The first event was Dec 13th. I was invited out by Dj Mos Precious – her name on Facebook – to perform in an event called “Cashing Out for the Kids.” This event was held to collect toys for families that are in need. So of course I went and donated as well. I’m always down to help when I can. You never know when you might need help, so I encourage helping others if you can. This particular day I was extremely busy. I had to be up and out of the house at nine in the morning for a job that I was training for. I had to leave the training to go and perform. The show was held at Utopia Studios. When I got there, I noticed I was the only girl performing. I was surrounded by rappers, which is cool. I love collaborating with rappers. I just finished a project with two talented up and coming rappers. You can find them on Facebook: Ray Holmes and Rajon Young. We created a beautiful song. Here is the link if you would like to check it out: https://soundcloud.com/user7946633/1ne-drug-burning-roses-feat-raye-cole-prod-by-larry-lamar.
Let’s go back to the show. It was a pretty cool experience. At one point, all of the guys started having a “cypher.” For those of you who don’t know what a cypher is. I’ll explain. Rap cyphers are when a few rappers get together and start freestyling their raps. Here is clip of them rapping https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10203207331520357&l=6403409363284515327. That was pretty cool to witness. I love seeing artists get into their element. My performance went well and was received well. I had to leave immediately after my performance because I had to go back to my training session. I also had to pick up a few items for the Xmas party that I was hosting later. Like I said, I was extremely busy. And thank you to Vince Ackurate Manuel – his name on Facebook – for taking a picture of me while I was performing. I sure wouldn’t have had a photo if it wasn’t for you. So thank you so much.
The next event that I attended was my little sister’s choir recital. It was a beautiful event. They had the stage decorated with roses and Christmas lights. The students all wore black and red which looked really nice. Five different choirs performed that evening. They all sounded angelic. I was definitely impressed. They sang some traditional Xmas songs and they “remixed” a few. I enjoyed their version of the “12 days of Christmas.” The choir director was very professional and he directed each choir. After each performance, the director would turn a take a bow. He was dressed very nice as well. He wore a black tuxedo. His name is Timothy Hassle. Again, my little sister made me very proud. I would hear her singing around the house and I just thought she was singing but she was practicing. I am happy that she takes her gift seriously. Here is a link to the performance: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10203220012037362&l=7819783633620304228. It is a little shaky in the beginning, I apologize, but just listen to angels sing.
My last performance of the year was Urb Poetry. I was invited out by Chris Ware – his name on Facebook. I’ve known Chris for some years and it is great to see that he is now hosting his own show. When we arrived, another event was going on. A group of individuals were showing a documentary about a serial killer that was attacking black women that were on drugs or into prostitution. The name of the Film was “The Tales of the Grim Sleeper.” It was an interesting, yet sad documentary. The documentary was a collection of interviews from women that survived. The documentary was created by Nick Broomfield. After the documentary, a brief discussion was held. After the discussion, we prepared to perform. Chris Ware delivered a powerful performance. His voice is packed with power and soul and he is a very talented guitar player. He performed a cover of Ceelo Green’s “Crazy.” After Chris performed an up-and-coming guitarist named Tony Tony – his name on Facebook – blessed us with a few covers. He did a great job. His sound reminds me of Hootie and the Blowfish. Next up to the mic was yours truly. I performed two poems and three songs. My girls Keilah Evans and Shayvonda Mayes sang with me on two of my songs. And Kwame Ken Dread – name on Facebook – played the keys for me. It was a great experience. The venue was beautiful. It was decorated with African American paintings. I don’t know if they were for sale or just for decoration; either way it was nice. The performing area was very intimate.The seating was roomy. And they had free food this particular night. I guess it was the leftovers from the other event but it was still tasty. They also had snacks and drinks available for purchase. I really enjoyed the experience. Here is a link of Chris Ware and myself having a jam session at Utopia Studios: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10203237556555964&l=3881929637678227831.
I have a few shows lined up already for this year. I am excited about them! I have some great volunteer opportunities lined up. I will share them with you later. I also released my first music video for my single #Scandal. This song was based off of the hit show Scandal. Here is the link to the video: http://youtu.be/_ztmwuwa11c. I am so proud of this project. It took a lot of brain power, blood, sweat, and tears lol, but the project turned out wonderful. Thank you Vinnis Bryant III, Alex White, and Fareed Alston – their names on Facebook – for making this project a success. 2014 was great and 2015 will be even better. Thank you for reading and following my blog! My name is Raye Cole and this is the life of an indie artist in St. Louis.