South Mississippi Strong: Web series gives local unsigned artists a platform to shine

South Mississippi Strong: Web series gives local unsigned artists a platform to shine

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Every musical group has dreams of making it to the big time, but many have trouble reaching big audiences. That’s why Jared Seymour and Kevin Harris make it their mission to showcase as many unsigned local music acts as they can through their web series The Sound.

“If we can give them a voice, I feel like that’s important,” said Jared.

To them, it’s not about taking credit for promoting artists, it’s about the bands, the music, the videos, the lyrics. It’s about filling the void that exists when it comes to getting exposure for local indie bands.

“The casinos look for a lot of the cover bands, and so, a lot of the original music, no matter the genre, just doesn’t have an outlet,” Kevin said about bands trying to book regular gigs.

Both of the men have backgrounds in music. Kevin used to host a local radio show, and Jarred wanted to get into something creative. With the rising popularity of podcasts and web series, they decided to go for it.

“I didn’t feel like there was any way for [the bands] to get their music out,” Jared said. “With the advancements we have in technology, nowadays with everyone having a smartphone, and it’s super cheap to put out video content on the internet. I just felt like it was the perfect time to make something like that happen.”

The show airs twice a month on Sunday nights from a little studio in downtown Biloxi. From those four walls, Jarred and Kevin introduce fresh new artists and their latest projects to the world.

Harris describes the show as “MTV for local unsigned artists”, and they’re always looking to discover the next undiscovered group.

“When we are at home, we are on the internet blowing YouTube up trying to find bands,” Harris added.

One of the bands they have featured heavily has been Wild Fire. The band has been on the music scene for about a decade and has built up a healthy fanbase organically on its own, but having the secondary support from the podcast takes them even further.

“[Kevin and Jarred] are showing the bands that are doing the work themselves, and the more that that happens, the bigger the scene grows down here. And they’re kind of bringing that scene together,” said Tyler Voss, a member of Wild Fire.

The show has a viewership of about 22,000 people. According to the creators, their audience reaches as far south as Chile and goes northwest to Spokane, Washington.

Looking at the success of hometown bands that made it big like 3 Doors Down and Atomship, they believe fostering the music produces opportunities for festivals and anything else that may come from it.

“If you have a creative music scene, there’s a lot more of a chance that these bands are going to write new and different styles of music,” said Jared.

They’re not picky. Whatever new sound is out there waiting to be heard and can be put on air, they are looking for it. Knowing the benefits that music has on people and in the community, they will find a way to see it gets heard.

The Sound is putting on its first festival at the Biloxi Gruich Community Center on Saturday, June 15. Tickets and information about the event can be found here.

Concert attendees are encouraged to bring canned or non-perishable food items to be donated to The Lord Is My Help.

Copyright 2019 WLOX. All rights reserved.