So the first party that I attended was for my girl Brittany. We celebrated her birthday. The theme was based off of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” We called it “Dinner with Brittany.” We all dressed in our version of Audrey Hepburn attire and stepped out. My friend Denise, Shontay and I were the first to arrive. We helped my friend Denise decorate the table as we waited on Britt’s arrival. Brittany walked in sparkling in an all-white strapless dress. She looked like an angel.
We began to play games as we waited on our food. Someone across the room sent a bottle of wine to our table. We were looking good. The food was delicious and our waiter gave us a complimentary dessert. It was delicious. We took a few snapshots after we were done eating.
Finally valet pulled up with our car. As we made our way out to the car, I noticed that all the male valet drivers were more than helpful. They were gentlemen. I love our girl outings. At first I wasn’t too excited about hanging out with a group full of girls. Girls can be something else to deal with. I trusted that my friend Denise—she invited me to start hanging out—wouldn’t bring me around the “drama” and she didn’t. We have really formed a sisterhood over the years.
Next on the agenda was performing. I had three performances scheduled for the month of February. The first event was a singles and socials networking event hosted by DJ Cool Von on Facebook. The event was scheduled for Feb. 21st at Jones Plaza inn Fairview Heights, IL. This was a pretty cool showcase. Jones Plaza is beautiful on the inside. I drive by that building quite often and I never knew what the inside looked like. Not saying that the outside looks bad. I was just pleasantly surprised by how nice the inside of the building was. The event consisted of vendors, live performances, dancing and desserts. The live performers for the evening were Poet Lightening, who is well known throughout St. Louis; rapper Banks Kallore; and me. I performed my single Scandal for the first time. Everyone did an amazing job. I was extremely excited because my friends came out to support me. One thing that I did notice was that some of the people just were not willing to participate with the karaoke or dancing. Why come to an event like that and be a wallflower? For the most part, those of us who did participate had a blast. Thank you DJ Cool Von for the invitation.
The next event that I performed at was called Femfest. This event was held at the Blank Space on Cherokee. This event was put together by Robert Robboo Ford on Facebook. He is known throughout St. Louis for his work in the hip hop community. He is one of the administrators of Slumfest. Slumfest gives up-and-coming rappers the opportunity to perform in front of hip-hop lovers. This showcase was chock full of talented femcees—female rappers and entertainers. We were given a few minutes to do our thing. I was sleepy that night but I “tuffed” it out. When it was my time to perform, I wasn’t sure what to expect. One, because I sing and I’m not sure if I was the only one singing. I didn’t see the end of the showcase. Everyone that went before me was rapping and they were rocking. They were moving, dancing, animated and full of life. I just sing lol. It would take some serious efforts for me to sing and dance. I didn’t know if I would be perceived as boring. However, the crowd responded well to my performance. Here is a clip of my performance https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10203682212312080&l=8203340819385682316. I received a few new Facebook friends after that night. Thanks to Robert Robboo Ford for the invitation. I will be performing in a showcase on the 28th hosted by Robert Robboo Ford. The name of the event is Team Robboo vs Show Me Records. It is a competitive event. Sounds fun. Thank you Bates Asylum on FB for reaching out to me to let me know about this event. You guys have showed me nothing but love.
The next performance that was supposed to take place was a Black History Open Mic Event. I love celebrating culture and heritage, especially my own. The event was set for Feb 28th—the night that it snowed really bad. It just came out of no-where. So the event was canceled. This event was put together by Lese Johnson on FB. She is a great person. I attended one of her events before and I had a great time. I just knew that the event was going to be beautiful, but Mother Nature had other plans.
So this leads us to the next event, my birthday. March 5th is the day that I was born. I wanted to hold an open mic on my birthday but I decided to pamper myself instead. I went and got my hair styled, went and got my nails taken care of and my fiancé purchased me a massage. I saw that there was a popular open mic going on so I decided to attend. I don’t get to go out and support that often but for my birthday I wanted to be surrounded by live local music/poetry. So we arrive at the open mic and the venue was packed. The show had not yet started so I made my way over to the host and asked if it was too late to sign up. She said no and that she would put my name on the list. I love the vibe that you get at open mics. Open mics bring out the raw talent in most of us. I brought my CD in hopes that the DJ would be able to play my music when it was my turn but he told me that he wouldn’t be able to, which was fine. It was a gamble. After about an hour and a half to 2 hours I still had not received an opportunity on the mic. I don’t know if the host wasn’t going in order or if that many people just signed up. My BFF Lisa, my friend Shontay and my fiancé had that look on their face—that “I’m ready to go” look. My girl Denise was feeling the vibe. However, seeing that most of my party was growing tired and that I would have to wait at least 30 minutes before I would get to go I had to decide if I wanted to stay or go. There was one more hour left in my b-day. I wasn’t feeling waiting any longer. So, we bounced and went to Calicos for some late night grub. We laughed, ate and enjoyed each other’s company. The next night, my girls threw me a b-day diner at City Diner on South Grand.
The theme was 50’s Rock and Roll. My friends Brittany and Denise hosted the event. Denise also did my makeup for the event. Check her at out on Instagram: @whipsnatched or Facebook: Chelstudio. I had a great time with my girls but I must say that there were some weirdos out that night lol. I’ll just leave it at that.
After dinner, I dragged Denise and Shontay to this karaoke event that I was invited to on FB. We arrive at the venue which I will not name because I don’t have much nice to say. It was awesome bumping into the people that invited me out on Facebook. It was pretty cool to have a couple of people saying that they heard me sing before and I impressed them. I think any artist can appreciate that. The part that bothered me was that I signed up to do karaoke. I sat there for an hour and a half in that cigarette smoke infested establishment only for the host to go through the list and not call me up for a turn. My friends and I noticed that some of the same people went twice. It was like how are you at the bottom of the list if everyone that signed up hasn’t had a turn. When I asked her about my turn she said “I will try my best to get you in, it’s only 15 minutes left.” That was all I needed to hear. I told the people that invited me good night and I left. I can’t make anyone let me on the stage. Run your show the way that you will, but if I ever go back please believe they will be paying me for my time. All I wanted to do was sing for my birthday. But it is ok. The love that I received from my friends and family was enough to keep me in good spirits. I had a blast these last few weeks. I love the people that are in my life and I love the path that I am walking. It doesn’t get any better than that. Again, my name is Raye Cole and this is the Life of an Indie Artist in St Louis.