Passing the Musical Torch

Musician Josh Thompson. Courtesy photo
Musician Josh Thompson. Courtesy photo

“I love fashion and music so, I created an event where they could collide for a good cause, to say thanks to those who inspire them (artist) to keep going,” said executive producer Kiera Renee.

Pass the Torch, the inaugural showcase where emerging musicians and designers shared one stage to pay their respects to those that inspired and lit the torch for them. Renee created PTT as a way to give young Hollywood a platform to say, “thanks.” This celebration of generational inspiration took place on Sept. 11 at Rain Nightclub.

The night featured live music, a runway show, a platform for vendors to display their products, a massage bar and a live interview with the honoree of the night, KJLH Program Director Aundrae Russell.

Aundrae Russell, the famed radio personality from 102.3 KJLH received special recognition at Pass the Torch for his work within the community and for being the forefront of a radio station that gives young artist a chance to be heard.

“In the last year, I’ve probably hired about five young announcers in different facets, everything from sports and news. I am grooming them, teaching them and just giving them a chance on the air.” said Russell. “This is LA; normally you have to come from somewhere with some experience. I am giving people some shots, where this is their first stop.”

For Russell, being honored was described as “exciting” and his award was given to him by the mistress of the ceremony, Miss. Compton 2015.

The line-up of talent consisted of two artist and three designers.

Famed radio personality Aundrae Russell was honored at the Pass the Torch event. Courtesy photo
Famed radio personality Aundrae Russell was honored at the Pass the Torch event. Courtesy photo

Artist, Josh Thompson, better known as JQualiT played soulful sounds with his alto saxophone. He mentioned that artist such as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and George Duke are his inspiration and torch passers.

JQualiT said, “Those are artist and pioneers of music that have influenced almost every type of genre there is today. They inspired me to really look at myself as an artist and realize that as a young artist standing on the shoulders of these giants, I have the opportunity to bless people with my music.” He continued in saying, “That is why I call myself JQualiT. I believe quality is defined by the individual and I desire to bring a new definition to that word.”

He is currently working on his second album, soon to be released in winter of 2015.

For more information about JQualiT and his work, you can find him on SoundCloud at JQualiT and on Facebook at JNThompsonMusic.

Designer, Sheeta made a huge statement with her clothing line, YoSheeta. From her bandana t-shirts to her bright floral dresses, Sheeta provided simple pieces with great statements. YoSheeta provides clothing and jewelry for men, women and children. Her inspiration and torch passer for her designs was her mother. After her models hit the runway, Sheeta surprised her mother with a bouquet of flowers as she thanked her for her unconditional support.

“I came to support my friend YoSheeta. The show was pretty good! The different designs, virgin talent and models were great. Overall, great experience, everything was nice and I can’t complain.” said Waynita Brown.

For more information about YoSheeta, you can find her on Instagram @Yo_Sheeta and at

As for next year’s Pass the Torch, executive producer, Kiera Renee mentioned it to be bigger and better than the first.

“Right now, I know for sure that it’s going to be bigger and better, more honoree’s, but I want to keep the elegant intimacy of the event. Expect something you will remember forever. I’m also thinking of taking the show on the road. We shall see what happens,” said Renee.

Pass the Torch is at its beginning stages, but appears to have a long standing history.


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