Mourning [A] BLKstar

RA Washington writer, composer, drum machines, electronics
James Longs vocalist
Kyle Kidd vocalist, songwriter
Latoya Kent vocalist, songwriter
Pete Saudek guitar, keys
Dante Foley drums
Theresa May trumpet
William Washington trombone

Years Active 5 years

Latest LP Release The Cycle (May 15, 2020)

Favorite Local Artists?

Muamin Collective – JL

Crazy eight – WW

The Katy – DF

The Katy, Fresh Produce, Oregon Space Trail of Doom, Smith Taylor – PS

The Uno Lady, Vingadro, Obnox, Sun Amari – LK

Favorite Venue to Perform?

“Now That’s Class” on Lorain ave in Cleveland – JL

The Bop stop – WW

Grog Shop – LK 

Musica (Akron,Ohio) – KK

The Best Kept Secret in the City?

The Trail inside Lakeview Cemetary – LK

Favorite Quote?

“At every moment people are doing the absolute best they can with the talent they have, and the information they have been given.” My mother quite often. – JL

‘You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.” – Fred Rogers – WW

“All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you. All that last is change. God is change.” -Octavia Butler – KK

Local Artists we should know more about?

James Quarels – DF

Odin Blak – LK 

Da’shaunae Marisa – KK

Words of Wisdom?

‘There are two types of artists: those who make art to see and those who make art to be seen’ But if it’s a spectrum, I’m trying to move all the way over to try to see more. – PS

“I strive to be like the sun sitting in the middle of the solar system with all the planets spinning around it – millions of things going on. It’s just sitting there being the sun, but exerting gravitational efffect on everything, I think man should look at himself that way.” Robert Fitzgerald Diggs AKA The RZA – LK

“Always remember YOU are a bad BITCH” – KK

Biggest Inspiration?

My mom – DF

The Universe and It’s Creative Team – LK

Also my mom! And Adrianne Lenker, Andy McKee, A Tribe Called Quest, Jimi Hendrix and Big Thief – PS

How is everyone holding up during this time?

Slowly getting better, giving myself and others grace during this tough time. – DF

It’s hard but through creative thinking and respecting peoples boundaries or comfort zones, its possible to continue pushing art forward. Art is designed for times like tthese. – JL

I think everyone is actually starting to become how im feel.  It’s good and bad.  I think we are finally allowing time to catch up with us and we’re maturing into this collective we actually have been chasing – WW

Trying to stay present and look inside more, making space for both grief and joy in this moment. – PS

I’m practicing self care and ego dispelling. Plotting the new world and how to not be flammable – LK

I am rearranging my closet every Tuesday. Adding to my list of needs for my 2021 boyfriend app on Wednesdays. Hell every other day is filled with deep emotional drawn out passages being added to to my journey! I’m looking for the fun damnit! – KK

What do you think is the biggest lesson we can all take away from this past year? 

This country is closer to full fledged fascism than we think. – DF

Where the climate of this country is currently, the biggest lesson I take away from it is that, as a species we actively choose to forget “our” history, and as a result, we are ever more doomed to repeat it. – JL

giving up was never an option if love is truly the mission – WW

All is changeable, All is being unveiled – LK

That time can be reconceptualized and stretched out to take on different applications when we need, that we need each other and are more dependent on one another than we’re conditioned to think, and that the medicine is in the wound. – PS

Live and Let Live! People are just tryna thrive and stay alive! – KK

How do you balance music with jobs, partners, children, etc.?

The band is THE priority. Everyone in my life see’s that, respects that, and supports that one truth absolutely. In return I honor that by being present and supportive in any relationship or endeavor I’m involved in with them. (Balance) – JL

I have to be extremely organized, and I had to learn to say “no”. – TM

Rituals, both mental and physical that help me become present – DF

Trying to get more organized in my life and be intentional about how I spend my time, being honest with myself and my closest people about what gives me life and energy and what doesn’t. – RA

I am a full time artist, healer, mommy and lover. They are all the same thing. I apply the same principal to everything I do. I bathe like I perform and I cook like I love and I sing like God is my audience. My son is a manifestation of creation that I can serve and bless all day long. – LK 

The truth is I honestly don’t know. It is a continuous struggle. As we evolve the expectations shift and with that comes more sacrifice! I trust the process and move fluidly with it. – KK

Tell us about how this project got started?

Through vulnerability and the translation of raw emotion with the tides of the world while living in a human brown body…. LK

Are you working on anything new / specific at the moment?

Learning to mix and edit by covering songs that bring me comfort – DF

I’m learning how to self-record and play lap steel guitar and keys, working steadily on a solo project full of instrumental loops and experimental folk – PS

Working on the next Mourning {A} BLKstar album. Being open to the currrnt energy and the message the world may need to soothe and rage and love to – LK 

Working on some writing and offerings for when it is safe to record our next album! Until then I’ll act like I’m some type of scholar and release a book or something. – KK

What would you consider your Best Local Show Experience?

Playing a packed Now That’s Class during a blizzard night on the West Side, feeding off everyone’s energy in the room – PS

Any show at Now That’s Class. The bar demons roam and the sound system shifts you out the body a little. Always magic there. Every time. – LK

Our first show at Mahall’s. There were 7 people there so anything was acceptable and there were no regrets. – KK

Were you anywhere before Cleveland or Akron?

I was on tour with the temptations, part of the James brown tribute band and started my new Orleans brass band in Cleveland – WW

I grew up in Boston and lived in Ecuador, DC and Oberlin before moving to Cleveland. I also studied percussion in Trinidad while in school. – PS

I lived in Boulder, Co for 2 years studying Ayurveda, Midwifery and yoga history  and all over Los Angeles for 8 years performing and teaching yoga while seeing how long I could be vegan and not sleep – LK 

Any local Artists you admire that you’ve never met?

It’s too small of a city.. lol.. Kid cudi if that still counts – WW

I’m gonna say Kid Cudi, Harvey Pekar and Trent Reznor – LK

Anyone you’d like to Collaborate with?

Tpain!! – WW

All of my homies far and wide fr – DF

I’d love to collab with Lessie Vonner, or Jessica Pina – TM

Craziest memory from touring?

Driving. That’s it. Driving. – WW

Touring through the South was a beautiful memory with Algiers and Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, when we drove through the night from Savannah to New Orleans under a full moon with our collaborator, Kafari. – PS

Going to this haunted hotel venue in Detroit with Algiers that played Witch House and everyone was dressed like death with Horns and weird contacts. They played cartoon porn on the screens and torture bondage videos in the dance area and I thought I’d die there and I was ok with that. And people were passing out candy and Kyle thought it was all laced. – LK

The amazing time we had exploring New Orleans while on our southern tour with Lee Bains & The Gloryfires and Algiers – KK

What’s the biggest thing that your band could use help with? (Promotion, Recording, Merch, Booking, Touring, etc)

All of the above. We are self reliant and help is pretty rad. – LK

All the above. Creating music and the art is very demanding. Any help will allow more space to do what we love most. – KK

What does Cleveland or Akron have to offer aspiring musicians?

There are many venues here that actually care about the artists – TM

A space for musician’s to learn and grow – DF

I have found that Cleveland has a supportive musical art scene. There is an willingness to share info, ideas, contacts and opportunities with other bands in support of art. As a band we try and support the music/art scene as much as possible. – JL

Time and space – PS

A chance to grow and a platform to flourish from. Support and love. – LK

What areas could Cleveland or Akron Improve on?

Becoming more intersectional – DF

Having more opportunities to support tours, music management and labels. – LK

What has your recording experience been like?

Tumultuous but exciting – DF

A journey that I’m still growing into in many ways– there’s so much to learn and take in about the whole recording process and on different days I want to record in different ways – PS

We have a dope group of engineers and producer friends and family. The best around I feel,  so recording has been smooth. We are open to the challenge of new avenues and methods of laying our music. – LK

What are the ingredients to a thriving music/art scene? 

Community – DF

Supporting each other in our artistic and personal growth, maintaining curiosity and a sense of humility – PS

Support, understanding that support is imperative to success. – LK

What’s the next move?

Creating the collective culture in application – WW

Growth, honesty, movement, being – LK

Continuing the journey. – JL

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