Local music collective Souls in Action (SIA) works endlessly to promote musicians in Colorado and even outside of our state’s borders. Started in 2010 by LuLu Simone, SIA has been around for nearly a decade. Like any other business, SIA has evolved over time — but now, it’s going through some big changes.
Jordan Nickerson, also known as MILKY.WAV is a local musician who has also been performing with SIA for the past four years. Simone actually put Nickerson on his first show billing as a musician. Eventually, she added him to the collective which he performed under as a musician for two years before growing more with the business. From there Nickerson familiarized himself further with the music industry and the ins-and-outs of Denver’s scene with Simone as his mentor. Growing into production management and talent buying, Nickerson eventually developed the skillset to take his music career to the next level. Since then he’s worked more extensively with not only SIA but also Red Bull Sound Select, along with Simone.
Now, what’s changing over at Souls in Action? Simone, the founder of the collective, is no longer with SIA. Currently, she is taking on the event director position at local events company Two Parts — a position that didn’t exist before her. That said, she’s managing a lot of the events that Two Parts throws like Collab Fest, Truck Stop and as of this year, Underground Music Showcase (UMS). UMS was recently acquired by Two Parts, and this will be their first year running the three-day local showcase. Simone is no stranger to UMS. “I’ve worn a lot of different hats with UMS,” she said. “For a long time, UMS reached out to Souls in Action to book artists from our collective. Last year we hosted a stage at the Hi-Dive and did a Souls in Action showcase there.” When asked which she’s most excited for out of all of the events Two Parts throws, Simone said UMS. “That’s an event that’s been really close to my heart for a long time having been so involved with the independent music community here. And I can not imagine a better team [Two Parts] to breathe life back into that festival.”
Though Simone is now more involved with the festival that’s been dear to her for years, leaving SIA has been a heartfelt transition for her. She said,
“It’s hard to explain. It’s kind of like a breakup with somebody that you know you’re going to be friends with forever. It’s like, we may not be dating anymore, Souls in Action [laughs], but you’re still going to be in my life all the time. Souls in Action has never been just me — there’s always been community involved, there’s always been a team involved. It would be unfair of me to shut the door on something that Jordan has built up — that the rest of the team has built.”
Nickerson is taking over Simone’s role at SIA, though he’s modest about it — claiming that the entire organization works in all facets of the collective. Members of SIA all have different skills and abilities that they put effort into in order to drive the collective. “The goal of Souls in Action is — we’ve always worked towards a family,” he said. “We’ve never charged people for management purposes. If they’re putting as much energy into their craft as we’re giving to them — it’s all good.” It’s people with that mindset that fuel the fire to SIA in the first place — and who continue to be an underlying force in the growth of Colorado’s incredible music scene.
Simone said, “My background in the music industry — like someone like Tobias [Krause] who’s involved with a lot of music industry stuff — now I can support that with connections like Jordan.” And those connections are already molding — Jordan ran stage management at Two Parts’ annual event earlier this month, Truck Stop.
With Simone moving to Two Parts, what’s going to happen to the collective she sparked in 2012? Well, Nickerson doesn’t plan on changing much, as he is already proud of the business model SIA utilizes. However, one thing he wants to grow is their connection to the community. “How Souls in Action started is a community-driven effort so our goal moving forward is putting these events together more focused around the community and whatever we can do around philanthropic efforts.” He also claims that SIA will have more time to focus on their passions. “We’re not sitting here in our offices trying to make a living off of it anymore, you know? That really gives us a better ability to drive into a passion.”
“There’s a lot of ways I’m going to involve Jordan and the Souls in Action team in what we’re doing at Two Parts. Because I just see this team of ninjas that deserve opportunity and I think that will shine in UMS as well as at a lot of different events.” – LuLu Simone
Though Nickerson and Simone are no longer working hand-in-hand at SIA, this isn’t the last we’ll see of the dynamic duo. Having already worked together with Truck Stop, and with the Rocky Mountain’s largest indie music festival approaching — UMS — we should expect to see this transition evolve into a valuable partnership. “We’re combining a lot of SIA team into the development, production and talent for the festival as a whole,” Nickerson said. “So you’ll see our flavor all over it, but maybe not a stage — who knows.”