I have Locally Toned project advisor James Armstead Brown to thank for hooking me up with Yah Lioness for some lovely-lovely ringtones! A few weeks ago, I went out to the Open Mic night at the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty to hear her do her thing (Lioness is the host on Tuesday nights), and she graciously agreed to make a few tones for the project. And as coincidence would have it, I also ran into her at Emmai Alaqueva‘s Hip Hop On L.O.C.K. project one Saturday morning where she’s an instructor/mentor artist in that program. I was blown away by her teaching style–she totally had the students engaged in critical thinking activities around the creative choices they were making in their work. You’ll read more about that youth program recording session soon (the HHOL tones are also, um, off the charts). Yah Lioness told me she enjoys working with youth because she likes to support the arts and creativity in general in Pittsburgh.
Yah Lioness is well known in Pittsburgh for her work as a spoken word artist, but she’s also part of a group (SolSis) and record label, Big Juicy Records, with Vema Sam’i. Says Lioness, “New York is the Big Apple, New Orleans is the Big Easy–we think Pittsburgh is the Big Juicy.” We recorded these ringtones in the Blue Room of the Shadow Lounge–here’s the Honey, Baby Pick Up the Phone Tone and a Yah Lioness on Vocals Ringtone. Thanks for your fine contributions to the project, Yah Lioness!