I’ve pretty much accepted that my best friend has an impeccable taste in music to the point where I won’t even ask for the AUX when riding in her car… and I will just hand it over if we’re in mine. Throughout all the times she’s DJ‘d our car rides, she’s introduced me to plenty of amazing artists… one of whom in particular we recently experienced live at the cozy Songbyrd Music House tucked away in the not-so-cozy Adams Morgan district of DC.
One time we were straight vibing on our way to the boujiest mall in the area where I was too eager to walk around and
pretend to spend money. Before I could hop out and play rich shop till I dropped, she played one of my now top favorite songs “Chill Out” in the parking lot. Now normally, I would just Google the lyrics later if they’re truly memorable, but this was one of the rare moments where I had to know immediately, “Who is this?”
Ray BLK. A fan since our AUX encounter, I have since been an avid supporter of her journey of building, loving, and knowing. Anytime I saw her interviews or magazine stories, I became so proud that like she was kin or something.
She quickly became one of my favorite artists so when the opportunity to see her live came up- childdd I was already front row in the venue screaming my, “YAS SIS SLAY US!!!!!!” And that she did– so elegantly, so passionately, and with so much ease. Oh… and just know, when the beat dropped for “Chill Out,” that was the last thing I could do. She moved the crowd through her entire setlist as her voice rang freely through the red-lit room and even unexpectedly covered Alicia Keys’ Unthinkable and the Fugees’ Killing Me Softly, doing the songs quite the melodic justice. As she completed her set by giving us a taste of her South London life in “My Hood,” I felt the paradox of electrifying bliss as my lust for empowering female energy was satisfied– though I would have loved an encore!
The beauty of smaller spaces like Songbyrd is the opportunity to discover new music and musicians. A song that could change your life or perspective may be one you have never heard because you haven’t encountered the rising artist. BlaqueStone, Ray BLK’s opening artist, offered me a harmony I didn’t realize I was missing. BlaqueStone gave me chills. BlaqueStone gave me life. They set the tone for the Queen of the night by engaging the crowd with their passionate sounds– sounds that made me want to pause, let my tensions be at peace, and allow my heart to match their rhythms. The singers majestically shared their soulful flair, and you could never once question the talent on the stage as the gifted instrumentalists showed us another way they breathe– through bass, keys, and drums.
This particular night at Songbyrd was a haven for positivity and freedom– two things everyone could always use more of, whether they be in good spirits or bad.
Songbyrd is definitely one of those places in D.C. that you must visit if you love meeting free spirits, experiencing amazing live music, and enjoying a refreshing atmosphere under the bustling (and sometimes sketchy) summer night streets of Adams Morgan.
I definitely could not have prepared myself for the soul-filled night to come. And I definitely won’t forget it.
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