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KC Soundcheck: Jass and Ikey Suave

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Lexi Holifield
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Courtesy of Jass Couch
Jass plays the bass at an event for Kansas City Fashion Week.

Ikey Suave has only been serious about music for a few years, but after he realized his talent he hasn't looked back. Neo-soul performer Jass has worked to earn fans beyond her immediate community.

The two Kansas City artists on this installment of Up to Date’s KC Soundcheck are earning fans at open mics around town.

Jass is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and poet born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. Listeners say she has a unique soulful sound, which Jass said comes from singing in the church as a kid. But Jass said once she found her sound, she started to use different components in her music.

"I always say my sound is rooted in R&B and soul with a little bit of gospel, because that's what I was rooted in and was planted in me,” Jass said. "Then when I started to get my own foot in music, I felt like I had elements of rock, funk and other things."

Jass has been writing and performing music for about three years and has gained popularity. She’s been seen at open mic nights, festivals and venues across the metro.

“If you stay boxed in the crowds and the community that you're in or from, of course you'll always have that support but other people won't know you,” Jass said.

Ikey Suave moved to Kansas City from California at the age of three and says this town is all he knows. Suave is a rapper, but he didn't take music seriously until a friend encouraged him when he was in high school.

Since then, Suave has released albums, with some songs tallying more than 10,000 views on YouTube. Despite his early success, he took a two-year break from music to become a polished artist.

Suave knows the competitiveness that comes with being a rapper, but prides himself on staying true to himself.

“I'm all about being resilient. I fail a lot and I want to show people that just because you fail doesn't mean you can't get back up and bounce back 10 times harder,” Suave said. “That's what my music is about, motivation and just keep fighting.”

Suave is preparing to release a new song early next month. It's titled "Pressure" and Suave said it's one that his fans need to watch out for.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As an assistant producer on Up To Date, my goal is to amplify voices of people who serve as pioneers in their respective fields while shedding light on issues that affect underserved communities. I produce daily conversations to uplift and inspire the people of the Kansas City area to make the world a better place. You can reach me at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
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