Real Love Vancouver, a sonic journey through R&B, will be celebrating their second year anniversary this Canada Day long weekend. Real Love, often described as a night where the old school meets the new, has been successfully breaking down boundaries and bringing a unique experience to Vancouver. We met up with Kempeh, one of the founding DJ’s, for a further look into all the inspiration behind Real Love, their success so far, and what this two year anniversary means for them.
What was the initial inspiration behind Real Love Vancouver? How did it come about?
The brand “Real Love” initially started out as a mix series I did from 2013-2016 mixing old and new, classic to future R&B (which you can find on my mixcloud… shameless plug). I also grew up listening to my mom’s old R&B cds. She played everything from TLC, to the Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, it was naturally ingrained in me. With that, I genuinely gravitated towards R&B and soul of all kinds. The current Real Love brand that you see now, started in 2016 with my partner’s Hustle and Joyce. We noticed a hole in our local market and thought this would be a fun party to throw for all of our friends. It was initially just a way to play music we loved and had a passion for.
In your opinion, what is it about Real Love that makes it so successful? What does it provide to the Vancouver nightlife that hasn’t been available before?
When you come to a Real Love night and you feel the vibe, the atmosphere, and the energy, it’s such a different feeling from most nights in the city, because we’re genuinely passionate about it. Not only is it about the music we play, but it’s the simple intention of our love for R&B that we want to share. It’s never been about following trends and gimmicks. 2 years ago, you either liked the old school R&B artists like Ashanti and Destiny’s Child, or you were in the know with some new artists like Bryson Tiller and Frank Ocean. The reality back the, was that R&B wasn’t as mainstream as it is today. Nightlife wise, you either had EDM/Top 40 or Hip-Hop/Rap nights to go to, so when 400 people showed up our first ever night, we knew we had something special. It was perfect timing! From then on, the crowds have gotten bigger but, we’ve always remained true to who we are and what we love.
What has been the most significant memory and/or milestone over the past two years?
There’s been a couple of amazing moments, but it was probably our move from Celebrities that really solidified how big Real Love is getting. It’s such a legendary venue with so much rich history and to be able to have the opportunity to throw a Real Love night, and play our favourite R&B songs there is such a blessing. Every night is special and we honestly love our crowd, so seeing familiar faces, people signing along and groups lining up early just to get in, that means the world to us. Without them we definitely wouldn’t be here and it’s those memories that we really cherish.
What can we expect at the two year anniversary celebration? Any surprises?
It’s going to be a wild memorable night with nothing but good vibes, good people, and that classic real love energy in the air. We might have some cool surprises. You’re going to have to come and find out.
To get you ready for the anniversary, Real Love has put together a playlist of selects
Real Love Vancouver will be celebrating the much anticipated two year show at Celebrities Nightclub, on Sunday, July 1st. With a lineup consisting of Kempeh, Hustle, and Yakobe, you really won’t want to miss out. For more information or to buy tickets, make sure to check out the link below.
By: Shania Coombsget tickets