COURTESY OF DORCHESTER ART PROJECT

Though the series took several years to develop, the timing was extremely fortuitous. “I didn’t know that it would happen during COVID, but I’m really, really happy that it did,” says Hunt. “COVID was really tough on a lot of people, especially the artists.”

Tiny DAP includes a performance by local favorite DJ WhySham. It will be unique for this style of concert, in that DJ WhySham will perform with various artists from Greater Boston and even New Hampshire. “Usually on Tiny Desk you see a guitar, you see a piano, you see almost any instrument, but DJs rarely are a part of Tiny Desk, or they’re in the background,” says DJ WhySham. This set illustrates not only the power of collaboration between artists but also the importance and pervasiveness of DJs in contemporary music.

Tiny DAP Concerts will be free and accessible to the public on the DAP YouTube page. Each featured artist will be revealed at the beginning of each month in anticipation of their concert release.

The series aims to shine a light on local hip-hop artists.

“Local artists are important, because it’s a network. That’s where your network starts, in your neighborhood, in your community,” says DJ WhySham. “Boston has a lot of talent that I think gets overlooked.” Tiny DAP is out to rectify that.

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