Celebrating Juneteenth with Norfolk’s Finest at the Smartmouth Juneteenth Solstice Festival

Join the city of Norfolk’s finest for a day full of music, art, food, good people, and most importantly…good beer.

It’s safe to say that after the past year, people are yearning to get back together and celebrate life and all of the beautiful things that come along with it. Luckily, the good folks at Smartmouth Brewery have got us covered with this Saturday’s Juneteenth Solstice Festival.

In honor and celebration of Juneteenth, Smartmouth has teamed up with local NFK brands and organizations to throw a good-ole fashioned block party. The day’s festivities will consist of a black-owned art & vendor market, food market featuring black and POC-owned restaurants, chefs, and food trucks, and a diverse range of musical acts throughout the 757. The festival will be held at the Smartmouth NFK HQ from 12 PM – 10 PM, is free, and welcome to all ages.

Get up to speed with the day’s details below.

Utopia Feni Art Market | 12 – 6 PM

Nomarama Food Market | 3 – 9 PM

Music Lineup

Listen to our specially curated Popscure playlist while you get familiar with the stacked lineup below:

Well seasoned producer Gabe Niles is a household name in the city of Norfolk. When he’s not producing earworm tracks like Shelley FKA DRAM’s “Cha Cha”–or working with his partner-in-crime for experimental outfit, Sunny & Gabe–the producer is delivering larger-than-life mixes that are bound to whisk you away. 

Hot off her latest EP release, “All My Friends,” Koren Grace is more than ready to take on the masses and introduce them to her world. There’s no plane of emotion and existence the singer/songwriter can’t take you with a discography rich in colorful sounds.

Dariel Clark has a powerful, magnetic presence about him that amplifies when he cranks the amp up. Sparing no niceties, the Virginia Beach musician delivers a one-two combo through his weapons of choice—his guitar and voice.

Headed by the musical virtuoso Big Torrin himself, Big Torrin’s Fusion Groove is the sonic definition of the phrase “good vibes.” With tasteful flecks of jazz, r&b, house, hip-hop, and soul, Big Torrin’s Fusion Groove is sure to satisfy every groove nerve in your body.

Rapper/lyricist Cam Murdoch is known for his pensive, neo-soul inspired raps that focus on the ‘self’ as much as they do fictional characters. His latest single, “The Wave,” carries on this wave of introspection through an unlikely combo of soothing ukelele riffs and strong trap beats.

While fairly new, Kyere Laflare is not to be underestimated. Debut single, “How Does It Feel,” brings in a throwback r&b vibe that’s sure to remind you of simpler times.

If you go by 1pump and wear Scott Summers-esque visors, you better come with the heat and charisma. 1pump certainly doesn’t disappoint with a strong, bombastic release in Scott Summers II: The Light Within.

Known for her hypnotic but real delivery, Lex Lucent is ready to put you under a spell with a laidback flow and unique instrumentals. Her debut project, “Incase You Forgot,” solidifies the rapper as one to look out for.


Black Experience Collective – August

Our Collective of the Black Experience in America starts with this month’s submissions from VA based artists – Cam Murdoch (“Stay Well”) and Lock (“Negus Shit”) along with poem, “I Am Black,” by Popscure writer, Darryan Miller.

To submit your experience for next month click here

Lock | 21 | Virginia Beach, VA

“Negus Shit”

Darryan Miller | 24 | Portsmouth, VA

“I Am Black”

I said I am black
Why do I have to perpetuate a stereotype of what
you think a black girl is, to be considered black?
Black is not whatever the fuck you think it is
because you've seen all the Fridays and had a
black boyfriend once.
Black is not abusive drug dealing boyfriend, strung
out mama, or free before 11.
Black is not a comedic relief
It is not weave, hoops and coochie cutting shorts
Black is not something that you get to spray on to
be a little darker and take off when it no longer
benefits you.
Black is not you saying nigga
Hold on
You want Ebonics?
I ain't got it.
Let me tell you what black is
Black is curvy with hips and breasts for days
Black is Shea Butter Babies, Ari Lennox Fans
Black is natural, relaxed, silk wrapped, finger
coils, twist outs, box braids, locks, lace fronts, 
satin bonnets and scarves.
Black is music, soul and rhythm
It's brush strokes, Jazz notes, blues and poetry
It's bellies, thighs, arms and noses
Is hymns and crystals
Is creativity
Is beautiful
Solange said don't be mad if you can't sing
along, just be glad you got the whole wide world.
I said I'm black
This shit is for me
For you
For us

Cam Murdoch | 30 | Norfolk, VA

“Stay Well”

“Nothin’ But Love” Coming to Norfolk Brewery

Together with Smartmouth, we’re making sure no one spends their night alone this Friday.  

Another year, another Valentine’s Day…but what if this year was different? Instead of self-loathing or ruminating on your relationship (or lack thereof), why not be surrounded by a bunch of strangers for an evening? Sure, that sounds like the exact opposite of what you might do on a day dedicated to romantic love, but the lovers of beer and live music are gathering at Smartmouth Brewery this Friday to try and change your mind. 

Located in the Chelsea business district of Norfolk, VA (aka West Ghent), Smartmouth Brewery Headquarters will be holding their first ever Valentine’s Day themed party, affectionally titled, “Nothin’ But Love” from 6PM – 11PM. With the help of their friends in Citrus City Records and Popscure, they aim to manifest a night filled with “nothin’ but love”—love for beer, love for company, love for music, love for love.

The culture of dedication and love is nothing new for the craft brewery. Since its inception in 2012, the brewery has become known for their unique craft brews that exude passion and a certain level of bravado—qualities that describe its founder, Porter Hardy. After having a successful career as a lawyer, Hardy decided that it was time for him to pursue his passion in life—beer. From that fateful moment, Smartmouth Brewery has established itself as one of the first original craft breweries in Hampton Roads with two locations (Norfolk and Virginia Beach), and a reputation with the community for its dedication to giving back. 

“At Smartmouth, we love to have fun and to put our own twist on things. We’ve sort of left Valentine’s Day alone most years, but when the team came up with this idea, I thought it fit us perfectly. It’s a great mix of opening our arms to the whole community and having fun on Valentine’s Day,” says Hardy.

Of course every lovin’ heart needs a rhythm, and to keep the night moving along in a steady beat, there will be music performances happening in Smartmouth’s newly developed warehouse space. Dedicated to hosting what has become known as the Warehouse Live, this new venture has already established itself as a serious contender for holding live, intimate entertainment. We already know the crowd is in for a real sweet treat at the Warehouse this Friday, but if you need more convincing then follow along with us as we introduce you to the night’s artists below.

Local spinner, WIVVE, is sure to start things off right with his ability to feel the crowd’s energy and amplify it tenfold. Perhaps one of our favorite things is the diversity of musicality in his sets. It’s like he has a sixth sense and can tap into whatever the crowd is feeling with whatever sonic weapon in his armory.

Singer/songwriter, Koren Grace, is such a force to be reckoned with. Her dynamic vocals have a sense of vulnerability that enrapt any listener—like a siren call ready to take their prisoner. Combine that with her overflowing charisma and soulful spirit, and you just may develop Stockholm Syndrome—and we think you may be alright with that.

Artists like Cam Murdoch further our belief that genres are just limiting barriers leftover from an archaic state of mind. As an artist, there is nothing better than just being known for you and only you. There’s no way to pinpoint the sound of Cam Murdoch…he’s just Cam Murdoch—and that’s what makes him unique.

Intricacy immediately comes to mind when listening to this Richmond trio. Each note serves a purpose, ultimately creating a phenomenon of translation between the human and the instrument. The synergy is strong within Manatree.

If you’re looking for grooves, look no further. Shormey creates music is like a time portal with fuzzy compressed synths, playful guitar licks, and a riding bass-line reminiscent of that classic 70s funk and disco of the past, but with a modern twist. Her music is sure to lift you higher from all of the noise of reality.  

Prepare to get beamed up with this Virginia Beach band. With plenty of funky riffs, rhythms, and “out of this world” vocals (sorry… I had to), the musicians in Paper Aliens are here to take over with their energetic, feel-good music.

Last but not least, if you’d like to hear more straight from the artists’ and organizers’ smart mouths about Friday’s festivities, then stay locked to these videos below that were just shot over the weekend at the Warehouse:

WIVVE, Cam Murdoch, & Koren Grace sat down with Cole and Jordan from Smartmouth to talk Valentine’s Day and “nothin’ but love”
Paper Aliens sat down with Cole and Jordan from Smartmouth to talk Valentine’s Day and “nothin’ but love”