For many people, finding their life purpose seems impossible if you aren’t raised in an environment that nourishes the idea of following your dreams. It takes a courageous person to walk down the path of their destiny. That means following your heart no matter where it might take you, for better or for worse. Stacey Bournes’s life has been just that. While being raised in Birmingham, England, pursuing a music career wasn’t even a thought in her mind. She got pleasure out of performing for her family because of the joy it brought them but that’s as far as it went. Luckily for Stacey, the forces of nature would push her into a new life, one she had never imagined, one she was destined for.

On a whim, Stacey moved to Los Angeles and that is when she realized music was her one true calling. It became the only thing that healed her soul and kept her going through the tough days of being half way across the world and away from her family and loved ones. Singing became her new “home” in a sense. It connected her to a place that was familiar and attached to happy times.

Meeting and collaborating with other artists on similar paths opened her eyes and her heart to the path of performing herself. Sometimes, seeing somebody else courageously living their dream is all one needs to gain the courage to live out their own.

born atmosphere

Photo by Paul Zurcher.

That idea alone is what led Stacey to bring together artists from all walks of life to create a magical night in downtown Los Angeles’s The LIP Studio. They gathered to raise money and awareness for The LIP Studio’s neighbors on Skid Row as the impoverished area is close proximity to the studio.

Stacey made it a point to note that the night wasn’t just about raising money, it was also about raising awareness that it only takes a shift inside yourself to see that you too are just as capable of living the life you dream as the next person.

Contemporary abstract artist Deborah Allen was one of the many featured artists that night. “I felt honored to be part of the evening. Everybody involved simply was there out of love and wanting to help in any way possible”.

aura john born

Aura Barker, who sang and performed with her boyfriend Jonathan Greene. Photo by Justin Possenti.

Keenyah Hill hosted the evening by introducing all of the musicians set to perform. The first music act was Aura Barker, who sang and performed with her boyfriend Jonathan Greene. Their voices harmoniously blended together as they sang their own music and some off her album “Desert Sea”. Aura almost didn’t think she was in the right space when she walked in and saw how all the beautiful art had transformed the once drab and run down hallway outside the studio into a beautiful, joyous space. “It was fantastic”.

born memphs

MEMPHS performing. Photo by Paul Zurcher.

The next artist to perform was soulful singer MEMPHS, whose EP “Skin” debuts in June. His lighthearted personality and beautiful spirit had the audience singing along with him to popular music as well as his own personal songs. “Being a warrior of love myself, I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be tonight than part of this event. Everything about it represents self love, a subject it took me awhile to learn”.

Photo by Deborah Allen.

Thomas Queyja and Stacey Bournes performing. Photo by Deborah Allen.

The headliner for the night was “ I Am Born” featuring Stacey Bournes and her performing partner (and studio owner) Thomas Queyja. Their performance was a true “experience”. Blindfolds were handed out to all of the audience members everyone was told to take them off when they felt the need  and citric essential oils were spritzed onto the crowd in hopes of awakening the spirit and energizing everyone’s minds. Then Stacey and Thomas began to play and the audience was immediately drawn into their unique world. Finally, you get the urge to remove the blindfold only to find two masked mimes slowly moving and dancing into the room to the beat of the music.

born mime

Mime perfoming with I Am Born. Photo by Paul Zurcher.

As Stacey’s angelic voice combined with Thomas’s edgier sound, the two created an emotional yet completely refreshing new experience one rarely gets to see anymore.

“I Am BORN” is set to release three singles “DLM” (Dirty Little Man),“Lion Mama”, and “Get Back” within the next few months.

The outcome of the evening was more than anyone could have wished. Not only was money raised to help the neighbors of Skid Row, but it also promoted a movement of love and self worth that has rarely been seen since the sixties. A hope of all the artists involved is to not only raise awareness for the less fortunate but to also help inspire others to live out their own passions, whatever they may be.

You can find more info about Stacey Bournes and Thomas Queyja on the website


Special thanks to: Roland Oliver (drums); Arean Alston, (keys); Thomas Queyja (guitar); Christina Liccardi (vocals/percussion); Chris Hackman (bass); Paul Zurcher; Stephen Salter; Justin Possenti; Erik Thienes

ARTISTS: Deborah Allen; Brett Sims; Brenda Michelle; Steve Engelman; Michael Klein; Ernesto Munoz; Hamod Abu Eid; Lindsey Labrum (moi); Robin Hairston

MIMES: Eric Douglas & Scooby

MAKE UP ARTIST : Amber Avery

The LIP Studio : Thomas Queyja, David Tourtellotte, Joel Saur