"…I'm an independent musician trying to connect with people from show to show." ~Bobbi Rae
On Feb. 12 at around 2 p.m., local singer and songwriter Bobbi Rae sat in the office of KayLain PR located at the Exchange Centre in the CBD. The beautiful Slidell native work a black tank top, shorts, and gladiator style sandals with a head full of long radiant locs.
The self-taught guitarist opened up briefly about her personal life including a son she loves and a broken relationship that resulted in great co-parenting and a solid friendship. She also explained that the ending of past relationship helped motivate her ambition to pursue music.
What was interesting and captivating with Rae was that her soft toned voice told the story of her journey to music showcasing humility, a confidence that wasn't overbearing but assured with openness.
On getting started in music:
I sung in the church growing up so I was always in music. Music was a big thing but it was more like 'Go to school' you know, not music. I moved to Shreveport and that was like the most miserable three months of my life and I was stuck in the house, most of the time, and I was with my child. So I went to a pawn shop and purchased my first guitar. From YouTube and using my sister, I learned three chords and played the s*** out of them. I wrote my first song called 'City Blues.' It talked about me being away from home and do I stay here for a person or follow my dreams to pursue music. That started me to play guitar now which has been about two years. And from there, the guitar just told all of my stories.
Rae admits she didn't know much about notes but knew exactly how to play. Take note to the character Devon Miles from the classic film "Drumline" and his ability to play without reading music. Perhaps the hearts joy of loving a craft can surpass any formal training. Who says talent has to be encapsulated with only textbook remedies? However, Rae is what one would call an actual musician with an instrument to accompany her.
Speaking on "Drumline," where the focus was centered on higher education, Rae touched on how education was a bit of push and pull when it came down to music and the expectations of her family:
I would say for one, don't wait. You can't please everyone and not to be rebellious, but learn what you can learn. Get as much knowledge as you can. I had to show my parents that I'm getting guitar lessons and that I know 100% of what I want to do. You should be able to show your parents that you're educating yourself on the very main thing you want, your goals, and just follow them they'll come around. Have the faith the size of a mustard seed.
That "mustard seed" has its stretching moments consisting of trial periods leading to the manifestation of that faith.
On a typical day for an independent artist:
ON a day to day I'm on GigSalad or posts I put on Craigslist, or keeping my social media and Sound Cloud up-to-date because I never know when someone is going to look up 'Artists in New Orleans' and I don't won't anything from 2014 and folks saying, 'Oh, so she's not currently active.' And I've actually gotten bookings through people searching online.
Those bookings have led Rae to sing covers at a various weddings around the city to which she says, "…the wedding money is always good [laughs]." Weddings and the celebration of unions coming together is exactly what emanates from Rae's words during a conversation which is carried out, natrually, in her music. She explains that even though a great heartbreak song is a universal language that many can identify, her sets eventually ascend to hope at the end with love.
With a sultry tone to her voice to which she gets compared to Grammy winning singer India Arie, Rae's music screams love and independence. Rae, a Pisces at that, gave advice on this Valentine's Day for all of the established and new lovers saying, "…have standards but don't have expectations."
Rae can be seen and heard the first three Wednesdays of the month at 14 Parishes at 1638 Clio Street. Feel free to bring tissue to accompany your drink just in case emotions began to sneak up on you. Also, Rae makes a very good Hennessey with Ginger Ale and a splash of lemon.
For booking inquiries, especially if you're in need of a soothing voice with raw talent echoing the heart of the numerous talents in the city, contact email@example.com. Also, check out Frederick Schiele of Beyond Horizon Photography for all of your photography and event needs.