Sometimes poetic, sometimes soul, sometimes hip-hop, sometimes comedic – but always from the heart. GILL SOTU is the master of connection, engaging audiences throughout southern California for the last four years.

SOTU got his start in slam poetry, and in 2006 was Grand Slam Poetry Champion of Ventura County. He went on to win the 2007 Los Angeles Grand Slam Championship, and in 2008 become a semi-finalist in the National Poetry Slam representing the San Diego Grand Slam Team. SOTU is currently host and co-creator of ‘Train of Thought’, a successful weekly open Mic in North Park, San Deigo. In addition to poetry, he spends his time as a DJ, artist, emcee, and educator.

INFLUENCES: Gil Scott Heron, Walter Mosley, Mos Def, Saul Williams, Erykah Badu, Blackilious, Talib Qweli, Common, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Paul Simon, Lauryn Hill, Marvin Gaye, soul music in general.

Official Website:

“In the middle of listening to 1500 songs that were submitted I popped in the CD from Gill Sotu and I was automatically hooked in! Before I knew it I had listed to the CD 3 or 4 complete times because I had enjoyed it so much. I can’t remember another artist that happened with. Gill’s CD soon made it onto my iPod and into my ‘favorites’ playlist.”
-Doc Rogers, Founder of the MAVRIC Music Awards

“His music and words make you stop whatever you’re doing and listen to something beautiful.” -Paul Mabon, HBO Def Jam Poet

“Gill Sotu is fearless. HIs words cut straight into my heart and fire up my imagination. Recently during his performance, someone turned to me and asked, ‘Did he write that?’. I answered, ‘Indeed he did.’ How lucky are we to have such an expressive gifted artist here in our own backyard.” -Gregory Page, San Diego Artist

“Gill Sotu is a sincere reflection of a counter punch to the notion that real music is dead. ‘Flawed American Male’ proves that there’s a pulse pumping, alive and well!” -Ise Lyfe, HBO Def Jam Poet, Commissioner of Arts & Cultural Affairs (Oakland)

Festival Locations:

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