LIKIDO’s First Year: Celebrating Mark Redito’s Inclusive Event Series

By Mark Redito

Hi! My name is Mark and I am an electronic music producer. In my tours and live performances, I notice that most of the audience are diverse in race and gender, but that often the line ups for these shows don’t necessarily reflect that diversity. I want to explore what it looks like to have People of Color, Women and Queer artists be the focus of an event series. As someone who has a platform and also shares some of the struggles of being marginalized, I feel compelled to do something about it. That’s why I started Likido. It means “Liquid” in Filipino. I want the name to acknowledge individuals with fluid gender/sexual identities while also referencing my Filipino heritage.

I believe that social and political environments influence art and music, and vice versa. In the light of what’s been happening in our country over these past couple of years, I feel more than ever that it’s important to create spaces where marginalized people can be free to show their authentic selves and be celebrated for it. I want to show the wealth of diversity in our music scenes and challenge the status quo that favors a certain racial and gender profile. I hope that Likido can be a source of inspiration for artists who feel underrepresented. I hope that it motivates them to pursue their own artistic expression, and also encourages other curators to start their own community-focused projects.

This piece is a look into our first year of Likido, a celebration of artists and community. We invite you to go on this journey with us, commemorating Likido Year One and looking forward to what the future holds for Likido in 2017 and beyond.

Likido LA was our first event, and its success was more than I could’ve hoped for. It was a beautiful moment of affirmation, and beyond inspiring and encouraging to see these artists and DJs featured below share themselves authentically through their music.

Omni is a super talented producer and songwriter with a swagger of his own. You can always find him looking dapper with his gloves and bowties. That unique sense translates into his work as a mixture of lush pop, bass, and anime soundtracks always leave me reaching for the reply button.

Tom’s all-pink brand aesthetic reflects a fully realized understanding of style and image. His DJ sets are uniquely fresh and feature the deepest underground cuts. I was soaked in sweat after his set!

Bohkeh is my people. We like the same music and the food (aka Jollibee and Ramen). His sound palette and melodic sensibility are intensely emotional. His music will make you feel good about life.

Ducky’s energy and fire translate to her work as a producer and DJ. When I first saw her perform at Jack LA I remember standing in the back, catching glimpses of her pigtails whipping around as she danced. By mid set, I too was losing myself in the middle of the crowd.

Mikey (Blackbird Blackbird) and I both grew up listening to a lot of emo/indie rock. Among our favorites was American Football, from which we endearingly derived our name from. Our project started as a joke until Mikey tweeted about it and got a huge response from fans. At Likido LA we played our favorite club bangers sandwiched between emo and punk songs. We had so much fun doing it and it seemed like the audience did too!

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Our special guest of the night was Club Aerobics, a DJ supergroup made up of Ducky, Bianca Oblivion, and Suspect Bitch. In the club DJ landscape dominated by men, it is refreshing and essential to see women dominating the decks and slaying!

An opportunity to bring Likido to NY came hot on the heels of the LA event. We were able to showcase the work of NY based artists and collectives who embodied the spirit of Likido. All in all, despite some challenges that came our way, it was a great night. We emerged with new wisdom about what we want the series to be, and built lasting relationships with our NY family.

Ehiorobo is one of the most unique artists around right now. His music is full, yet minimal, and showcases an understanding of space and command of rhythm. His music reminds me of the feeling of falling in love for the first time.

I’m blown away by the deep emotions conveyed in Qualiatik’s lush, complex, layered productions. Her voice is such a powerful, driving force.

As a friend, I’ve had the great privilege of seeing Abbi’s sonic and visual artistry evolve through the years. She is one of the most gifted topline melody writers I’ve ever known. In addition to her emotive, confident, and graceful music, I value Abbi’s voice as a strong woman navigating the often male-dominated world of electronic music.

I’ve been a fan on Soundcloud for a while, but Likido NY was the first time I got to know Buji in person. His music has an adventurous touch, but always tied together with the “Buji touch.” He shows a great understanding of balance and arrangement. And it’s great to see another producer singing in his own productions.

Yaeji moves with intention – showcasing abstract beauty, her personal story, and challenging the status quo in her intoxicating sounds and visual art. Her combination of music with visual projects challenges the norm.

AIRWAV’s production always leaves me in awe, balancing delicate introspective builds with lush heavy drops. AIRWAV hasn’t been in the game for too long but there is a real refinement in his work. He harnesses the way that music can express emotions that can’t be put into words.

Qrion and I have been mutual fans for years. She captures so many deep and heavy emotions in her work. Her delicate sometimes dissonant productions project feelings of loneliness and despair, but her live shows on the other hand are joyful and celebratory.

Aristophanes is a talented singer and rapper from Taiwan. Most people know her from her collaboration with Grimes. Live, she is full of energy and wit. Her vocals rhythms are playfully complex. She agreed to play for us last minute, and I really appreciated her support for Likido.

This last year has been challenging for all of us, with the election, tragedies within the LGBTQ community, and the increased hostility towards marginalized folk. Within dance and electronic communities, people of color, women and LGBTQ folks continue to find themselves underrepresented and sidelined.

Despite that, we try to promote the values of positivity and inclusivity in our community. It is an incredible privilege to feature stories and art from these amazing artists. We as a team are learning so much about designing and organizing safe and fun spaces, and are meeting so many wonderful people along the way who guide us in the community and strengthen our spirits.

With that confidence in our hearts, we are emboldened to pursue and grow what we started. In 2017 and beyond, we seek to create more spaces that embrace diversity and inclusivity for all folks. It’s needed more now than ever. We hope that Likido can continue to inspire and empower. Everyone deserves safe and diverse spaces for art and music.

I think that anything is possible if we stand together. You are part of the community. We are all Likido.

Likido Poster Art by KIDO
Design and Portraits by Laurent Hrybyk