Arsena Schroeder uses her “Unplugged + Live” concert series to feature local musicians
Arsena Schroeder has had her share of accomplishments as a freelance singer-songwriter for nearly a decade.
The pop-soul artist has performed nationally and internationally while making a name for himself in the music industry. With her platform, she now wants to help and showcase other artists who are not signed by the majors.
“I realized when I started music on my own I just needed a lot of resources,” the Charlotte native said in a recent phone interview. “Once I established myself, I formed a company that provides these resources.”
On Saturday, Schroeder and his team from Dear Soul Music Co., a Charlotte-based music label she founded in 2017, will host “Unplugged + Live”, a touring concert series that showcases the talent of artists. local independents. The event is sponsored by ASC Culture Blocks, a community partnership funded by Mecklenburg County.
Stay informed with news and events impacting Charlotte’s black communities.
Located on the lawn of the Eastway Regional Recreation Center, the Luncheon Edition concert will feature a live DJ, food trucks and special performances by artists from Charlotte AftanCi and Monalisa Music.
The Unplugged + Live series, founded in 2013, was initially a house concert.
Back then, whenever Schroeder traveled to perform, she would put on shows with friends and colleagues where she could entertain a small crowd and have a place to stay.
“It was a great way to compliment my public show with a more private show,” she said.
Seeing the success of these shows, she decided to start a series in Charlotte that would feature local artists.
As the popularity of these house concerts increased, Schroeder would move the shows to larger venues.
Since its inception, the series has featured more than 150 artists in cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Each show features two or three hand-selected acts, giving them the opportunity to present their original work to a local audience.
Schroeder said she has worked with more than 100 Charlotte-based artists and put on nearly 200 shows across town.
Monalisa Music, one of Saturday’s featured artists, said she was excited to share her original music with the Charlotte community.
“The community really loved and supported me to get to know myself through my sarcastic love songs,” she said.
The neo-soul singer and musician said she has watched Schroeder and his series from afar and can’t wait to finally be a part of it.
“I was super excited to be included in what appears to be a very exclusive and elite musician’s club,” she said. this number.
An unexpected turn
While Schroeder was admired by many in the music industry, she hadn’t always planned to be a full-time singer-songwriter.
During her freshman year at Pfeiffer University, a friend asked Schroeder to write and sing a song for his mixtape. At first hesitant, she decided to do it.
“… I saw it as a stretch because I didn’t consider myself a singer,” she recalls. “I fell in love with this process, and that’s what kind of pushed me to become a songwriter and want to explore more.”
After obtaining degrees in mass communication and sociology in 2011, Schroeder decided to pursue a career in music and give up his original plan to pursue higher education.
In 2012, she released her first EP, titled “Abundantly”. It consisted of four songs that she wrote in college.
Since, Schroeder has released four EPs, two albums and has performed in national and international theaters. These venues include La Loca Music in Prague, Czech Republic; the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the Rockwood Music Hall in New York.
Two of her most memorable venues, both in Charlotte, are the Neighborhood Theater and the Time Warner Arena, now known as the Spectrum Center, where she received a standing ovation, she said, from the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan.
Schroeder said that while she enjoys performing in large venues, home shows provide an “authentic and organic” experience, which she hopes for her performers and guests at Unplugged + Live.
One of its goals, she said, is to provide local artists with a safe space to share their music in their own way, without fear of competition and high expectations.
“We try to get artists to do things at their own pace, and how they like to do it whether it’s popular or not,” she said.
A label to her
In 2017, Schroeder created Dear Soul Music Co. not only to manage its concert series, but also to help develop emerging artists.
His label offers workshops, called “Using Your Unique”, to provide training in areas such as songwriting, music production and branding.
Schroeder has received several awards and funding for his concert series and workshops.
She said she was happy with the recent success of her brand and that she hopes the local exposure will give artists a larger “home” fan base as they move up in the industry.
“It’s important that when people listen to your content, they bond with it,” she said. “With this event, as artists, we can get loyal fans because they see us in an environment that supports us.”
Unplugged + Live will take place from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Although the event is free to the public, tickets can be downloaded from Eventbrite.
In accordance with pandemic protocols, visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and wear face coverings, as required by Charlotte’s masking warrant.