The lineage of the Antelope Valley music scene can be traced through a relatively small group of people.
One of the latest to carry the musical torch is Jaime Contreras, the head of Sucka Punch Productions.
He is the one currently bringing a significant number of touring acts through our valley. Recently, I caught up with Jaime to learn about his past and plans for the future.
Jesse Davidson: How long have you been beatboxing and promoting shows? Jaime Contreras: I started beatboxing at an early age and joined a Hip-hop crew called POSE Crew (pure old school energy) in 1997 here in Lancaster. In the early 2000s, we started getting booked for shows all over the West Coast, but always represented our city, Lancaster. We wanted to put our city on the map and show there was great talent in the AV. As we started traveling, I made a point to network with other promoters and venues throughout California. One day, I thought, “Why don’t we have anything here in our city?” That’s when I threw my first Hip-hop show at the cedar center in 2007.
We had beat boxers, emcees, a live art show, break-dancers, B-boys and DJs. At that point, I wanted to do more shows. For a while, I kept it up getting booked for shows and booking shows. At one point, POSE Crew were booked almost every weekend I couldn’t invest any time into throwing shows. In late 2016, my wife Christol got a job at Anna’s Great Horn. They weren’t doing well so they reached out to me to help their business, so I decided to throw a show. After that, in 2017, I started throwing shows again and I started my company Sucka Punch Productions. I really wanted every show I did to showcase the local talent here in the AV and made it my goal to always do so.
JD: What are some challenges you’ve faced as a promoter?
JC: I can say the biggest challenge I have faced is trying to get more people out. Not just to our shows but any shows, locally. There is a big population of music lovers here in the AV, but I find it difficult at times, trying to reach everyone. To show people that great shows locally and that we don’t always have to go to LA for a decent show.
JD: What is the most memorable show you’ve thrown so far?
JC: We have accomplished that this year, I feel like. I have many memorable shows that I have thrown over the years, but my last Hip-hop show with Ras Kass and my ska show with Matamoska was amazing.
My goals for the future are to continue to bring out headlining bands and to showcase this Valley’s talent. I will never throw a show without a local line-up. Another goal is to try and have occasional all-ages shows and to throw a music festival showcasing all the talent in the AV like Death Metal, Thrash, Rock, Punk, Hip-hop, Ska and more. We also focus on having live art at most of our shows, as well. At the Ras Kass show, I had about seven live, local artists painting. We will continue to throw quality shows and put our very best effort in representing the AV music scene. Without the AV, I would not have been able to do the things I have, met the people I have met and been a part of what I love to do.