This weekend, Santa Ana will see something that’s usually reserved for a week-long stretch in Austin or the occasional day in New York. From Friday night through Sunday, local music industry groups like Konsept, TrunkBASS, and SlapStation will be forming a countywide creative Megazord to bring their powers of entertainment, networking, and promotion through four different events spanning all of DTSA — all of which falls under one four-letter name: RCRD.
“It’s pretty much a stepping stone to start our own South by Southwest,” says Tyson Pruong, the founder of Konsept. “That’s why we have so many different types of events by so many different people. We’re starting out with the local talent here in Orange County, and then hopefully we can expand it going forward.”
Following Friday night’s kickoff party, Saturday’s highlight is a major speed networking event for the music industry, and then Sunday holds a productive media brunch and a music producer showcase/sneaker swap meet with a pretty solid surprise lined up for the end of the evening. Obviously, RCRD isn’t exactly SXSW just yet, but Pruong has high hopes for the growth of the annual event over the coming years. Although Konsept is known for some of the major events they’ve held in the past (when Pruong isn’t too busy hanging out with stars like Snoop Dogg and Angelina Jolie at music and film festivals), it’s impossible not to see how a trip to Austin earlier this year influenced the collective’s latest venture.
“I feel like everything I’ve done since coming back from South by Southwest has just inspired me to do more with all of the events I do,” Pruong says. “This one is more structured where everything we’re doing is thought out. I want everyone who comes to not just enjoy the talent, but also the opportunities.”
Aside from Pruong, the weekend’s other showrunners are already looking forward to putting their own stamp on what could prove to be a historic weekend for Orange County hip-hop. With affordable pricing (it’s literally $15 for the entire weekend) and a whole lot of people involved, RCRD will be giving new chances and opportunities not only to the artists and talent in and around Santa Anta but also all of the other companies and industry folks in attendance.
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“The goal of this event is to showcase some of Orange County's best talent, of course, but also to give everyone a fun and ego-less opportunity to network with each other, " says Jayne Renee, host of The Elevator Pitch - Speed Networking Event and CEO/Owner of TrunkBASS Entertainment.
"I'm excited to connect with our listeners and the people of Downtown Santa Ana,” says Cesar Rodriguez, host of Sunday’s media brunch and online radio program the Rodriguez Show. “We’re in the studio so many hours a week, it's hard to know who’s listening. On Sunday, we'll get to see who’s listening and reward them with a dope show."
Of course, like so many other local and regional events, RCRD’s primary focus will still be on developing and showcasing emerging talent of all kinds. But solely raising up the individuals in OC’s hip-hop scene isn’t enough for what the founders are hoping is a major time for networking both at the events and behind the scenes. As Pruong sees it, festivals are good for showcasing talent but a weekend like this needs to be about unifying an entire area.
“The reason why I have so many people involved in it is that I want to showcase that everyone in Orange County is uniting together to put this thing out,” Pruong says. “We lack a lot of unity right now, so we literally reached out to everyone for this and got a really good team that represents Orange County hip-hop. Hopefully by next year it’s not just hip-hop and we can make it just something more for everybody.”