Description: As the Marketing Strategy Intern for Elixr Productions, one of my responsibilities is to create and edit content for its website. This includes original features, editorials, videos and photos. The content that I am most proud of is a feature of a Portland hip-hop collective, the Soar Losers. I interviewed two members of the collective through personal connections in order to gain an inside view to how the artists are on their way to fame.
While many up-and-coming artists rely on themselves and their own music to get them to the top, others work together to push each other toward success. Rap cliques, such as Top Dawg Entertainment, G.O.O.D. Music, Visionary Music Group and Young Money, are a popular trend in the music industry, and all include big-name artists. A Portland hip hop collective felt inspired by the idea of constructing a group to bring different talents to the table, and Soar Losers was born.
“Soar Losers formed from a group of friends, all chasing a common goal, deciding to be united and help each other kick down the doors of this music industry,” explains Tre Redeau.
The clique began with Tre Redeau, Manny Monday and Myke Bogan. Shortly after, Vinnie Dewayne, Stewart Villain and T Spoon would join Soar Losers to enhance the versatility of the group. When deciding on a fitting name for their collective, the artists wanted to highlight the fact that Portland is often overlooked and underestimated as a vibrant hip hop city. Because of this, the artists felt as if they were sore losers, but they didn’t want the name to have a negative connotation, so they changed it to soar to represent their hopes of making it to the next level.
On a typical night in Portland, you can find multiple members in the studio offering advice to each other to produce the best songs and adding verses to each other’s songs. For example, last week Tre Redeau released the video for his song FNA which features Manny Monday and T Spoon.
Manny Monday had this to say about the collective:
Instead of creating competition we’re working together to get to the ultimate goal. Everyone wants to be the first person to put Portland on the map music-wise. Anyone in the Soar Losers could blow up with the right backing. And if one of us ends up getting to the next level then we’re not too far behind before everyone reaps the benefits.
Soar Losers has a unique opportunity to continue to shape Portland’s hip hop scene which continues to inch closer to an inevitable explosion that will bring nationwide attention to the city – and this is a responsibility that they take seriously. Portland’s top hip hop promoters rely on artists to bring out local support for nationally touring acts, and you’ll frequently see a Soar Losers artist on the bill. Earlier this month, T Spoon opened for Young Thug and Travis Scott at the Roseland Theater. Additionally, T Spoon, Tre Redeau, Myke Bogan and Stewart Villain will also join King Chip’s nationwide Royal Tour kicking off May 24th in Oakland.
“I think we have so much dope talent out here in the city of Portland” Manny Monday said. “I also feel like there’s not enough of us working together. I feel like there’s competition within the music scene, when in reality there should be no bad blood between us at all. I feel like it could change if there were more unity musically.”
If you talk to any of the Soar Losers, they’ll all agree that more collaboration is what’s needed for Portland instead of competition – and six influential voices are stronger than one when it comes to being heard over the noise.
I’ll put money on it that the next to blow from PDX hip-hop comes from the @TheSoarLosers camp. Those guys keep putting out dope projects.
— Petty Petty Princess (@SharkyMarie) May 19, 2014
Individually, a few of the members have recently released projects with several more in the pipeline. On April 18th, Stewart Villain (who features production credits with Danny Brown, The Underachievers, Iamsu, Nipsey Hussle, etc.) dropped a 10-track beat project, titled J O I N T S on his SoundCloud that blew up on Twitter. Tre Redeau is set to release his debut mixtape, Kool Aid Stand in May. Rumor has it that Manny Monday also hopes to release his second mixtape sometime this summer.
Currently, the Soar Losers doesn’t have any projects that consist of all six artists, but this sort of collaboration isn’t out of the question. Until then, the collective will continue to have each other’s backs with features, production and live performances while working to amplify the scene in Portland and give the city the hip hop recognition that it deserves.
Also: Get your tickets to see several of the Soar Losers live with King Chip on his upcoming Portland show on May 31st at Peter’s Room.