Local performers take the stage at MoPOP’s Sound Off!

The 22nd annual musical showcase features 12 performers from around Washington and Oregon, including Renton’s KING ZAAE.

Local performers will soon compete in the 22nd annual 21-and-under Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) music showcase, Sound Off!

This year’s three live showcases — held Feb. 25, March 4 and March 11 — are open to all-ages with a first-class experience at MoPOP, a Seattle nonprofit, for performers and audiences alike. Attendees get the unique opportunity to enjoy these young artists’ natural creative gifts while supporting their personal and professional development.

The 2023 showcases feature twelve artists from around Bonney Lake, Federal Way, Kirkland, Redmond, Renton, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Tukwila, as well as Eugene, Oregon, to be held in person in the Sky Church venue inside MoPOP (325 5th Ave. N. in Seattle).

“I’m excited to see all of these artists perform in Sky Church, working with them beyond the stage to establish goals, and watching them grow throughout the calendar year,” said Jordan Leonard, MoPOP’s Youth and Artist Development programs producer. “The Sound Off! showcases serve as an amazing launchpad for these artists to introduce themselves to a broader music community, and we are intentional in creating a space where the cohort gets an opportunity to connect with a welcoming music scene eager to build together.”

Representing Renton is 17-year-old KING ZAAE, a Seattle-based artist who makes angsty, vulnerable music taking from a variety of music genres.

Some of his musical influences are funk-pop, pop-punk, rap, hyper-pop, Midwest emo and R&B. Zaae started making music early 2018, with influences from Juice WRLD, XXXTentacion, and hip-hop at the time. His early mixtapes like “I Hate This Town” and debut album “Being Sad is a Cliché” were made on his iPhone. He’s currently working on his new album soon dating to release.

Other nearby performers include Zari Alexandria of Federal Way, defsharp of Tukwila and Sadie Hale of Kirkland.

Sound Off! supports the all-ages music scene by giving participants year-round professional mentoring to guide them through the industry, gather insider knowledge, make community contacts and collect life-changing experiences.

Showcases are held Feb. 25, March 4, and March 11; doors open at 7 p.m. and shows begin at 8 p.m. The suggested adult donation is $25 and a suggested youth donation is $5. Reserve tickets at MoPOP.org/sound-off.


Showcase No. 1 — Feb. 25:

KING ZAAE; Pilot Seat; defsharp; lavenderhayez

Showcase No. 2 — March 4:

MidPak; Zari Alexandria; Podesta; Wyatt Silva

Showcase No. 3 — March 11:

Stargazy Pie; Fight Milk; Cherry Ferrari; Sadie Hale