“GIVE INTO THE GROOVE drives my mission as much as, if not more than my music,” confesses Hot Sauce Records founder ellee ven. Now in its tenth year, GIVE INTO THE GROOVE focuses on the message that “no gift is too big or too small.” “Musical inspiration ebbs and flows and like most artists, I tend to really feel highs and lows, but my hope is that what I’ll represent as a person is that EVERYONE has the ability to help others and that giving is a great healer. The giver gets too. So start small go big, it all counts.”
All Access Magazine (AAM) recently sat down with GIVE INTO THE GROOVE founder and head of Hot Sauce Records, ellee ven (ev). Here’s how it went.
AAM: Give Into The Groove (GITG) will be celebrating its tenth year this coming April of making a difference both musically and philanthropically in the Lexington, (KY) community. What aspect(s) of GITG would you say haven given you the most personal satisfaction to date?
ev: The family fun games. Its hilarious watching adults and kids of all ages compete, plus it’s a great way to give “air time” to the charities and to the sponsors. The people really LOVE it. We will definitely be amping that up. Also the unifying of musical acts and artists to help them gain exposure has been amazing. I’m happy that the games haven’t turned it into a kid’s fair too. It’s a creative experience that happens at night and is open to all ages.
AAM: What will be new and different from previous years at this coming year’s GITG’s Tenth Anniversary event?
ev: We always have a lot going on but this year we are going to focus more on hands-on/multimedia elements wherever possible. We really want to create a total experience.
AAM: How did you go about attracting some of the high-profile GITG participants such as International Book Project, Chrysalis House, and Living Arts & Science Center?
ev: We asked the decision makers. We say, we will promote your events for free all year in exchange for you putting us on your event calendar, and showing up the night of the event to collect money. That’s it. Generally, they are into it. It’s a win-win…a way to reach a different demographic. These causes need voices because they can’t always afford big advertising campaigns.
AAM: Do you believe that a similar version of GITG could happen in your hometown of Los Angeles? Any possible future plans for this to take place here?
ev: The first 4 events DID take place in LA. They were really great too. We had some amazing shows. It was a little more difficult to get people to GIVE as we were working with more “high profile” companies.
Our biggest coup there was that we got KCRW on board the year we honored The American Red Cross at El Rey Theater. I shared the stage with some favorites, Gary Baseman did a commemorative poster AND we raised monies, awareness and had a blast. But it cost me a lot. Even with all the volunteers, I had to guarantee the venue and lots of time and money went into the promotion to make sure I filled it. At times, the spirit of the event seemed compromised, where it’s had pure and powerful energy here in the Bluegrass State (Kentucky).
I think we will GIVE INTO THE GROOVE in Los Angeles, and hopefully other cities in the future, and to make that happen will require a larger team effort with the right people.
AAM: In your perfect world, what will GITG ultimately accomplish for the Lexington music, artistic, and charitable communities?
ev: Well in a perfect world, I think GIVE INTO THE GROOVE will affect more than the Lexington community. I hope it will plant many inspirational seeds for giving around the world. Why not? I hope it will be a reminder that you don’t have to be rich to give your time or talent. And that a wealth of goodness comes from positive teaming! There’s always room for a good deed. It always feels good to give and wherever you are, whomever you are sharing space with, good vibes travel far and last long. I speak this way and you’d think I’m always the vision of perfect positivity….I’m not. I can be a crazy artiste. But GIVE INTO THE GROOVE and my feeling that I can help draw attention to these causes, forces me to redirect myself when I go off course or become too self-consumed.