Sonic Soup takes over World Cafe Live | The Triangle
Arts & Entertainment

Sonic Soup takes over World Cafe Live

Photo by Evie Touring | The Triangle

Every year, juniors in Drexel’s Music Industry Program (MIP) plan and host an event called Sonic Soup at World Cafe Live. Sonic Soup is a concert that features artists signed to MAD Dragon Music Group — an entirely Drexel-student-run record label founded in 2003 — named for the tradition of being a free entry for those who bring a can of soup for donation to a local soup kitchen. This year, Sonic Soup featured eight local artists: djella, Laur, GREAVES, Luke Santana, Boy Beverly, Sophie Price, Karlia and Heavy Metal Chess Club. The collection of artists represented a variety of genres and aspects of the Philadelphia music scene, indicative of the broad range of interests and talents of Drexel students who manage, book and publish these artists. 

One of the most exciting aspects of Sonic Soup is its location. World Cafe Live is an iconic independent Philadelphia music venue that MIP students, as well as other students in University City and young adults in Philadelphia, typically frequent to see their favorite artists play. Upon entering World Cafe Live, there was a table for the titular soup collection and a line to the ticket booth to receive tickets for the performances. The venue is set up like it would be for any show, with extensive merch tables outside the performance space, colored wristbands to determine underage attendees, stanchions for lining up and World Cafe staff for checking tickets. The official nature of this event makes it exciting to attend as it is a reminder of how MIP students are trained to be working professionals in the industry rather than just observing faces. 

Djella, a Drexel MIP student herself, served as an opening act for Sonic Soup. A crowd favorite, she has made a name for herself and is a highlight of Drexel’s student artists. Djella did not disappoint at Sonic Soup — she skillfully transitioned between upbeat pop songs and psychedelic songs with ease, utilizing matching beats between songs to keep her set cohesive yet interesting.

 The next artist to perform was Laur, a student at the University of Pennsylvania who describes her music as indie rock. Laur’s set featured heartfelt lyrics and an ethereal sound; warm reverb on the guitars specifically created a dreamy sound which was the perfect transition from the upbeat nature of djella’s set to the rest of the artists. 

The next act, GREAVES, is a New Jersey-based hyperpop artist who reintroduced the crowd to an incredibly upbeat sound. GREAVES’ 9-song set was a cacophony of sound, showcasing his experimental music style and unconventional production techniques. There was an emphasis on his lyrics along with frenetic beats and glitchy synths throughout the set. 

Luke Santana, a Boston-area rapper who combines popular hip-hop and pop techniques to create a unique sound, was the next performer. Santana performed his newest album “Where Freezy At” and a few other popular tracks. His set provided chill R&B and rap energy as promised. Santana was also extremely personable and connected with the audience throughout his set. 

Following Luke Santana was Boy Beverly, another Philadelphia-based artist who is known for his ability to seamlessly combine genres in his music, producing a one-of-a-kind sound. His songs are a representation of his inner pain, creating an authentic experience that is balanced well by the energetic nature of his production—providing for a somewhat contradictory yet engaging sound and performance. 

The next artist to take the stage was Sophie Price, another Drexel student performer who has found her start in the industry through Philadelphia’s music scene. Price’s music is best described as a transcendental indie pop sound that incorporates elements of jazz. Price’s performance was serene yet captivating. 

Following Price was Karlia, the indie-soul singer from Philadelphia, who mesmerized the audience with her blend of emotive lyrics and powerhouse vocals, channeling contemporary R&B vibes. Each song served as a poignant chapter in her personal journey, infused with elements of jazz, soul and indie rock. Karlia’s music showcased her distinct and unforgettable sound.

The final act was Heavy Metal Chess Club (HMCC). A beloved Drexel band, HMCC performs songs that mix rock-fueled guitar riffs with emotive vocals. They carve out a distinct sound rooted in the emo revival they grew up loving that never fails to excite a crowd. Their performance was exciting and an excellent choice for the night’s last. Heavy Metal Chess Club’s set was energetic yet introspective, creating an infectious enthusiasm and camaraderie among the band and the crowd. Overall, Sonic Soup 2024 was an extremely successful event showcasing some very talented artists, all managed by Drexel students.