Lavon Kemp, co-owner of the month-old club, said Studio Impact will be featuring positive entertainment, including Christian music, suitable for all ages.
“All different music types and styles are welcome to come perform,” said Kemp, a Lee University alumni. “So far we are currently featuring a jazz/alternative night on Thursday evenings and a Christian Hip-Hop night on Saturday nights for those 18 and older. We’ve had Zero Doubt, Michael Whaley and Bigg Phat Pudder — all hip-hop Christian artists — and Timiethea Delaney, our jazz artist. Everyone in Atlanta and Chattanooga loves her! Now she’s making herself known in Cleveland. We also have a teen night once a month.”
Kemp, who received her BA in psychology in 2006, and her M.Ed. in school counseling from UTC, Chattanooga this year, said, “The reason I started Studio Impact is because there are so many Christians, young and old, with very little outlets musically besides the church. The Cleveland community is overflowing with musicians and vocalists that serve the Lord and want to sing positive and encouraging music. However, it is not easy finding places to perform their music, let alone support their calling.”
The Tucson, Ariz. native said, “I’ve lived in Cleveland for quite a while and I saw what the Cleveland culture is like — it’s very positive, they call it the ‘Bible belt,’ the churches are awesome — and I felt before I move away I wanted to leave something positive in Cleveland.
“I wanted to do something different because you can go to the churches and, of course, they may have music, plays and a youth group. But when it comes to regular businesses, you don’t see a lot of church-owned or church-sponsored businesses where people can come in, hang out, hear music and it’s still a positive, Christian environment. So I wanted to start merging that. It seems everything outside of the church is secular. So why don’t we have Christian clubs? Why don’t we have a place where teens can come once a month and perform music they like, dance and have fun?”
Co-owner Everett Mosley, pastor of Church of Impact, agrees, adding, “We call this ‘Studio Impact,’ because we wanted to impact the neighborhood. We wanted this to be something people wanted to go to and be excited about. To impact something is to shake something — so we wanted to shake the neighborhood up. We want to bring some new excitement into the community.”
Mosley and his wife, Monique, are from New Orleans. The couple relocated their church in Bradley County where they are both working on their double masters at the Pentecostal Theological seminary in Cleveland. In fact, church services are held in the same location as the club on Sunday mornings.
Being an alcohol-free nightclub with a variety of wholesome music to dance to, not only allows the club to promote artists and give them the opportunity to perform before a live audience, but it allows for sharing the message of Christ in the Cleveland community, according to Mosley and Kemp.
“This place is conservative because we’re still Christians,” Mosley explained. “It’s not going to be anything wild. Being Christian-based, a lot of people were excited when they heard about this. It’s a new venue that will bring live events to the community and liveliness as well. It brings new blood into the community. New businesses are popping up in the area and we’re part of what’s happening.”
“We want people to feel like they may be somewhere else — like in downtown New Orleans or in downtown Atlanta,” Kemp added. “We want to have a little bit of that ‘city life’ right here in the middle of downtown Cleveland.”
Kemp, 28, admits the thing she likes most about the club is that it plays clean music — both secular and Christian.
“It has a little bit of everything for everyone,” she said. “Hip-hop, jazz, Latin — anyone can come perform in the club and whatever music style they have — they can perform it. It can be any musical style as long as it’s clean. If we had something like this when I went to Lee I would have been here every weekend.”
According to Kemp, Impact Studio will be holding “Christian speed dating” at the end of the month, something new the conservative club will be trying and is excited about.
“Teen Night has been a lot of fun,” Kemp added. “The parents come in — see it’s an OK place, leave their teens and when they return the teens are excited. They’ve danced. They’ve jumped around and they had a good time. So we’re real excited about our Teen Night as well.”
Kemp said the club is also popular to rent for parties because it’s a convenient location in downtown Cleveland.
“So far we’ve had good turnouts,” she said. “We have iced coffee, hot coffee, flavored coffee, teas, sodas, ice teas — a lot of drinks. We don’t have a kitchen because this is a nightclub. We don’t serve food or alcoholic drinks. We do have snacks. Sometimes we’ll have gourmet desserts. But for the most part people are hear to dance, mingle and listen to music.”
Studio Impact is located at 263 North Ocoee St. in Cleveland. For further information call, 423-380-8088 or visit:www.studioimpact316.com. or www.churchofimpact.org.