As a youth-based and community oriented organization, Freedom4U and Hearts Respond are so proud to showcase the accomplishments of the teens we've helped in the past! Here are a few notable young adults who were a part of our programs and what they're doing today!
Phoebe Bridgers is an American indie rock musician from Los Angeles, California. She is best known as a solo singer-songwriter, but is also a member of the musical groups Boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center. She has been highlighted on SNL as the musical guest as well as being nominated for four Grammy Awards for her latest album Punisher in 2020.
Sammy Miller is a Grammy nominated drummer and founder of jazz band ensemble Sammy Miller and the Congregation. Sammy is a Los Angeles native but completed his Masters at Juilliard. A large focus for their band is sharing the power of community through their music. They have played at renowned venues such as the Lincoln Center and The White House but a large part of their mission continues to be sharing and helping over 60,000 students learn music across the world.
Julia Harriman is a Los Angeles based actress, singer, and songwriter. She played the role of Elizabeth Schuyler in Hamilton on tour. She was also featured on the track “First Burn,'' which was released as part of the Hamildrops collection. Outside of theater, Harriman has released some original music including singles Peter and Safer Place.
Lauren Desberg is a singer-songwriter who grew up in a very musical family in Los Angeles but truly found her style while attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Back in 2015 Lauren released her first full length album titled Twenty First Century Problems. She describes her style as Millennial Jazz, saying that the music she is creating hopefully bridges the gap between the jazz of yesterday and the popular music of today. As well as music, she is also an extremely talented photographer whose past collaborators have included such names as Lizzo and Anthony Ramos.
Molly Miller is an LA based guitarist who first started playing when she was just seven years old. She has used her musical talents for a wide spread of endeavours. She has recorded and toured with artists such as Jason Mraz, Black Eyed Peas, and Donna Missal at extraordinary venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Coachella, and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. As well as touring, Molly has also become the chair of the Guitar Department at Los Angeles College of Music, where she earned her Doctorate in Musical Arts. And even more on top of that, she also heads her own trio called the Molly Miller Trio.
Lexi Vega aka Mini Trees is a Los Angeles based musician. Her debut album Always In Motion was released recently in September, 2021. She writes about the things going on in today’s world including the ongoing pandemic with her song “Doomsday,” as well as drawing a lot upon personal experiences with friends and family. Mini Trees has played all around the world, primarily in the States and Europe. Lexi first started writing music in high school where she would get together with a friend who had a small recording setup and create together. The name of the band comes simply from Vega’s obsession with miniature versions of things, which is just wonderful.
Devin Kennedy is a young musician and singer. His music video for his single Sundress was featured on MTV’s “Biggest Pop” playlist. In August, he played at Boardners in LA for his SunDayDreams release show. His latest single “Warm Fuzzy” is out now. His music experiments with a wide range of beats and rhythms that bring a fresh feeling to the style.
Rae Kanoa is an award winning filmmaker from UCSD. On top of filmmaking, Rae also creates art through photography, painting and digital art. Her photography is very compelling and each project has a strong societal theme. She has recently also taken on learning digital art such as CGI creation. On top of her traditional artwork, Rae has made a name for herself in the content creating world, as a successful model and twitch streamer- working for companies such as Newegg, Playstation, and the NFL.
Joshua Crumbly is a gifted bassist who started performing when he was just 10 years old along with his saxophonist father. He studied at the prestigious Juilliard School where after his freshman year, he was already recruited in Terence Blanchard’s acclaimed band. Since then he’s recorded with numerous other outstanding artists including Leon Bridges. As a solo artist, Joshua also has a debut album titled Rise that debuted in May of 2020.
Chris Ward is an actor primarily but also has experience in comedy and filmmaking. Back in 2018, Chris won Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Lee Strasberg Film Festival. The following year he went back as a presenter for the same festival. As well as acting on stage and screen, Chris also plays the guitar from time to time.
Wolf Bradley is a singer and one half of San Pedro’s pop group The Habits. Bradley was once interviewed and said that the Harbor Area has been a large influence in his music. The band’s song Callin’ You Up has over 150,000 listens on Spotify which is super impressive. Wolf got his first guitar at the age of 14 and has been making music ever since.
Ari Grabb is an artist who has animated for shows such as Rick and Morty. He is also the creator of an original animated series Bento Banana which can be viewed on youtube and which currently has a following of 47k followers and views averaging around 200-300 thousand each video. He also has a podcast called Perfect Pitches where other creators come on and pitch ideas for new animated shows.
Alex Bemis is a social media manager, graphic designer, photographer, and cinematographer. He is the founder of the Marketing Agency “Bemis Creative” which is a Los Angeles based boutique creative agency. A lot of his photography work focuses on concert footage including venues such as The Hollywood Palladium, Riverside Municipal Auditorium, and The Glasshouse. He is friends with Devin Kennedy and has done some cinematography work including his music video for “Loose Change.”
Laurie Marqueton is a Chinese musician who has been featured on the talent show Sing Out as well as playing festivals in Beijing and other areas of . On top of that, Laurie also has her own, newest single out on Spotify titled “Do Me.” She recently got signed on with RYCE Entertainment. Outside of music, Laurie also does modeling and has been featured in magazines for clothing brands such as OFF DUTY. She has also given a Ted Talk at TEDxGuangzhou2018 which centered on answering the eternal question: are we products of our environment, or is our environment a product of us? Laurie is a wonderfully multi-faceted artist
Connie Lim, professionally known as MILCK, is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter. During the Women’s March, Lim’s song Quiet became the unofficial anthem for those gathered on the streets and the women there to raise their voices and awareness. Performances of the song a the march can be found on youtube. In her songwriting, MILCK draws heavily upon her own experiences as a woman and a child growing up as a Chinese-American daughter of an immigrant family. She is the survivor of many things including domestic violence and she talks about how it took her years to feel safe enough to share her story and talk about it publicly. She is also the founder of a racial healing project (somebodysbeloved.com). She currently has a new song out titled “Steady As We Go.” MILCK is a very inspiring artist, especially for women who perhaps don’t feel safe raising their own voices.
Dilan Mistry is the founder of NativeFour, a commercial production company based in LA, and INTERTIDAL LA, a marketing agency and content studio located in Hermosa Beach. Dilan graduated from Chapman in 2021 with a degree in business and a minor in leadership studies. His work with NativeFour has been featured on Entertainment Tonight and more. In September, one of his films “The Spirit of AMGL The Silber-Sau” was officially selected at the Academy Awards-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival in LA and the Moto Film Awards in London! The film was screened at the Chinese Theater. Dilan is a diligent worker and sharp businessman with a lot of creativity to match it which has allowed him to reach in multiple directions and bring his insight into his multiple businesses and continue to grow and expand his reach day after day
Niko Rubio is a South Bay raised singer-songwriter. Rubio is a big fan of bands like Vampire Weekend, Lana Del Rey, Twenty One Pilots, as well as mariachi and banda music which her grandparents would play. She draws a lot of inspiration from her surroundings including the one and only road of PCH which served as a muse in the creation of her debut album when she was just twenty years old. Recently she performed at Corona Capital Music Festival. She has a new EP “Wish You Were Here” out now.
Jesse Palter is a singer-songwriter. She was born in Detroit but is now LA based. During the 2020 lockdown, most gigging came to a stop for artists but Jesse wanted to stay as positive as possible. So, she created a home recording rig so that she could continue to create music during the pandemic. With help from her friend Jake Bass, working together virtually, they managed to put some finishing touches on two of her soulful and upbeat tracks, “Better Days” and “2020 Vision.” When she first signed with a label, she was mostly producing pop/rock music. However, since dropping that label, she has been reconnecting with a lot of her innermost truth as a jazz vocalist and songwriter with her newer music. It can be scary as an artist to step away from something but it can also allow you to reconnect with what it is you truly want to create and put out into the world. She has a new single coming out February 4th titled “Hold My Hand.”
Eileen Kim is a musician, specifically a violinist. She won Miss Beach Cities and then went on to win Miss California in 2019 with violin as a part of the competition. She has also given a TedTalk on “Self-Love through Self-Identity” which dives into the questions with love and identity she faced growing up as an Asian-American in Minnesota and California. She is a very talented violinist and a beautiful speaker with a vision.
Sam Barsh is a multi-platinum songwriter, producer, and keyboardist who has written over 175 commercially released songs, and appeared on over 100 recordings both as a producer and keyboardist including 3 Grammy wins, 4 Billboard #1 albums, and over 10 million units sold worldwide. Most recently, Sam was nominated for a Grammy for his work on Donda, Kanye West’s newest album. He’s also composed soundtracks for films including the Oscar winning film “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.” His career began in the jazz world with his piano, Barsh has an incredible ear for groove and rhythm. His credit goes on and on and continues to grow. Can’t wait to see what else he creates in years to come.
West Thrailkill is a majorly talented guitarist. He recently released a collaborative single with one of his musical heroes Ron Jarzombek titled “Zombie Kill.” In February he was also nominated for Guitar Performance of the Year by The Progspace, a multimedia organization focussed on concerts, interviews and promotion of Progressive Rock and Metal. West plays primarily the electric guitar and can shred up a storm.