The Minds Behind Press Players Club

The Minds Behind Press Players Club

Meet Jayden Fleming and Tominique Roots

Press Players Club is an interactive vinyl club hosted at beSocial Houston with a goal of fostering an environment for all music lovers to connect, engage in conversation, and dissect classic albums that have left a mark on our culture. Since its start, Press Players Club has reached our Charlotte space, where the audience dove deep into NC’s very own J. Cole.

Get to know the minds behind Press Players Club, Jayden Fleming and Tominique Roots, avid music lovers and enthusiasts exploring the depth of classic albums, soundtracks, and more.

What sparked the idea for creating Press Players Club?

Jayden: My lady is an avid reader. In 2020 during the pandemic, she started her own book club. That sparked the idea of wanting to create the same, but with albums. I’ve always been interested in the breakdown and making of albums. From the cover art to the “thank you’s” in the credits.

Tominique: My main thing was that we needed to create an experience for the people. We need to create an environment where we can be immersed in the album. We need to make it an interactive experience with a theme, decor, installations, and have it be community focused. The name is the first hook that draws the people in. We went through all kinds of names and suggestions until we settled on Press Players Club and from there, a community based movement was born.

What is the selection process of the next album like?

J: Conversations, current climate, pop culture moments — it’s always hard narrowing it down, but a fun process. Sometimes it falls out of the sky, sometimes it's personal.

T: Vibes and waves. Discussions with Flemm, We try to let the muses speak to us in the beginning. We would try to pick albums that line up with what is going on for the month.

One of the most notable things from Press Players Club is the interactive props and setup emulating the album’s classic details, songs, and more — how are the sets built?

T: In the beginning, the build outs were my vision because it’s the thing I wanted most out of the whole experience. I love bringing out the little Easter eggs in the albums we are celebrating. I use my arts and crafts experience along with my experience along with my experience of being on stages to inform the buildout.

J: From the buildouts to the menu, we love those little easter eggs planted throughout. We want to create the world the album sets the tone for.

Which album has been your favorite selection for Press Players Club?

T: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill because that was our first and it came together so perfectly it let us know that we have the seed of something great. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy because that was the first one that took us up to another level with the sip and paint based on the Runaway video. Being able to recreate the Phoenix perfectly from the short movie let me know that I can actually build something from scratch to make the installations work instead of just buying already made items. SZA’s Crtl because this was the first one I built a photo op for with the TVs and grass rug. This one was really emotional and a lot of people shared personal growth and struggles that let me know this is more than just an event. This is music therapy that is really providing a valuable service for the community.

This is the one when I realized that Press Players isn’t a club, but a community.

J: This might be a recent bias, but the way Baduizm came together was great. The vibe of the room, the people, the drums. I feel like we really captured the essence in that one. Also the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack because that is a hidden gem, and who would think to throw an event based on that?

If you could only listen to one album for the reset of your life, what would it be?

T: One answer and one answer only: Illmatic. It’s the perfect album.

J: That’s tough. The album I go back to the most is Where I Wanna Be by Donell Jones and Off the Wall and Thriller by Michael Jackson, but to choose one, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West.

How would you describe the music scene in Houston?

J: From an outside perspective, very united and celebrating their own. They are proud of their legends and culture, but I’ll let Nique speak to it, being a native.

T: It is very diverse and full of so much talent and hidden gems. There’s a reason why such innovative, inspirational, and groundbreaking artists like Beyoncé, Lizzo, Khruangbin, Travis Scott, Robert Glasper, B.L.A.C.K.I.E., Solange, DJ Screw, Scarface, Robert Ellis, Kenny Rogers, Blue October, Yolanda Adamas, Megan Thee Stallion, DJ Premier, and The Suffers come from these bayou waters. There’s something about the diversity and frontier hustler mentality that just leads to amazing things.

What can we expect from Press Players Club in the future?

J: Expanding across markets and cities. Maybe even school curriculum. We’d love to have actual artists and/or people who worked on the albums get involved to further tell the stories.

T: The beauty of Press Players Club is that it can continue for as long as we want it to because there is an endless array of music contributions to celebrate. I see Press Players Club growing into multiple clubs nationwide and large installations at festivals such as SXSW and A3C. Press Players Club is not so much a club as it is a mindset and way of life. It’s a way that audiophiles appreciate and love music.

Experience the next interactive vinyl session at beSocial Houston with Nas’s classic 1994 release, Illmatic, on Wednesday, April 30th at 8PM CST and stay tuned for future ones at beSocial.

RSVP here.