Imagine a performative music event that was just as much about celebrating the music on stage, as what the audience was thinking. An evening where boundaries come down and everyone in the room has an opportunity to contribute, to offer an opinion, their art, their voice. Umbrellaslang is this special kind of place.
Founded by LA duo, TiRon & Ayomari, Umbrellaslang is not merely an event, it’s an immersive and collaborative atmosphere that examines culture through a philosophical lens. It’s much like what it’d be like if Ted Talk, MTV’s Unplugged & Bill Maher merged together.
Attendees can expect live music performances and a free flowing conversation that garners participation from the audience. And it’s beautifully inclusive. “Umbrellaslang is all conversations and phrases centered around health, wealth, positivity, prosperity and love” says TiRon.
To learn more about Umbrellaslang, we sat down with TiRon, scroll further to read our interview with him — then make sure to RSVP to join us for the upcoming Umbrellaslang on October 11th.
Marmoset: Could you dive a little bit into how the idea of Umbrellaslang came about?
TiRON: I’m part of a group called TiRon & Ayomari. We make a brand of music that we call “urbanamerica,” which is a mash up of all types of music. We’ve been a group since 2011 and our first album was an album about relationships called A Sucker For Pumps. We noticed that the genre we were rooted in, hip hop, hadn’t really talked about relationships in a way without romanticizing it. It was either, “I’ll give you the moon, stars and the sky” or “F*ck b*tches, get money”. There was a lot missing from the conversation, so we tapped into it.
That concept of focusing on the why rather than the what of our music is what inspired every song/album we would release after it which lead us to The Great New Wonderful. We wanted to give our fans music to help build their self esteem and courage while working toward their goals so we started to use the umbrella symbol.
The umbrella is the universal symbol for protection. People do their best work when they free themselves from shame and low self esteem. They’re able to operate at their highest form and grow in a healthier way when they can tap into their inner umbrella and avoid the bad weather of the world. The umbrella represents the freedom to make mistakes and the freedom to learn new things without judgement, the ego navigation. After a while, we started using this philosophy outside of our music and would throw these events called Umbrella Social Clubs which eventually turned into umbrellaslang.
M: We admire how community focused Umbrellaslang real is — how did you go about infusing this into the event from its early stages to how it's set up now?
TiRON: We just noticed as musicians that our audience had something to say. A lot of people don’t have the platform to express themselves in healthy ways without fitting into a groupthink mentality. Our fans in particular loved hearing us talk about what inspired a specific song but would also share what they got from it. So we created this platform to be able to do that.
M: In what ways does the event contribute to its artists and the audience who shows up to participate?
TiRON: Umbrellaslang is kind of an artist development tool. It’s a reminder that behind every song is a potential conversation so make sure your music is about something! With all of the social networking platforms that exist, people aren’t just consuming art... they’re also creating it. Sharing their ideas and thoughts more now than ever. And because everything is so accessible the why is becoming far more important than the what.
Why you do a thing carries more weight than what you do. So while you may be a talented rapper or singer, what you stand for is key. Umbrellaslang helps artists focus on articulating their message. It also allows for different artists and audiences to be in the same room and connect. We can find a lot of common ground on the issues in our society today if there was real conversation. We have more in common than we give ourselves credit for and we’re starting to notice it in the music we listen to.
Rock isn’t straight forward rock anymore, Hip Hop isn’t straight forward Hip Hop anymore. People are learning from other genres and it’s influencing the music. A teen’s Spotify playlist is more diverse than a teen’s CD collection in the ‘90s. There is a lot of intersectionality happening and our opportunity to connect is higher than ever. My theory is, the diversity of a Coachella would be more impactful if the people were actually inspired to talk to one another.
M: How do you see Umbrellaslang contributing to the future of music performance and social education?
TiRON: I believe interactive live shows are the next step to the live music experience. People are growing tired being passive observers, they want to be a part of it. Post Malone said he was inspired to play guitar and make music from playing the video game Guitar Hero. Interaction is the key. The best way to learn and grow is to get involved. And keeping it fun makes it even easier.
M: What’s the biggest thing you envision for the future of Umbrellaslang?
TiRON: The goal for Umbrellaslang is to take the concept worldwide and maybe even implement the format into high schools. The more conversations with the right intention the stronger we become as a society. TED talk meets MTV’s Unplugged. Maybe the next Bruno Mars will be developed through Umbrellaslang.