Executive Director / Co-Founder / Teaching Artist
Love and aloha are at the heart of what singer-songwriter Daniel Pak stirs into his songs of freedom that stem from an upbringing on reggae and uplifting island melodies. Born and raised on O`ahu, Pak embodies the warmth and soul of the islands in his music of healing and joy, striving to bring balance to a social landscape in need of compassion and love. Pak also serves on the Seattle Music Commission as Chair of the Youth + Community Committee, as a Governor for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of The Recording Academy, and as a Trustee for The Bush School.
Thaddeus Turner (Thaddillac)
Co-Founder / Teaching Artist
With over 20 years of touring experience under his belt, Seattle native Thaddeus Turner is no stranger to the road. Currently music director for the Grammy award-winning Digable Planets, Turner also performs as Thaddillac, combining the lyricism of soul with the power of rock. As lead guitarist of Maktub and having toured with the likes of Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, India Arie, and Stone Gossard. Turner has received glowing praise from Rolling Stone, NPR, and The Seattle Times. Turner is also a resident at Sea Monster Lounge.
Paul Laughlin (Spingineer)
For almost 25 years, Paul has DJed hundreds of events in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He truly feels that DJing changed his life which has led him to always teach anyone who had the desire to learn the art form. Paul has been working with youth for more than 10 years in many capacities, teaching them how to DJ and make beats, as well as providing mentorship and tutoring.
Paul is a 2017-2019 Emerging Leaders of Color Fellow with Rainier Valley Corps.
Matt Sablan (Sabyu)
Program Coordinator / Teaching Artist
Matt's story begins in Saipan, then Hawai'i and now Seattle. His artist name is Sabyu and he plays guitar, produces music, and wants to make music for a living. Matt was first introduced to Totem Star after attending The Story with Prometheus Brown in 2017.
Matt also leads workshops for the LIT (Learning Immersive Technology) program (collaboration with Arts Corps & Reel Grrls) and The Residency Sessions (collaboration with The Residency, Arts Corps, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis).
Junior Studio Manager
Mirabai is a storyteller, singer, performing artist, and an incoming senior at NOVA High School in Seattle. Mirabai does it all, including event planning, coordination, and hosting, performing, social media marketing, contemporary typography, and so much more.
Momma Nikki is a Haitian-Queer artist that sings, spits, or a combination of the two. She's a vocalist & MC in her band, Holy Pistola. As well as helped create a monthly poetry slam & artist showcase to help make a safe space for POC & QTPOC, called RingSide. She has an EP out titled: Dead-icated To: Side A. And just released a new EP titled: Momma Nikki Exposed: the other side of nikki. She is known for her harmonies and this new raw EP exposes her heart to all, especially those who have lost someone.
Momma Nikki is currently working in The Studio and will be taking over the 7th period music class for Beacon Interagency Academy beginning in Fall 2019, an all young women’s high school located Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
Eva is a musician with twelve years experience. Her main mission as an artist is to inspire young people of color through music. During the day, Eva teaches beatmaking, piano, drums, guitar, voice and ukulele at Totem Star, Mode Music, and Meter Music. The rest of her creative time is spent writing songs and performing with her band, The Black Tones, which she co-founded with her twin brother, Cedric and hosting the Audioasis radio show on KEXP.