The Birds Of A Feather & That One Group Of Cockatoos

Saturday, August 01, 2015MsAvaBella

I get asked a lot  about the music scene in Kansas City...How is it? Do the artists work together?
What exactly is the Kansas City sound? And this is how I answer...In the winter it's too cold, and in the summer its too hot! There are a ton of cliques, and yes, they work with each other as in within the clique. We're the home of the 18th & Vine Jazz District, but I don't hear a lot of that in our indie artist's original music. The truth is, this is sometimes happening in your city, too. I hear the same things from artists in Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, you name it; we all have these same issues. So the question I've been trying to answer over these last few years is what am I gonna do about it? Here is one of the things I've been doing to carve out my corner of the world and when I'm at home...


The Birds Of A Feather + That One Group Of Cockatoos

You know the saying. Every city has them - the artists that only work with each other. They get a call for a gig, they speed dial each other and they don't think for one second about a single soul outside of their cool kid crew. Then there is that other group of kids...They're kinda super passionate about art, music, and creating things, and there's only a few of them. They even go to the cool kid stuff, too, but they neeeeever seem to quite mesh.

I'm a Cockatoo. I pretty much always have been. I used to be super sensitive about it...not getting a phone call or an inbox for this show, or that gig. I mean I remember being so bent out of shape about it I would cry. My feelings were super hurt. I wanted to be cool. I wanted to sing harmonies with the cool kids. I wanted to dress in coordinating outfits for shows and do-wop-pop-pop (I love you Tamar with all my heart)! Then one day, I got a call about forming a band and singing at one of the most popular clubs on 18th & Vine...The Juke House! All of my dreams came true...psych! Fast forward to the night of the show...we actually did...ok, not AWESOME. It was recorded and put on DVD. I relive the fuckery from time to time. Me and my band mates played and sung our hearts out! At the end of the night, we didn't get paid. My band-mates were pissed to put it lightly. It wasn't the venues fault. It was my "manager" at the time. I was completely and utterly crushed! Not to mention that was one of the hardest times in my life. I was so embarrassed about the whole situation, I literally tried to disappear.

The problem with disappearing is that I have a talent. The other problem was I was so heavily dependent on everybody else to make my dream happen. The thing is, if you have a gift, it's not going to allow you to quit. After I licked my wounds of my face being cracked, I vowed to never be caught up or have other people caught up in that situation ever again. I united with a couple of Cockatoos who love art, music, and creating like I do. These guys have a real vision for the rebirth of the Kansas City sound, the culture, and the community that once existed in our city. No matter the blows (and there have been a couple), we push forward. I mean I firmly believe there a people who really want us to just go away already; but we won't stop until we realize the vision. Not just for us, but for aaaaall of us...the cool kids, too! We've been lied to and lied on, but it's really quite simple: when you know that you have a fresh perspective to offer, don't ask, just do! Continue to create that fresh point of view, that great art and music. Whatever it is that you do, do it with a killer DIY mentality. In other words...

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Thanks for reading,


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