A q&a with Dennis Amadeus and Curtis Davis the dynamic duo behind The GrowHouse!
- What is The Growhouse? Why do we need it?
In technical terms, GrowHouse is an intentional mission to create a platform that honors authentic artistry, builds genuine community and a fosters a sustainable economic environment that benefits those who put in. We want to bring together the best artists in the city and create a cultural foothold that builds us up together. We are taking what we have seen poetry slam do for communities, in the spirit of competition, and bringing that to worlds outside of Spoken Word, creating a culture where artists sharpen other artists of all mediums.
In poetic terms: Growing Culture. Growing Community. Growing Artistry.
We need GrowHouse because our city is rapidly growing and we want artists to grow with it. There are few quality spaces where artists can perform in the city that is dedicated to artist growth rather than monetization.
- Describe Tampa’s art scene? What is it missing? What does it already have?
Tampa’s art scene is super strong and super talented but scattered and very underground. It needs more cohesiveness and we aim to be the glue that bonds together the plethora of talented artists, small businesses, and lovers of quality performance that is in such unheralded abundance in our city. Tampa has a lot of talent, youthful energy, and is economically booming and we want to bridge it all together.
- What does the Growhouse mean for Tampa art and culture? What are you hoping to accomplish?
We want to become the go-to hub for ALL artists. We want the hungry young rapper with big dreams to feel as comfortable as the Poet Laureate who has been doing it for years. We see a lot of smiling faces, full hearts and souls, a lot of found purposes and fulfilled lives and, ultimately, we see a legacy that will put Tampa on the map as one of THE cities to come to if you want to find top-notch artistry. We can see GrowHouse being mentioned with names like Nuyorican Poets Cafe of NYC or The Apache in ATL. We want to foster an artistic boom that catapults our artists into the stratospheres they deserve to be in. We are tired of hearing how Tampa has a “Crab mentality” and are dedicated to creating at least ONE SPACE where that is not the case.
- Why a talent show for your first major event?
To bring together different artists from different genres into one space and re-kick this thing off with a bang. The talent show also will be the “big stage” of the year after multiple different competitions of different art genres take place throughout.
- What sets GrowHouse apart from what other shows are doing?
In short: The competitive aspect of the show coupled with the cultural impact if the community.
We also have a sort of quality control on the artists that perform on our stage. We want to reward, dedication, commitment and authenticity by showcasing the results of that through the artist and inspiring others to push themselves to get there. The community and culture behind GrowHouse will always be there to help you grow but you have to be willing to plant the seed, to do the work. We can really see this growing into a buzzing hub of artists from all genres mingling, supporting each other and inspiring crowds to no end. A top quality local show born from love while putting the art first.
- What can we expect from GrowHouse after the talent show?
Some plan events are GrowHouse presents: Rap Slam, GrowHouse presents: Nerd Art Con and Trivia Show, and Growhouse presents: Professional Artist Workshop Series. And some of our upcoming ideas include Beats and Live painter battles, Battle of the Bands, and Old Dirty Sundays & Growhouse collab dance battle.
Curtis Davis (@seedavisfly) :
Curtis Davis is the founder of GrowHouse LLC, a Tampa native, and professional Spoken Word Poet. He has been performing and competing in Slam Poetry competitions since 2010 and has become a staple to the Tampa Bay Poetry community by facilitating local open mics/events, as well as continuing to represent Tampa at regional and national Poetry Slams all over the USA. Curtis is also a teaching artist and co coaches a youth poetry slam team through the Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Ace Vedo (@djace_vedo) :
Hailing from the boogie down Bronx, NY Dj Ace Vedo brings to her repertoire a diverse musical and culturally rich background. Her love for entertainment stems back to her childhood years, where she would Dj from a boombox right outside her bedroom window. Now, the Pro Dj spends most of her nights turning up the dance floor as the resident Dj at Liquid Nightclub located in the beloved Ybor City. Nominated as one of “Tampa Bay’s best Club Dj’s” in 2015 & 2016, Dj Ace Vedo has cultivated an eclectic sound that gets any crowd moving. It’s not only her amazing talent but also quality of professionalism that keeps Dj Ace Vedo in high demand.
Dennis Amadeus (@dennisamadeus) :
Dennis Amadeus is a nationally traveled spoken word artist, writer, teaching artists and youth advocate. From mentoring youth poets and keynote speaking engagements to curriculum design and implementation of dynamic art-based educational programming, Dennis has built a career as an artist/teaching artist. He has traveled extensively across the nation performing and conducting art-based educational workshops. He is a member of the international poetry collective Black on Black Rhyme The Founder Ask Me To Do A Poem (@askmetodoapoem) a Co-Curator of GrowHouse, LLC events (@growhousetampa) and continues to bring spoken word and poetry to youth anywhere they can be reached. Above all, Dennis believes in the power of community and self-discovery that poetry has given him and wants to help highlight that power in others.
Mike Mass (@mikemassmusic) :
Mike Mass is a 30-year-old hip-hop artist who is determined to put Tampa on the map. His music recalls the swinging rhythms and lyrical positivity of classic early ’90s hip-hop acts like A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets and Nas. You can catch him most nights of the week all over the bay area, either performing or curating events. His events showcase a variety of local artists and mediums: painters, graphic artists, tattoo artists, fashion designers, and a range of musical acts.
Jroc Jones (@jrocjones):
For more than 20 years, the Tampa native has been making music. Inspired by soulful southern hip-hop acts OutKast and Goodie Mob and the lyrical prowess of hip-hop legends Jay-Z and Scarface, Molphus, known as JRoc Jones, is worked hard making a name for himself in the Tampa hip-hop community. Since releasing his first solo album, Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained, in late 2012, Molphus has been adding unique elements to his music. After collaborating with Tampa R&B singer Henry “Jus Henry” Gardiner on December’s Refreshing album, Molphus began work with one-time bandmate and guitarist Greg Burke to create a hip-hop group that would incorporate live soul and blues named Synergy In A Cup