Savannah’s Pote Baby is a First on SoundCloud artist


If you’ve been eager to see Tafy LaPlanche’s portrait art live and in living color, her anticipated exhibition ‘N/um’ is opening at the Jepson Center today, April 28. The Jepson Center is hosting an #art912 Boxed In/Break Out lecture and reception where LaPlanche will discuss the inspiration and meaning behind her art.

Tafy LaPlanche is the April/May artist for The 912 newsletter.

Tafy LaPlanche is the April/May artist for The 912 newsletter.

When I asked The 912’s current featured artist why she loved Savannah, she talked about manifestation and the power the city holds in making dreams come true.

“Let me tell you about the power of manifesting because when I first moved here [St. Patrick’s Day of last year], one of the first things I saw was the windows at the Telfair Museum. And I told myself, one day my stuff is gonna be there,” LaPlanche said.

And a year later, that’s exactly what happened. Five pieces of art from LaPlanche will be on view in the public-facing windows of the Jepson Center on Barnard Street through April 2023.

Here’s the link to register for the lecture and reception.

— Laura Nwogu, quality of life reporter at the Savannah Morning News

Follow me on Twitter at @lauranwogu_ or email me at [email protected]

Pulse of the 912

Pote Baby

Pote Baby

Savannah artist Pote Baby is breaking out of his shell and he’s repping his city every step of the way. In addition to being a part of Soundcloud’s First on SoundCloud 2022 class, he has an upcoming tour with Atlanta-based rap duo Earthgang and an album dropping titled ‘Turtle Crossing.’ He also gives a sneak peek into what locals can expect from the third annual Pote Day here in Savannah.

Laura Nwogu: You’re a part of the 2022 First on SoundCloud class. Congratulations on that! How did you feel when you first heard that your work was being recognized with this artist class?

Pote Baby: “Anytime I get something like that it’s overtly exciting because I know it’s something that’s never happened before where I’m from. So, having something like that happen is groundbreaking. It breaks the glass ceiling that people have for small-town artists. Being able to do that in my 20s while I still look good and stuff, that’s beautiful.”

LN: And speaking on that, everything that you are as an artist has obviously been influenced by Savannah. How does it feel for you to be going into all these new circles knowing that you have Savannah on your back? How does it feel for you to kind of open those doors for other artists in Savannah?

PB: “I wish I had it when I was growing up. I really wish I had known that ‘I’m the guy.’ That I don’t have to necessarily fill shoes. I get to be the shoe and I get to create the blueprint for other people to modify and make their own spice and do what they want with that … lack of words.

“It almost made me emotional because I know this is really rare that people have this opportunity and this much support where I’m from. It’s beautiful.”

Pote Baby in front of a Starland Mural Project piece created by Juliana Lupacchino.

Pote Baby in front of a Starland Mural Project piece created by Juliana Lupacchino.

LN: When you’re in these positions, obviously you’re in Atlanta a lot, but you’re from Savannah. How has being from here kind of influenced how your musical journey has evolved?

PB: “We have our own kind of culture and rules that we follow to where, when I’m out here in Atlanta, LA, or in New York, I have something that always tells me in the back of my mind, ‘I’m not like everybody else.’ I didn’t grow up the same as everybody else. I don’t have the same moral compass and all of that, nor does it make me have a blind loyalty to things that I don’t believe in. I know where I’m from. A lot of artists these days don’t have an actual background. So for me, that’s a blessing. I know where I’m from, and I’ve accepted where I’m from. I can carry that everywhere around the world.”

LN: Going back to the SoundCloud artists class, you have the partnership with SoundCloud. You’re now a part of the artist class. At the end of this, what do you hope to see for your career?

PB: “I would say for the city, they’re going to be helping us with production on the third annual Pote Day this year, so that’s going to be crazy. That’ll be the biggest Pote Day we’ve ever had; one of the biggest back supports that we’ve ever had. In the second year, we had LRG. The first year, we had Reebok. But with SoundCloud, it just feels different. It feels like a much bigger shoulder to lean on, because anything outside of the sponsors, we come out of pocket with it. So, I think that’s going to be extraordinary. Knowing that this is going to be the biggest Pote Day so far? That just inspires thousands of people. That’s something I can’t put a dollar amount on, a word on. Inspiring kids that look like me? From my town? More than one year in a row where we’re from, a lot of artists don’t make it after a year or two? That’s unfathomable. That’s what I hope for.”

Pote Baby in front of a Starland Mural Project piece created by Juliana Lupacchino.

Pote Baby in front of a Starland Mural Project piece created by Juliana Lupacchino.

LN: You have a lot coming up. You’re going on tour with EarthGang. You have your upcoming album. You just dropped singles “Brown Sugar” and “Set It Up,” which I love by the way. I love the love letter to Black women. I also loved your mom’s little message at the end.

Is that what we can expect from the album? This early 2000s R&B and hip-hop vibe?

PB: “Everything I do is a reference to the 2000s because it’s my favorite era. I’m an MTV baby, a ‘Flavor of Love’ baby, a ‘Love Don’t Cost a Thing’ baby; that’s my whole thing. But as far as the album, it’s layers. It’s all layers. There’s the soft cuts like ‘Brown Sugar.’ There’s the more gritty and southern thing that I have in me in the next record coming out. Then there’s more like two-steppy, almost Majid Jordan and house music-type vibes. So, expect layers for ‘Turtle Crossing.’”

Kelcyee Frazier, Mariah Wall, Kaitlin Gardner, Kennasia Hargrove, Brandon “Pote Baby“ Wilson, Skye Walker, and Samarya Mikell

Kelcyee Frazier, Mariah Wall, Kaitlin Gardner, Kennasia Hargrove, Brandon “Pote Baby“ Wilson, Skye Walker, and Samarya Mikell

LN: And you were talking about Pote Day. What can locals expect from that this year? You talked about the backing that you have with SoundCloud, but let us know, what else can they be excited for?

PB: “One, my first live show. My first real real live show. That’s going to be crazy. Number two, we’re going to have an education and informational element — same as we did last year, but it’s a lot bigger. We’re going to have workshops around production, like producing and whatnot, being a manager, doing A&R things, fashion. All the creative lanes that you can be in in the industry, we’re going to have that. In the city, we’ve got a lot of kids that want to be a manager, be an artist, or a fashion designer, but they don’t have the bread to go to SCAD. So giving them information from people who also do not go to SCAD, but know how to finagle and work their way through the industry, that’s great information to have. That’s going to happen, and we’re going to have a block party at Starland Yard if you don’t feel like changing your life and doing all of that stuff (laughs). If you just feel like dancing, we’re going to have a block party at Starland.”

LN: You’re constantly navigating your own lane. Putting Savannah on the map, but also doing your own thing. If you could describe the evolution of your musical journey in one word or a few words, how would you describe it?

PB: “Good question (laughs). You know, I love turtles. Got my turtle chain on as always. For me, I would call it just breaking out of my shell.”

LN: I love that.

Pote Baby in front of a Starland Mural Project piece created by Juliana Lupacchino.

Pote Baby in front of a Starland Mural Project piece created by Juliana Lupacchino.

PB: Definitely breaking out of my shell. Early on — when I started maybe 2016, 2017 — I got told that, for me to make it, I had to rap a certain way for so long that sometime throughout my journey, I kind of believed it because things weren’t happening for me sometimes. But if you stay on your path, as I’ve been doing, and you just never give up, and you keep working at it, and you keep being good at it, start building relationships with people you run into — people like my business partner, Donny Slater, Khleo Armstrong, all type of people, and just gaining relationships. Then those opportunities come to where, the thing that you are, is all that you need. And you don’t need to alter yourself to fit anybody’s preference or anything like that. So, I would definitely say, to sum it up, breaking out of my shell. Because now I feel like with all the things going on, I feel completely free to just do what I want to do, the way I want to do it, and bring it back home.

LN: When you look at the savannah hip-hop, R&B scene, is there anything you’re noticing that you’re excited for? That people should pay more attention to?

PB: “Of course we have Bosco; she’s like the queen of alternative pop and R&B and soul and all those things. She’s synced up on ‘Insecure’ and all types of things. Before I started music and I saw her doing her thing, that’s one of the people that I thought about like, ‘Oh my God. If she’s able to do it, maybe if I could just do a piece of that, I’ll be cool.’ There’s a lot. What’s going on right now, I would call it almost like a Savannah renaissance.”

LN: That was the word I was thinking as well.

PB: “I’ll call it like a Savannah renaissance. Right now, if this was the 2000s, you can have your favorite player on every different team. You got the Lakers, you got the Knicks. You’ve got everybody from different parts of town and with different stories and it’s great right now. I love it. I like hearing what I’m hearing. Every Monday, me and my partner, as well as DJ Keesh, we listen to new artists on Instagram Live at like 9:30 p.m. They just come in and submit their music and we just listen to it.”

Keeshan Williams, Brandon “Pote Baby” Wilson and Terri Beckman

Keeshan Williams, Brandon “Pote Baby” Wilson and Terri Beckman

LN: Oh, that’s cool. I need to tap into that.

And final question: Why do you love the 912?

PB: “That’s almost like asking me: Why do I love my mom (laughs)?

“I don’t know. I was born into it, so I don’t have that outside-looking-in kind of thing. But I would say, why I love Savannah, it’s a place that’s always been honest with me. Always been honest. Even if it was negative because there’s always truth in negativity. Even people telling me I can’t do a certain thing, that’s because they’ve been through that battle for years. So, I love Savannah because of its honesty and transparency. And it’s a melting pot city; it’s like gumbo. We’ve got like four different cultures in one city. I can’t put a dollar amount on it.

“One motto that I live by — it’s almost like a family motto — build, never beg. Builders never beg and beggars never build. Every time I’ve been knocked down, I knew how it felt to get back up. Every time I got back up, I was reminded of how it felt to get knocked down. So, that’s my closing statement.”

Art of The 912

The 912 newsletter will highlight a local Black artist every two months as the header image for the weekly issue. This month’s artist is Tafy LaPlanche.

Tafy LaPlanche is the April/May artist for The 912 newsletter.

Tafy LaPlanche is the April/May artist for The 912 newsletter.

Follow LaPlanche on her website and on Instagram:


Instagram: @lepouf_art

Stories of The 912

1: Dope KNife, Linqua Franqa bring new work, politically infused hip-hop to Savannah for show

Dope KNife and Linqua Franqa are the firebrands behind the iHeartRadio’s “Waiting on Reparations” podcast, which combines charged political discourse about issues that affect Black people today with virtuosic hip hop performance.

2: Drumfolk class at the Beach Institute challenges you to explore human experience through drums

If you heard the McIntosh County Shouters a couple weeks ago at Savannah Music Festival, you may have picked up on rhythms that got your toes tapping one way while your hands clapped another.

Polyrhythm, different percussive patterns played simultaneously, is the heart of Gullah-Geechee music. And Dr. David Pleasant wants to teach you more about the rhythms, culture, and history pulsing through this historic music.

3: 9 Savannah school library books are called ‘obscene’. Which books and how many students read them?

The nine books cited as “obscene” by citizens at recent Savannah-Chatham School Board meetings sit on the physical and digital shelves of 18 of the 55 district school libraries. A review of the checkout history shows those materials collect more dust than readers.

4: Absentee ballot to early voting dates: What to know about Georgia voting laws for the 2022 election

Just as in 2020, interest in the 2022 Georgia election will extend beyond the state’s borders. Unlike 2020, the voting laws are different this cycle.

5: Chatham Area Transit makes masks optional after federal judge voids travel mask mandate

Chatham Area Transit (CAT) is no longer requiring passengers to wear masks when they board its buses after a federal judge revoked the travel mask mandate on April 18, a decision that came after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) extended the requirement through May 3.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: The 912: Savannah’s Pote Baby is a First on SoundCloud artist

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