Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:16

Life of an Indie Artist in St. Louis

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Life of an Indie Artist St. Louis

Long time no see. I’ve been busy going out into the world and creating and participating in things so I could have more stuff to write about. But yes, it is me with a lot of great stories to tell. Where to begin is the question. September is just like August and July—busy. Opportunities keep coming. I feel really lucky and blessed. I’m so behind on a lot of things in regards to music, but the Universe continues to work in my favor. I’m really learning as I go. Recently, I got my volunteer on with KDHX; I am currently rehearsing as a background singer for AL Holiday and the East Side Rhythm Band; I have several shows coming up and I have been reached out to by local artists and not-so-local artists about different projects. I am a busy girl! And on top of all that I run a household and handle most of the details of planning and preparing for shows. *Takes a deep breath!*

matt and I at KDHX

So let’s start with KDHX. I really enjoy volunteering with KDHX. About a week or so ago I volunteered at the Schlafly Art Outside Festival with the station. For those of you who do not know, KDHX is a local radio station that plays all type of music including local music! They are very supportive of the local music scene. Another volunteer and I sat at the booth and engaged with the passersby. We had a wheel for them to spin to win some free stuff. There was the option to win a sticker, a keychain bottle opener, a coupon, or a CD. It was pretty cool to interact with people and to have people express their love for the station. The fair began to wind down around 4 p.m. The other volunteer and I broke everything down and said our goodbyes. My next volunteer adventure with KDHX was during their membership drive. I answered phones and filled out forms for people who wanted to donate. I also ate a lot of delicious food that was donated to the station for the drive. What I found most interesting was how comfortable the listeners were calling to the station. I received calls from people who wanted me to deliver messages to certain DJs or certain staff. I was like wow, the community really does appreciate this station! The station threw a volunteer appreciation party after the drive was over. They served us BBQ and gave us tickets to get free drinks from the Magnolia Café! They also had a game of washers going. I felt lucky because the Volunteer Coordinator not only knew my name but he had a conversation with me about some of the other opportunities that I would be interested in! His name is Scott if you were wondering. Everyone seemed to have a really great time. And I can’t wait until the next volunteer opportunity.

rehearsal al holiday

Currently, I am rehearsing with AL Holiday and the East Side Rhythm Band. Molly Simms from the Bible Belt Sinners recommended me to AL and he reached out to me. I never sang backup before. But I was definitely open for the opportunity. I went to go see AL perform at The Broadway Oyster Lounge and he was amazing. He is definitely a powerhouse! The crowd enjoyed him. I am thankful that I will be a part of such a phenomenal act. Thus far, we have practiced twice and we have a couple more to go. I was definitely a little nervous for a few reasons. As I’ve stated before, it can be intimidating when working with such established musicians. I’ve coined myself as a back-alley musician, meaning I’ve been blessed with the gift of music but I have not had much training. So when people get to yelling out different words and what-not, I have to take notes. I’m learning a lot as I go! I’m not afraid of a challenge! The show will be on September 26th at the Firebird. I can’t wait. This month I will also be performing on Sept 20th at the “Dogtown Street Musician’s Festival” in Clayton. We are scheduled to sing from 4:20-6:00 on the street! Pretty interesting! Next, I will be performing at Love-Jones Theory on Sept 28th. I have performed there before. Dave and I have developed a good working relationship and he has invited me to perform at every show that he had this year. I appreciate it! Next I will be performing in The St. Louis Extravaganza Showcase on Oct 4th! And somewhere in between all of the performances, I will find the time to start on my project. Pray for me lol. Also, earlier this month I performed at the Ozark Theater in Webster Grooves with Kevin Nacy–on Facebook—and Julia Runge—on Facebook. Their group (The Old Man and the She) was accepted to audition in front of judges that are affiliated with Webster University. I was happy that they invited me to be a part of the opportunity.

In recent weeks, a lot of local and not-so-local artists reached out to me about being a part of their projects. Two of the artists are from St. Louis, one resides in Illinois, one is from the UK, and the other is from Israel! The internet is an amazing tool! It allows you to work with anyone anywhere. I am so honored that they reached out to me. I am still building my brand. And when you are on the Indie Artist Budget you have to do what you can when you can. So when I say I’m blessed, I’m not just saying that. When I say I’m lucky, I’m not just saying that. I am just so happy that I receive the opportunity to create and be creative.

This month has been stressful yet productive. As an indie artist you have to be able to balance your personal life and your music. Whenever you hit the stage, you have to bring it regardless of how you feel personally—it’s like being two different people. But nothing that is worth it comes easy. Also, I learned a very valuable lesson this week. So, I mentioned to an artist an idea that I would like to use them for. We agreed that it would be something that we would like to do. Later, I found that the artist took my idea and executed it with someone else. I felt betrayed initially, but unfortunately that is how some people conduct business. I’m sharing this story to let other artists know the importance of integrity. Integrity is important. Your name is all that you have in this business. And for me and my camp, I choose to conduct my business in a certain matter. Honesty and loyalty are important to me when dealing in business. All this incident did was make me a little bit sharper. Sigh. Well, until next venture and, as you can see, I will have plenty to talk about! This is your girl Raye Cole and this is the life of an indie artist. Check me out on YouTube, Sound Cloud, and Reverbnation: Raye Cole, Follow me on Twitter:@Raye_Cole, and like my Facebook Page: Raye Cole Music.

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