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Mercer's Bearstock 2023 lineup: Meet the rising-star artists

Bearstock 2023 poster. Image provided by QuadWorks.
Bearstock 2023 poster. Image provided by QuadWorks.

Mercer Universities’ annual music festival, Bearstock, is only a few days away.  Mercer’s QuadWords organization has selected a captivating lineup of artists for the event on March 25. In order to prepare for this highly anticipated event, we have done some research so you can get to know Bearstock 2023’s artists.  


Despite her humble SoundCloud beginnings, Doechii has soared in the music industry with over 24 million Spotify streams and over 2 million YouTube views on her song "Yucky Blucky Fruitcake," which went viral on TikTok.

Dochii, also known as Jaylah Ji'mya Hickmon, grew up in Florida and began experimenting with music around 2016. In 2019, she released her first album, Coven Music Session, Vol. 1. 

Since then, she has released five albums and has recently released a new single titled “What It Is (Block Boy)" featuring Kodak Black. She also opened for popular artist SZA in 2021.

In early March of this year, Dochii was awarded the Billboard 2023 Women in Music Rising Star Award, which has been presented to other esteemed artists such as Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande in the past. She is also the first female artist to sign with the label Top Dog Entertainment. 

In an interview with Billboard, Dochii explains that she is in the process of adjusting her style — she claims to currently be in her “pop era.”

“My vibe is kind of changing; it’s a lot of energy. It feels like a party,” she said in the interview.

Charles Davis and The Velvet Sound

Charles Davis and The Velvet Sound are a group of Macon musicians who cover an array of artists such as Otis Redding, R.E.M., Little Richard, Wet Willie and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The band has also been working on original songs. 

Their sound can be categorized as blues, rock, R&B and funk. The band has gained a lot of popularity at local venues such as Grants lounge, according to Macon's website.

Bob Lennon 

Bob Lennon, also known as Christopher Powell Jr., grew up in South Macon. Lennon attended college at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on a golf scholarship but ended up leaving the university to pursue his rap, singing and songwriting career. 

“He worked as hard as ever, writing new songs, finding new places to perform, making new videos – swinging and swinging, hoping for a connection,” an article from Macon Magazine states

Lennon won The 11th Hour’s Reader’s Choice award for Best Local Hip-Hop in both 2017 and 2018 and has opened for other artists such as Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony and Waka Flocka, who later signed Lennon onto his record label, Brick Squad Monopoly.

Lennon’s sound is described as “eclectic and versatile” by the Rome Chamber Music Festival. While Lennon's EP, “Ashtrays,'' is already out and gaining traction, Lennon has many projects in the works. 

Maura Rutledge

Maura Rutledge ‘25 is a Journalism student at Mercer University. She has previously worked for The Cluster as an Arts and Culture and News reporter, and currently works as the Managing Editor. She enjoys thrifting, fashion, reading and writing in her spare time. 

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