Since 2021, Groundwaves has gathered together MCs from across the region with legendary West Coast rapper Murs for six-month seasons of community, creative collaboration, and career development. Open mics and cyphers, one-on-one mentorship time with Murs, “best of” regional showcases, national festival performance opportunities – all have combined to help our artists up their game via regular collaboration and constructive critique.
Groundwaves is free to participate in, and open to any MC or beatmaker who wants to work with mentors and peers in the hip-hop community. Audience members are also welcome to attend, even if they are not planning to perform (fair warning: some are so moved by the friendly vibe they end up performing anyway).
Groundwaves(AR) is joined by its sister programs, Groundwaves(OK) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Groundwaves(CO) — the chapter that started it all — in Fort Collins, Colorado. Where will Groundwaves pop up next? Stay tuned and see…
“ Groundwaves has helped me bring my songs to life and for them to do more than just sit on a streaming site. The community and connections have been incredible.”
The Evolution of Groundwaves
Created and hosted by legendary West Coast rapper Murs, and inspired by historical hip hop open mics such as New York’s Lyricist Lounge and Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, and the Good Life Cafe and Project Blowed in Los Angeles, Groundwaves recently completed its second season in Northwest Arkansas.
In the second year, Groundwaves frequently moved out of 214 by CACHE and into the community. The establishment of a program in Tulsa led to an increase in creative exchange with MCs from both cities traveling back and forth to perform together. Additionally, Murs and the Northwest Arkansas cohort of artists attended a private tour of The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and attended the Run the Jewels and Big Boi concert together on the Momentary Green. Finally, several members of the cohort were invited to perform at The Happiness of Pursuit Festival in Ontario, California, on the festival’s Groundwaves Stage, alongside MCs from Groundwaves OK and CO.
CACHE is looking forward to continuing to work with Murs and Northwest Arkansas’ hip-hop community to continue growing this program in 2023.
“[Groundwaves] introduced me to a community of artists who I otherwise wouldn’t have even known were there.”Tylo May
Support and growth for the Northwest Arkansas music scene
CACHE worked with British music industry think tank Sound Diplomacy to complete a Music Ecosystem Strategy and Action Plan for NWA, which engaged more than 500 people from the region’s community and music industry leaders.
Research showed Northwest Arkansas’ music ecosystem produces a $389 million economic output and is responsible for 3,972 jobs in the region. Sound Diplomacy made several recommendations to elevate the region’s music ecosystem.