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City of Boston debuts summer mixtape

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
City of Boston debuts summer mixtape
Marlyn Urquiza and Therlande Louissaint from SIDE Presents, mixtape artist Oompa and friend at the “Dear Summer Vol. 1” listening party July 17. PHOTO: COURTESY CITY OF BOSTON

The City of Boston provides many important civic services: public parks and urban green spaces, support for senior citizens and public education to name a few. But this year the City of Boston is also supplying a soundtrack for the neighborhood block party, the “Dear Summer Vol. 1” mixtape featuring 68 tracks by local musicians, mixed by local DJs.

“Boston is a city that has so much talent that goes unsung, unseen,” says John Borders IV, director of tourism, sports and entertainment and leader of this project. “We as the city believe in them. And we want to show that this is a place that you can launch your career, a place that you can stay and really grow, both personally and professionally.”

Artists featured on the tape include $ean Wire, Alisa Amador, Amadeezy, Avenue, Gogo., Kei, Mint Green, Miranda Rae, Oompa, Radical One, Rilla Force, The Elovaters, Tokyo Tramps, ToriTori, UgoBoy, Vintage Lee and Wayup Rui. DJs involved in mixing the tape include Baby Indiglo, Braunski Beat, DJ Papadon, DJ Slick Vick, ReaL P and SNAX.

DJ ReaL P and John Borders IV address the crowd at the listening party. PHOTO: COURTESY CITY OF BOSTON

The artists on the tape represent a diverse cross section of cultures and musical genres, from R&B, Afrobeats and jazz to Latin, folk and Hip-Hop. About half the artists on the tape represent the Roxbury and Dorchester neighborhoods.

Borders is a Dorchester native and grew up in a musical family. Some of his fondest memories are seeing concerts at the Strand Theatre and Symphony Hall. Through this project he’s able to share the joy of finding new music with Bostonians. He says, “Giving people an opportunity to say this artist is up and coming, and you can have access to them now. I think that’s extremely appealing.”

“Dear Summer Vol. 1” is the first mixtape ever produced by the City of Boston. The project builds on a number of initiatives, including supporting local artists and encouraging them to stay in the city, providing opportunities for residents to explore Boston neighborhoods during the
summer and offering grants for residents to host block parties in their communities.

Listeners can enjoy the mixtape on Spotify, Mixcloud, SoundCloud and through the City of Boston website. In addition to the artists, listeners can catch shout outs on the tape from Bostonians like David “Big Papi” Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, Nia Grace, owner of Grace by Nia and Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen, Michael Bobbitt of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and more.

“Local music connects us to every neighborhood and every part of lived experience in Boston,” says Kara Elliott-Ortega, chief of arts & culture. “I hope everyone who listens to the ‘Dear Summer Vol. 1’ mixtape escapes into summer vibes while uplifting and celebrating incredible local talent that is uniquely Boston.”

City of Boston, Dear Summer Vol. 1 mixtape, music, Oompa