The first event that I attended was the Soul on the River Showcase. This showcase took place at Marcels on Laclede’s Landing. The event took place on March 17th. Marcels is one of the only African American owned establishments on The Landing. I saw that they were having a showcase and I reached out to Rodney Maurice Norman on Facebook. He was the event coordinator. He asked me to forward him some of my music. He liked my sound and agreed to let me in the showcase. Marcel’s was really nice on the inside. The showcase took place in the basement. The basement was nice as well. The basement had two levels. The second floor had a section that was off in the corner; it looked like it could be a VIP section. This section was where they set up the stage. It was the perfect area. Everyone could see the stage regardless of where they were sitting. I was the second person to perform. I believe that I delivered a pretty strong performance. I felt pretty good about it. It seems like the more I sing, the easier it becomes. Also, I forgot to mention the chandeliers. Oh, they had the most beautiful chandeliers hanging. They were so fancy. Marcel’s basement reminded me of that movie, “Interview with the Vampire.” The décor reminded me of the scene when Louie and Claudia entered the basement with the other vampires. It reminded me of the beauty and elegance of that film. The bathroom, however, needs a touch up but overall, I was impressed with the establishment and I had a good time.
The next event that I attended was my little sister’s choir recital. My sister is a junior in high school. She has been a part of the choir for about a year. This event took place on March 19th which is also my little brother’s birthday. He tagged along as well. It is so awesome to know that my little sister is interested in the arts. I just can’t wait for her to bust out of her shell. She tends to shy away from the spotlight. But I’ve told her that no one can see you in the back. Well you can kind of see her, but you get the point. She will come into her own. I was still very proud to see her on stage doing her thing. Her choir performed songs like “War” and they even sang a little “Earth, Wind, and Fire.” I wish my mother could have seen her up there. They even incorporated some dance moves. I was smiling from ear to ear. There were about five choirs performing and I must say that I enjoyed them all. They sang a Whitney Houston tribute. I love Whitney Houston—she is my number one. One of the choirs sang music from Motown the Musical—that was fun. They also sang music from “Into the Woods.” They had dance solos as well. I was so impressed by the talent that was displayed. It is always awesome to see the youth performing and taking part in the arts.
The next event that I attended was a volunteer opportunity with the Nine Network. This event was a screening of Ken Burns' “The Story of Cancer.” I worked the front desk distributing name tags to guests. I believe that most of the people who attended the event were in the medical field. I recall one of the administrators for the event saying that a lot of the guest came from Barnes. We were invited to watch the screening. A few of the volunteers went to watch the program. I stayed up front. They also did something that I thought was pretty neat; they provided white bags and markers for people to write the names and messages of loved ones that were affected by cancer. They would later use the bags for a vigil. I wrote a message for my mom and my grandmother who both passed away from cancer. Later, we took the bags outside. We filled the bags with sand and glow sticks. We took the bags and placed them around the outside commons area. People who were on the streets were stopping, staring, and taking pictures of the vigil. When the sun went down, you could really get the full effect of the vigil. The glow sticks made the bags glow in the dark, of course. After the program was over, the guests made their way out of the front door to a beautiful surprise. I was happy that I volunteered for this event. I was later invited to a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner with the Nine Network. It was a nice event and a ton of volunteers where there. I had a great time even though I went solo. I hope that I have a long run as a volunteer with the Nine Network.
The next event that I attended was a hip-hop event. It was a competition. I was invited to this event by Bates Asylum and Robert Rooboo Ford on Facebook. The name of this event was “Team Rooboo vs ShowMe Records.” The event took place at Utopia Studio on March 26th. The show started at 10:45 p.m. The singer who I was supposed to compete against didn’t show up due to issues with her management. So, I pretty much just performed. After my performance, I left because I had been there for a while. I got there around 7:15. The older I get, the more I appreciate a good night’s sleep. I saw that my team won the next day on Facebook. It is always awesome to be a part of the winning team.
The next day I performed at Love Jones Theory. I wrote about Love Jones Theory in previous blogs. It is an ongoing showcase. Dave—he watches over Love Jones Theory—asked if I was available for the showcase and I was. On the way to the showcase Matthew and I stopped by my Uncle Larry’s house. Matthew, my fiancé, has never met my uncle before. I have started to reconnect with my father’s side of the family. It was important that Matthew met my uncle. Also, I have to plug my uncle's company. I have been helping him out for the last few months. The name of his company is Creative Fabrics LLC. At Creative Fabrics, we can customize or personalize anything—from business cards to blimps. Check out the website: http://creativefabricsllc.espwebsite.com . After we mingled with my uncle, we left for the show. I had a great time at my uncle's and Love Jones Theory. It was like a breath of fresh air. Earlier in the day I had a run-in with negativity. It sucks when negative energy comes against you, especially when you have to perform. However, the positive forces of the world saved me just in time. I had a great time after the madness.
The last event that I attended was actually a meeting / jam session. My fiancé reached out to STL Live on my behalf. He sent them my music and some of my performances. We had been communicating for some time and finally we were able to meet up. We met up and discussed the business side of course; afterward, we had a brief jam session. The session was amazing. I’m looking forward to future jam sessions. Here is a video clip of us jamming. https://www.facebook.com/rachell.cole.5/videos/vb.1120430470/10203903068353343/?type=3&theater Thank you Dana Kay for the opportunity and thank you Curt Copeland for playing for me.
Well, that is all folks! I am and will always be thankful for my blessings. Some people only imagine living their dreams and here I am writing about my journey. Until next time, my name is Raye Cole and this is the Life of an Indie Artist in St. Louis. Check out my music and my performances on Reverbnation, Soundcloud, and YouTube: Raye Cole. Also give my Facebook page a like: Raye Cole Music. Also, comment/like/share my blogs!