Local artists you need to know, April 2022 edition
Insanely talented local artists Alycia Miles, DJ Flash Gordon Parks and Teylor Bonner. Credit: Alycia Miles/DJ Flash Gordon Parks/Teylor Bonner

The Defender issued a call for the names of local artists who deserve some shine; folk with insane talent, but who most people in the city, state and country simply don’t know about. We called, and you, our community, responded.

And Lord have mercy, did y’all respond.

Last year, we featured five artists worthy of your time and attention. And because we received so many names, we decided to make this a monthly thing.

*If you know of any artists whose work is worthy of attention and celebration, forward that info (artists’ names, social media links, videos, etc.) to aswad@defendernetwork.com. The more the merrier.


I’ve seen and heard this sister perform at various spots around H-Town, so I already knew she was talented. But, while reviewing her various music videos, I realized that even though folk say for artists to be legitimized and to “make it,” they need to go to New York, in this case, New York needs to bring its behind down to Houston and kneel at the altar of Alycia Miles’ voice. She’s just that gifted. But don’t take my word for it. Listen for yourself.

Website: www.trillqueen.com

Instagram: trillqueenalycia

Facebook: Alycia Miles’ Music

Twitter: LittyHoliday

Soundcloud: Alycia Miles


The hip-hop dynamic duo known as Dirty & Nasty is made up of Tominique Roots and David Landry. They and their music have been described as “high-octane, highly intellectual hip-hop.” Another way of saying that is “street conscious.” On the conscious tip, for example, their song “Riot” starts out with two quotes: one heard a gazillion times, and another too few people have ever heard. The first is from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther “the” King Jr.’s famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. The second is again from MLK, but from a May 1967 NBC interview where he admits that his “dream” has become a nightmare. And it’s this level of teaching and hard truths shared over hard beats that exemplifies what Dirty & Nasty bring to the table. They are f’sho worth checking out.

Website: https://dirtynasty.bandcamp.com/

Instagram: dirtyknowsnasty

Instagram (Tominique Roots): _ogchainsaw_

Facebook: Dirty & Nasty

Twitter: Dirty & Nasty

YouTube: dirtyknowsnasty


Of the many Houston artists I received info about, this sister here, Marium “Echo” Rattler, has probably had more national success and recognition than most. And by success and recognition, I really mean, she’s earned the respect of artists and producers nationwide. Yet, she hasn’t received the shine her out-of-this-world voice deserves. I don’t know if there’s a being in the universe that can out-sing her in a “battle.” She’s that good and versatile and creative and fearless in her song choices and displays of talent.

Website: https://mariumecho.bandcamp.com/

Instagram: mariumecho

Facebook: Marium Echo

Twitter: Marium Echo


Parks, a self-described “ethnomusicologist, collector and documentarian,” is known near and far for his skills on the “ones and twos,” spinning sounds while also mining the history of Houston-based music. Every local media publication imaginable, has featured the brother for the way he manipulates sounds and beats, and his DJ sessions at eateries Mo’ Better Brews and Brasil, and a thousand other places. But what some may not know, he’s a skilled photographer, as well. In fact, it was brotherman’s photographic eye that landed him in the Defender as we spotlighted a local photo exhibit celebrating Third Ward. And he’s got interviewing skills to boot, that he shows off on the “Flash Gordon Parks Show” on KPFT (90.1 FM) where he too shines the spotlight on Houston’s incredible pool of under-appreciated creative, artistic talent.

Instagram: flashgparks

Twitter: Flash Gordon Parks

Facebook: Flash Gordon Parks

YouTube: Flashgparks


Talk about a triple threat! Teylor Bonner is just that. This Gen-Z photographer, cinematographer and cosmetics diva will film your award-winning movie, take photos of you receiving your awards and have you looking right while you take your red-carpet stroll. Born and raised in the Bayou City, this freelancer has an impressive resume of shows she’s already put in work on, including “Food Paradise” (Travel Channel), “Celebrity Undercover Boss” (CBS), and “Succession” (HBO) just to name a few. Yet, one of her biggest goals is building a community center in Houston via her non-profit Houston’s Hands, an organization she and some of her high school classmates founded after Hurricane Harvey. Did I say “triple threat”? I think I undersold this sister’s skills and heart. Plus, the fact that she runs her business (yes, she’s an entrepreneur to boot: Rennob Showtime Productions) with her proud mama, lets you know Teylor is grounded and will never forget where she came from.

Website: www.RennobShowtimeProductions.com

Instagram: lovesequel

Facebook: Rennob ShowTime Productions

YouTube: Rennob ShowTime Production

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...