Photo by Bryon Malik
thePeople started in November 2007 when some djs and music lovers realized a shared concern that the East Bay was overlooked as a taste making force. Oakland, with its history as a community of immigrants, transplants, leftists, same-gender-lovers, artists, and people of color, was an obvious place to create a gathering focused on creative community building through art and culture. thePeople quickly caught on and invigorated nightlife in the East Bay by with fresh dance music, fresh energy, and by mixing music, with other creative strands from visual arts, to dance, fashion and food. Guest artists created live paintings and photo mosaics. Local activists registered voters. Local chefs sold tasty grub. All the while, the djs were dropping forward looking soulful tracks from across a spectrum of genres. You could hear cutting edge bass driven broken rhythms folded into Afrobeat or Brazilian flavored tracks. Of course the sounds of hip-hop, and the Caribbean would be heard. But the tracks always came from the influential rather than the derivative commercial end of the record crate. Oceans of dancers sweating until the lights came on became a regular occurrence. Meanwhile, world class urban dance artists of any style were conjuring ciphers and artisan vendors displayed their jewelry and t-shirts. But, the hallmark of the party may not be any of these things. It may be the most any night at thePeople you will see old friends and meet some new ones.
thePeople takes place monthly, every 4th Saturday at The New Parish in downtown Oakland, California.