Friday, July 25th my girls and I hit up one of my favorite open mics, Café Soul. I really needed to get out of the house and get my mind off some things. I intended on just sitting and being an audience member, but it did not happen that way. I’ve blogged about Café Soul before, but just to refresh some memories I will go over details again. Café Soul is once a month on the last Friday of the month at the Rustic Goat. It is an open mic that has a live band available to play for those who wish to perform! The stage is in the middle of the floor. And everyone can see the performance regardless of where they sit. So we get there and find ourselves some seats. My friends asked me if I plan to sing and I was like nah… I’m just going to watch. They giggled to themselves because they knew that they had some tricks up their sleeves. The host asked if anyone else wanted to sign up and these heifers lol started pointing at me. So I was peer pressured into singing. I scanned the perimeter and I didn’t see the keyboard player that is normally there. He knows my original song. So I start brainstorming for other songs. When I say I am a lucky girl, that is what I mean. Someone announces the keyboard player that was filling in for the night. When I heard who they announced I became instantly excited because I was going to be working with him in a show on August 1st. I had already sent him my music! It was like, what are the chances?! His name is Phillip Dr. Philgood Graves on Facebook. So it was my turn. I approached Phil with a smirk on my face like, “You better know my music” lol. I sang the first verse for him and it was a “rap” from that point. We had an amazing performance. The host called me back up to sing some more. There is a saxophonist by the name of Rhoda G. Rho on Facebook and she is awesome by the way. She can pick up on a song and pretty much play the verses. So I came back up to the stage with her and an awesome singer by the name of Theresa Payne on Facebook and we and the band rocked it. My friends were so pumped and happy for me when I got off the stage. My girl Denise, by the way, is one of the" baddest" makeup artists in this area (Michele Michele on Facebook) and is never afraid to let me know when I rocked out lol. Then she said, “And you weren’t going to perform?!” I had an amazing time with her and my friend Shontay. This performance was one of my best experiences this year!
My next stop was Love-Jones Theory on Sunday, July 27th. I’ve blogged about Love Jones Theory before. It is off of Bellefontaine Road. It reminds me of a very cool Juke Joint! It’s a place where people come for good laughs and great music. Loves Jones Theory is run by Dave Scott TheBarber on Facebook. The show is every other month. This particular month Dave asked me to be the opener for the show. I met the Monday before at his barber shop for the rehearsal with the pianist. How cool is that to have a rehearsal at the barber shop! It doesn’t get any cooler than that.
Sunday, the day of the performance, I also scheduled a practice for my show on August 1st- which was probably not the best idea. I had been singing all month and I was beginning to go hoarse. The practice was an extra strain on my voice. I am definitely working on ways to stop myself from not going hoarse. My problem is that I like to belt when I sing and yea… its a work in progress lol. By the time I made it to Love Jones Theory, I was pretty much hoarse. I was praying, sucking cough drops, and sipping tea like crazy! Luckily, I made it through! I am a trooper lol. And I even had a few people in the crowd give me some compliments—that is always nice. Dave invited me back to be the opener in St. Louis. Thank you Dave! I appreciate the love! And I promise to save some voice for that show lol.
Next stop on Tuesday, July 29th was my photo shoot, interview, and walk-through for RAW St. Louis. RAW is a showcase that gives indie artists of all walks an opportunity to display their abilities. I will be performing a thirty minute set that night. I am anxious, excited, nervous, and curious! But I’m not too worried. I have been practicing all month. The meeting was pretty cool. We played an icebreaker game and we all introduced ourselves. There were people from all of the arts there. I am the only female musician performing. I will gladly represent for the ladies! The event coordinator for this showcase's name is Julia Michaelle Runge on Facebook! She is very cool and helpful. The show is August 21st. Doors open at 7! Come out and show your support! Check out my RAW artist profile. Here is the link: http://www.rawartists.org/http-www-reverbnation-com-rayecole.
Next on the agenda was Friday, August 1st at The Livery Co. on Cherokee. A few months prior, I received a message from another singer by the name of Molly Simms on Facebook. She asked if I would like to be a part of a showcase that she was putting together for one of her favorite artists Roland Johnson. I am always down to work especially if it is something worth-while. Roland Johnson is local legend on the R&B/Soul/Blues scene. Ms. Molly Simms is a very talented singer, as well, that performs with the Bible Belt Sinners. I was pretty anxious and nervous about the show because I didn’t quite know what to expect. Initially, I planned to do 3-4 songs but I was informed that a normal set is 30 minutes. I’m learning as I go. So I had to be quick on my toes and see what songs my pianist knew already the day before the show. Luckily, he knew the selections that I asked about. I believe that my performance was ok.I would have done certain things differently and selected different songs for that particular crowd. We live and we learn. It was pretty cool after my performance because the musicians that performed with Roland Johnson all had good things to say about my performance. To receive good feedback from such established musicians was an honor! After my performance, I sat and watched Roland Johnson perform and he was amazing. The band was amazing! He brought the crowd to their feet. Then he asked me to come on the stage with him to dance lol. I was like, “Me?!” and he was like, “I’m not talking to myself.” So that was a fun experience. I was not able to stay for the remaining act which would have been Molly and the Bible Belt Sinners. Wish I could have. Molly Simms has got to be one of the coolest people that I have met along my journeys. She was very helpful and honest and that is something that you don’t see very often amongst artist/musicians. This particular show opened my eyes to a lot of things. This show made me analyze myself as an artist. This show produced growth. I began to realize more about myself and the direction that I want to go as an artist!
The next stop was to the LZ’s Up Movement on Saturday, August 2nd. I was invited by Bates Asylum on Facebook. She is a local indie artist from St. Louis. The LZ’s Up Movement was started to help local artist get the air time that they deserve from local radio stations. We met at Olivette Bowl and walked down to the nearby radio station. There were about 40 people. We all spread out in front of the station. Some people held signs and others positioned their fingers in the shape of an L and held it up. People were honking their horns to show that they supported what was going on! I love people that are passionate about their movements. The movement was well organized and it showed unity amongst artists. I was happy that I could be there to support! I didn’t stay the entire time but before I went home I made sure to drive down the street honking the horn and representing for the cause!
Finally, on August 5th I went to have an on-camera interview with OnStL.com! It was pretty awesome. I was greeted with a hug and friendly faces. I was able to speak about myself and my music. I felt like a star for a moment lol! But thank you Ron and OnStL.com for having me! Until next time… Here is the link if you would like to check it out my interview: http://youtu.be/Oehp4bK95uw !
As you can see, I’ve been a very busy girl. I have been rehearsing, scheduling, being my makeup artist, hairstylist, stylist, face of my brand, doing interviews, supporting other artists, taking care of my responsibilities outside of music, and plotting and planning to get to the top! These last few weeks have been a roller coaster. In the midst of performances, I have had car issues and crazy relative issues. But like the phoenix, I rise. I rise above all of the confusion because I am an indie artist and that is what I do! Also, pray for the family of Mike Brown, the young man who lost his life. Pray that we can grow and come together as a nation! Pray for peace. Well, until next time loves. My name is Raye Cole and this is the Life of an Indie Artist! For more pics, check me out on Facebook—Raye Cole and like my music page—Raye Cole Music. Follow me on Twitter @Raye_Cole . Check out my music on Reverbnation, SoundCloud and my performances on YouTube—Raye Cole!