Local creatives drop music series, spotlight local artists

Minneapolis creative Mark Khan’s new project, Rejected Sound, gives local artists a platform.


Jasmine Webber

Rejected Sound creator Mark Khan and filmmaker Justin “jojo” Ofori-Atta pose for a portrait at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on Saturday, April 10. Rejected Sound made its debut Saturday and will serve as a platform to showcase the talents of various DJs and artists.

by Nina Raemont, Arts and Entertainment Reporter

It’s been a busy year for Minneapolis-based creative director and photographer Mark Khan. Khan has orchestrated a virtual art gallery to showcase his art, dropped a clothing line of his own and had his stunning photography featured in the Coffman Art Gallery on the University of Minnesota campus.

With every additional project you’d think he’d give himself a break, but his work continues nonetheless.

Khan’s newest project, Rejected Sound, brings together local musicians and listeners through DJ sets posted to his website and YouTube, as well as curated playlists music lovers can enjoy throughout the summer.

The first installment dropped on April 10 and spotlighted DJ and music producer Kwey.

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped Khan from creating artistic and captivating environments viewers and listeners can take advantage of. While many were still sheltering at home in July, Khan curated a virtual gallery that gave people the art gallery fix they had been missing since museums shut down.

Rejected Sound is yet another project that will provide listeners with a unique online experience while we all wait for our favorite venues to reopen.

“I’m just hoping it brings us together,” Khan said about his new project and connecting the various Twin Cities artistic communities.

Khan’s idea for Rejected Sound began as a playlist of songs that would accompany his brand. Instead of keeping it as a playlist, he decided to go bigger and employ local artists to make 45-minute-long DJ sets.

Future episodes will host other local DJs, like ech0astral and Kaya Morris, and will roll out throughout the coming months with more episodes slated for the summertime.

It’s been a rough year for local music. The first episode with Rejected Sound is the first time Kwey has DJed in over a year. “Even prepping for the set, I was like, ‘Dang, I miss this feeling of digging for songs and listening to music,’” he said.

As the summer months inch closer and more Minnesotans get vaccinated, Khan and his team hope that these sets can be played at outdoor gatherings and bring the Twin Cities arts community together after a year of isolation.

Filmmaker Justin “jojo” Ofori-Atta, a videographer and editor for the project, said that he’s looking forward to having these sets playing in the background while he’s at home and eventually gathering with others to listen to them as well.

“We can continue to keep making episodes for artists to come on and have an opportunity to showcase their art and their talent, and then eventually when things open up, we could have an event,” Ofori-Atta said.

With Rejected Sound, Kwey said that more undiscovered talent would be brought to light and recognized by local listeners.

“There are people who actually get a chance to showcase their skills and hear music that people may have never heard before and just keep that chain going,” Kwey said. “There’s a lot of talent in the Cities, like crazy talent.”