Written By: Sonia Barcelona
First Friday March.
It's been so long since I went out and saw a crowd of people. The pandemic transformed me into a homebody and now I'm desperately seeking the passion of life. So I head out with my new camera, the thing that has been getting me out of the house lately.
It's Charleston and Main and I see all the people walking about, smiling, and enjoying the night. The air is cool and holds a sense of newness, spring is here. I head to the Arts Factory and am greeted to the sounds of music, the smells of food cooking, and beautiful artwork everywhere I turn. I feel the liveliness of the city again, I thought I had lost it and here it was all along.
Two years spent away from this and I'm suddenly invigorated. I walk down Main and see people greeting each other, having drinks with one another in front of the many bars that line the street. I can hear a dj playing in the distance and I head toward a taco stand where 2 men joyously chop up some carne asada on a cart grill. A swelling feeling of joy hits me--a realization that I love downtown Vegas at night. All the sights and sounds, almost like an orchestra performance all around me. The taco man hands me a plate, I take a bite, and I fall in love with the moment. The bustling people, the clanking of beer bottles, laughter from friends hanging with each other, the DJ plays Tupac and A Tribe Called Quest.
How I've missed this feeling, and how grateful I am for this thing strapped to my shoulder that got me out the house. What would Photos 4 The People be without people? And I found them again in all their beauty.
Sonia Barcelona (8th Edition - Featured Artist)
Musician | Photographer
Sonia Barcelona is both a musician & photographer. Named Best of Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Weekly & Desert Companion. She has opened for Imogen Heap, Japanese Breakfast, SALES, Deap Vally, and Pearl Charles. She has been featured on VICE TV, Fox5, and ABC networks.
She sites her upbringing as her main influence. Born in Guam half Indian & half Filipino, she was raised by her Filipino mother and Mexican stepfather in North Las Vegas. “On weekends I’d help my mom sell at the Broadacres Flea Market. It kept me from making bad decisions. It’s those memories that inform my perspective on life. I told myself then that I’d do my best to uplift my family.” It wasn’t until after graduating college that she discovered she had any musical talent. After a few years performing at open mics she took a leap of faith and quit her job to become a full-time musician and photographer. Her 2019 debut album "Bitter Melon" touches on her perspective as an Asian woman in America, bringing a new and bigger sound reflective of her 90s grunge rock influences. As an independent musician, all music is written by Sonia and produced under her direction.
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