Pride must go on! We were excited to present Singing OUT: Heather Mae and Crys Matthews at Swallow Hill on June 27. When COVID-19 altered all of our plans, Heather and Crys adjusted quickly and moved their tour to online platforms.
With that in mind, we are equally proud to present Singing OUT: the first ever VIRTUAL Pride Tour! on Saturday, June 27 at 8:30 p.m. MDT. You can get complete ticket and streaming information here.
Of the show, Crys told us via email that “You can expect powerful, hopeful songs, beautiful harmonies, and some fun surprises!”
Read on in our Q&A with Crys to learn more about the show and how they’ve adjusted to life on the virtual road.
How has the show changed from the one you planned to present in front of live audiences in venues to virtual ones?
The main difference is that we won’t have our awesome friend and drummer JJ Jones with us. Aside from that, our audiences will now be able to take part in some fun giveaways from our sponsors and interactions that we wouldn’t have been able to do before.
How long have you and Heather been collaborating and performing together? How did that musical partnership come together?
We first met seven years ago at a collaborative performance for DC-area songwriters. As both of our careers became more social-justice focused, we found ourselves sharing shows more often. We’re both very fond of each other’s songs, so we would end up singing harmonies for each other, which we do really well. So we figured it was time to take this show on the road! We’ve been touring together for the past three or four years, but even more so this last year.
Social justice themes have always been a big part of your message, do you feel uniquely suited for these times?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, because we are both so deeply committed to the work of social justice and activism, we almost canceled the virtual tour after George Floyd’s murder once our country exploded into unrest. But it was a powerful reminder of the importance of Pride’s history. It began as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riot, another powerful inflection point in America’s history when people stood up and said “no more”. For me, as a black lesbian who is constantly holding space for multiple marginalized identities, I knew that I needed to lift my voice to honor that history, as well as to honor all of the other LGBTQ+ people of color who are feeling like I’m feeling right now.
In uncertain or even troubled times, what can music offer listeners?
Music is able to seep into parts of the heart and soul that tend to make the brain work a little better, and so I find (especially in times like these) that it’s best to sing, not shout. Heather’s music is so healing and we both work so hard to craft our songs from a place of love and understanding so that we might call people in instead of the frequent calling out that makes people defensive and incapable of seeing another point of view. Music will get us through this moment just as it has done so often in our history.
Who are you listening to these days for solace, and to get pumped up?
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Be sure to invite your friends and family in other states to join you. One of the (what I like to call) pandemic perks is that you can go to shows with your loved ones who live far away now!