Culture / Entertainment

Dallas Entertainers, Artists and Creatives Poised to Break Out in 2019

Who Will be Next Year’s Bobby Sessions?

BY // 12.26.18

This was the year Dallas truly made a mark on the national stage in many ways. Dallas rapper Bobby Sessions lead a pack of DFW rappers who signed with major labels by inking a deal with hip-hop heavyweight Def Jam.

Many Dallas visual artists reached milestone exhibitions, too. Painter Keep Tanchek held a major solo show at The Dallas Contemporary, artist Lauren Woods held a protest during the opening of her exhibition at the University Art Museum at Cal State University-Long Beach over the school’s firing of director Kimberli Meyer five days before the show opened, painter Ludwig Schwarz had eight paintings acquired by the Dallas Museum of Art, and filmmaker Augustine Frizzel signed a series deal with HBO while her husband’s film The Old Man and the Gun was nominated for a Golden Globe.

Riding the momentum of finally breaking into the mainstream after years of “We got next” mantras, 2019 is poised to see upward mobility across the artistic spectrum of DFW. Here are the Dallas artists of varied mediums (film, design, art and music) poised to have a significant new year.

Design Team at Br_dge Studios

Nestled in Oak Cliff is Br_dge Studios, a three-person design team comprised of mostly whip-smart Latinas, is quietly doing some of the best creative work in the city. In 2018, some of the brightest accomplishments in design was done by the team at Br_dge, which includes a varied client portfolio, proving the firm can assist in projects for clients of all shapes and sizes.

Standout work included campaigns for Educate Dallas, Dallas Parks Foundation, Liberty Home Dialysis and Bread Zeppelin. The home run was the rollout of the one-year anniversary for Dallas’ best independent bookstore, Interabang.

The campaign played with the bookstore’s established iconography to create a fun and intelligent anniversary logo. The team also created new signage to make for easier navigation through the store’s many sections, implementing playful lettering, iconography and custom labels to help customers find the perfect book.

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Br_dge is proving the best design to come in 2019 will happen not in a downtown high-rise, but right in the heart of Oak Cliff.

Tippy Balady

There are a group of Dallas artists under the age of 21 creating the next wave of Dallas sound. At the forefront of this movement is Tippy Balady, the 18-year-old who has already made a name for herself in the Dallas music scene with a bevy of bouncy pop singles and a DIY music video which racked up more than 100,000 views since its release.

The Booker T. student is now using her music to shine a light on mental health with her newest single “Merry Go Round” along with a can’t-miss music video by HiHat Productions in Los Angeles. The team behind HiHat is known for its state-of-the-art music videos for some of music’s top artists, including Shakira, Coldplay, Ke$ha, Missy Elliott, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Mary J. Blige.

Understanding you must be a complete package to make the next level, even in Dallas, Balady is poised to become the next pop act to evolve the “Dallas sound.”

Tippy Balady
Singer Tippy Balady is poised to break out in 2019

Videographer Dance Dailey

Dallas rappers Asian Doll and Tay Money have burst onto the national scene as of late. The two flamboyant artists are as known for their striking visuals as they are their non-sequitor lyrics. The man behind their flashy, Spring Break inspired visuals goes by the alias Dance Dailey.

His real name is Jaylyn Dailey and this Arlington product has joined artist and videographer Jeremy Biggers as the visual storyteller of the North Texas music community. Dailey’s visual style is stark and clean. His videos place artists in their element — a hotel party, swimming pool, street corner and then follows them in these natural elements as we witness stars in the making.

His videos have more than 12 million views on YouTube, proving that rap fans across the world are looking to Dance Dailey to show them who’s next.

Filmaker Dom G. Jones

In 2018 writer and director Dom G Jones submitted a script to the presitgious Development Track program at the Sundance Institute. Wouldn’t it be damned, her script made it to the final round.

Although she didn’t win, it was proof the talented young director has big things coming in 2019. Jones is known for her visuals for performance artist and singer, Francine Thirteen, as well as writing and directing shorts in both Dallas and Moscow, where she lived for a time (a milieu which influenced much of work).

Dallas is a city where being young, black, and talented can find creatives feeling ignored and exhausted. Jones could care less. Her goals and visions are beyond Dallas. And if her impressive first shot at Sundance is any indication, 2019 is hers to do with as she pleases.

Dallas Production Company Film Keyz

Finishing up 2018 with an Amazon partnership to release their debut series Rich Africans is a hell of a start to a new year. The series centers around two African exports arriving in Hollywood to pursue the American dream.

Taking cues from Coming to America, hilarity ensues as the duo tries to assimilate into Western culture, while chasing fame and ladies. Film Keyz CEO Iver William Jallah was born and bred in Fort Worth.

He is a film director and screenwriter who has mastered the art of visual storytelling. Jallah acquired several credentials in film production in his Fort Worth  hometown. Next on deck for 2019 is having the company’s first true feature film, Grand Isle with Nicholas Cage, released.

Jonathan Rudak

There’s no denying it, the film community in Dallas is booming. With ample tax breaks and a thriving acting and production community, the Lone Star State has become a thriving market for movies. And behind nearly every major Texas production has been the artistic stamp of art director Jonathan Rudak.

From David Patrick Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and A Ghost Story for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, Yen Ten’s 1985, and Augustine Frizzell’s Never Goin’ Back, Rudak has been called upon as one of the freshest minds in the state for production and set design.

Rudak is poised to have his biggest break in 2019. Sister Aimee, a story filmed in Austin that follows a female Evangelist who finds herself on an adventure across the Mexico border, was just accepted into Sundance with Rudak as production designer. He also served as art director for The Vast of Night, filmed in Austin, premieres at Slamdance in January.

Gallerist Temple Shipley

When Galerie Frank Elbaz opened a second location in Dallas in 2016, there was much hope the space would lend its Parisian influence and network to the Dallas arts community, which could be at times, near-sighted in its goals. Those  goals seem to be ever more possible with the gallery’s new director Temple Shipley now manning the ship.

Before being named director this year, Shipley benefitted from a prestigious education and time spent overseas. She returned home to Dallas as a McDermott intern at the Dallas Museum of Art before going private, working for Dallas collectors Debbie and Eric Green.

Shipley’s penchant for seeing the gallery as a tool for the community rather than just a white wall space sets Frank Elbaz up as an incubator within a Design District art block in need of fresh perspective.

Publicist Jesse Porter

The Dallas music scene as we know it now — a bustling creative hub emerging, finally, onto the national scene — was started in part by visionaries like Jesse Porter. In 2012, at the height of the hip-hop gestation period, Dallas musicians who have since broke, such as Bobby Sessions and -topic, were vying to compete at the open mic on the last Tuesday of every month at 2826 Arnetic in Deep Ellum.

Porter, who was the MC and host of Arnetic’s open mic, was an original mentor to many young rappers and poets. His efforts helped to create a visionary way forward under the mindset of teamwork, with everybody thriving. Today, Porter is the CEO of Cool Beings, a PR Firm which has assisted in the ascension of notable Dallas creatives such as DJ Poizon Ivy, official DJ of the Dallas Mavericks; Maliek Collins, defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys; and Charles Tapper, a defensive end for the Cowboys.

Never satisfied, Porter is using the same all for one, one for all mentality he’s always adhered by to open up the floodgates for Dallas creatives to break into national and international markets in 2019.

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