From January 14th to January 29th, 2016, four hip hop artists traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras as part of the Next Level program. Dancer Jeremy “B-Boy Jeremey” Pena, Beat Maker Glen “DiViNCi” Valencia, DJ Margie “KaoticBlaze” Nuñez, and MC Azad “Azad Right” Naficy joined together to perform for audiences and collaborate with local artists to promote cross-culture exchange and conflict resolution. The team is part of a larger Next Level cohort of twenty American MC’s, DJ’s, beat makers, and hip hop dancers leading exchange programs across the globe. You can read more about the artists below. See more videos of the team performing here.
Glen “DiViNCi” Valencia is a founding member and producer of the Orlando-based hip-hop group, Solillaquists of Sound, who first gained notoriety by performing live music on multiple Akai MPC samplers, blending the concepts of improvisation and production in ways the world had never before seen.
The virtuosity in his frenetic performances and popular YouTube clips set inspiring precedents for the now popular “Controllerism” scene. His work, both on and off the stage, caught the attention of Grammy Award-winning icon Ms. Lauryn Hill, who tapped DiViNCi to join her band and studio team.
As a public speaker and teacher, DiViNCi enjoys sharing his passion for creativity and process with those looking to develop not only their craft, but their careers as well. His constant drive for innovation has led him to work closely with various companies, including Ableton and Akai Professional, in the development of their most popular music-making products.
Jeremy “B-Boy Jeremy” Pena began breaking in his hometown of Houston, Texas at the age of fourteen. Under the strict discipline of his teachers and crew, HaviKORO, Jeremy has since grown to make his name known worldwide in raw circles and competitions alike.
With an original style focused heavily on musicality, Jeremy has collected many competitive titles, including Red Bull Akademiks National Champion, UK BBoy Championships 1-on-1 Footwork Champion 2012, and B1 Project Japan 2v2 Champion 2013.
Jeremy is also the Program Director and one of the lead instructors for Break Free Community Center, a center in Houston that is dedicated to teaching all the elements of hip-hop in a positive and inspiring environment.
Margie “KaoticBlaze” Nuñez is a b-girl-turned-DJ from New York City, who made hip hop history in 2013 by becoming the first female DJ to represent the legendary Rock Steady Crew. Since then she has continued to travel and share her love of music and hip hop culture with the masses.
Currently based in Los Angeles, she is the co-host and resident DJ of Soul Assassins Radio on Sirius XM’s Shade 45 and a recent graduate of the University of South Florida’s Interdisciplinary Social Sciences program, which also gave her the opportunity to study and work abroad in South Korea.
Through that experience, KaoticBlaze became the first female to DJ the R16 Southeast Asia breaking championships final in Taipei, Taiwan, solidifying her mark as a DJ with versatility in the breaking scene in which she started.
Azad “Azad Right” Naficy is a Venice, California, native of Iranian descent, son of a divorced blind poet, who grew up playing both the piano and violin, and who holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Irvine.
After spending years honing his skills as a battle rapper and learning about the music business via an internship with Interscope Records, he produced two album-length mixtapes of original material, The Time Is Right (2011) and For the Hopeful (2014). His lyricism on these projects has won him wide acclaim, with Complex magazine even comparing him to his biggest influence, Nas.
He continues to produce music that offers a unique perspective on the culture and presents an opportunity to influence the masses in a positive way.