A Sore Throat Couldn't Stop This Show...

Months ago, I was selected to perform at the 2017 'A World Away Concert' organized by Emerging Young Artists. The concert would feature 24 local multicultural indie artists - each ever so talented and with amazing attitudes. I was so honored to participate.

The first rehearsal took place on August 15th. I was blown away by the band, the video crew, the organizers, Clara Wang who coordinated everyone, Harlin Sun who was the music director and the two local artists, Ahmed Moneka and Stretch Turner, who were going to liven up the songs I would sing. The feeling you get when you walk into a rehearsal and the band knows the song - that was something I had never experienced before and I cannot even begin to describe how incredible it feels.

But I can describe how scary it feels when you get the itch in the back of your throat when you start to sing...

View this post on Instagram

#AWorldAway2017 Artists behind the Scene 🎧🤓

A post shared by Emerging Young Artists (@emergingyoungartists) on

During the interview, I had the thought that I may I had caught a cold or a flu, but I dismissed it and put my game face. The interview went smooth. Everything went smooth... until the rest of rehearsal. By the end of the rehearsal, I could tell that something was really wrong...

Less than a week later, I was sitting at my friend's wedding, dolled up and without a voice at all! The little itch turned into  a full blown irritation and inflammation. My doctor didn't have a remedy despite my begging (which was mostly mimed since I couldn't speak). The recommendation was sleep... though... how does one sleep knowing that there are 3 big shows coming up and no voice to sing?

Cancelling shows was not an option... Afro-Carib Festival, Sounds of the City and A World Away Concert were too big to leave behind. I forced myself to sleep for 12 hours a day, eat soup, drink lots of tea and water, take 3 Advil a day, refrain from talking (even though the deep raspy voice was kind of sexy) and have faith that I would be in shape soon.

The remedies worked! Most of my range came back within that week and I took the stage for the Afro-Carib Festival on August 27th and Sounds of the City on August 30th - shaky voice and all. Both shows were amazing!

It wasn't long before September 3rd arrived...

To my greatest surprise, the show was so incredible - and SOLD OUT! My voice was not 100% but it was better than not having one at all! Ahmed Moneka and I lit the stage for the live version of the song "You & Me" and Stretch Turner and I spilled our hearts out for the song "Letter to Myself". The band and talented artists took the audience through a multicultural vortex, one that no one wanted to leave!

I have to give a massive thank you to Madeline and all the volunteers who helped put together Afro-Carib Festival (and a shout out to MC Bonde for his wonderful hosting); to T Dots Records for another great Sounds of the City show and to everyone at Emerging Young Artists who put together such a wonderful show! Also, I have to give a big shout out to everyone who came to the shows including South Sudanese activist Joseph Kau, and to Johnny Deller and Willy Kung for coming out to so many of my shows and taking so many great photos!

Do you want to come out to the next show? Check out upcoming shows here! I'd love to see you!