Featured Artist on Genius

Artists like Pardison Fontaine and Decora are diversifying the sound associated with the Hudson Valley.

Local voices, like Decora or Beacon-based rapper Tony E, are making waves in local hubs–Snugs Harbor in New Paltz, BSP in Kingston, and Putnam Place in Saratoga for instance—supported by fans who have a personal attachment to the art their small hub produces.

“The cool thing about upstate New York is, believe it or not, you have a diverse crowd of people depending on where you go,” says Decora. “There’s tons of venues, you just have to be willing to drive, of course.”

A multi-faceted AfroLatinX producer, Decora has commanded stages across the Hudson Valley, from low-key Orange County warehouses to the dazzling limelight of Newburgh Illuminated Festival. His willingness to frequent a variety of hotspots throughout the area, and even New York City where he sold out a live show at Lincoln Center, has helped his name grow dramatically. The track “Touch the Sky” recounts the strain of an artist’s constant hustle, no doubt pulling from Decora’s efforts to make his name known:

I’m tryin
I’m movin with the heart of a lion
I see the sun set in front of me
I’m not gonna stop
Cuz I know when it rises Imma ride it to the top

– DECORA “Touch The Sky”

In fact, the accessible trek to and from New York City is an integral part of being a musician in the Hudson Valley. For Decora, it’s imperative, saying, “The Hudson Valley has allowed me to expand because of its affordability, but also its proximity to the city. That, really for many of us, has helped to make it more of a possibility to become an artist.”