Six20 is doing essential work in Birmingham. The entertainment media source uplifts the local creative communities throughout the Magic City that are sadly often overlooked by national and local news. The brand is run by three friends - Annise Courtney, Bre Rudolph, and Tee Tucker - and does everything from hosting events to their well-known podcasts (The Wishful Situation hosted by Tee and The Paragon Files hosted by Annise). The group continues their successful live event push on December 10th with the Low Vibrational Shuffle - which features an adult game night and “baby shower food without the baby”.
The team behind Six20 Media formed naturally. All three members were close friends by the age of 16 and had shared interests. “A lot of things that we like to do, we just do it together,” Tee shares of the friendship. Annise and Tee both had experience working in radio and wanted to focus on something they could build brick-by-brick for themselves. “It started out as a desire to just do it,” Annise explains. The podcasts came first, quickly followed by a website, events, and more.
The two cornerstone podcasts came as naturally as the Six20 brand did for the friends. Tee has always had an inquisitive side and enjoys keeping people updated on news and events, and Annise is a well-respected musician in the city who enjoys highlighting the talented scene around her and having conversations with other artists. “People are getting paid for the things we already do anyway. Let’s try to do something with that, the entrepreneurs share of their reasoning, “We have always been these individuals. We just decided that if we’re going to be properly represented and properly represent our region we probably want to be in the forefront.”
The name Six20 is a fun story in itself. “March 20th, 2011. I went to a Chinese buffet and I got a fortune cookie that said something along the lines of ‘In three months you’re going to have a fantastic day.’ We laughed about it like ‘Oh, three months will be June 20th. 6.20,” Courtney recalls, “When the day came it became more about making sure the day was good versus leaving it to fortune. Eventually, we started seeing the number 620 everywhere. It became a number that would just show up everywhere.”
Events have become a major part of the Six20 experience as well. “We’re taking this year to let people know that we are on the scene but next year we are planning on slamming everything. This year was basically about set up for us.” They’ve hosted fundraisers, concerts, and all sorts of fun events - but tonight’s happening at The Crescent Cultural Community Center is a whole new level of fun with Six20 premiering a brand new game and highlighting the unique greatness that is baby shower food.
While Six20 continues to expand, the masterminds behind it have stayed true to the mission: highlighting Alabama music and keeping people informed. “We are three of the nerdiest, coolest, chillest women here. We want everybody to be able to take their cool off, because up under that is usually the dopest content. We want everybody to be comfortable.”
The Six20 founders recall seeing year-end “Best of” lists and being frustrated that the local music scene wasn’t getting any attention although Birmingham artists have been consistently putting out some of the best music. “We’re not doing honorable mentions. No. ‘Flags on Saturn’ should have been mentioned on the same page as an album from Kendrick, as an album from KRIT, as an album from all of these artists. They had a better album than J. Cole - that’s notable. That’s noteworthy. That’s something that we should be proud of, but instead we’re quiet,” Six20 shares, “We’re going to talk about this with the same reverence that we’re going to talk about anything else because we’re deserving. Birmingham, Bessemer, and the 205 region don’t make the type of music that deserves a consolation prize.”
“This is our love letter to the city,” sums up the Six20 mission nicely, and what a love letter they’ve been writing.