Concerts, Connections, and the Community that Makes Them Happen
My name is Adé and I love music. I mean LOVE. Like, the kind of love that causes you to make irrational life decisions. The kind of love for which you forego a full scholarship at a top university and a commission in the U.S. Navy, just for a shot at a record contract (#truestory).
But I digress.
As I was saying, my name is Adé, I love music, and I am the lead vocalist for The Hawthornes. We’re a local 4-piece funk/rock/soul fusion unit. And we wouldn’t be here without the unique OTC community helping to make, support and define the local music scene.
When I moved to the Lake Norman area from New York City five years ago. The first thing I noticed (after all the trees and grass) was a palpable sense of community. People just don’t live in Lake Norman, they kind of become Lake Norman–even us transplants. And that steadfast, undeniable, unavoidable sense of community extends to–and in many ways is amplified within–the arts scene.
I was introduced to that scene through Bella Love, an initiative started by Old Town Cornelius resident and fellow transplant Case Warnemunde. He booked the band I was in at the time, Bassments and Addicts, to play at the ’Tawba Walk and Live at Oak St. Mill events and in doing so my bandmates and I were quickly embraced by the community. Don’t get me wrong, I thought we were pretty good, but the sense of appreciation we received from the crowd was on a level higher than “hey, I like your sound.”
It was almost like support from family.
Warm receptions, hugs and handshakes, dancing and singing along to the music…folks were not shy about letting us know how much they appreciated our time and effort. It made me want to come back and play, to become more a part of this movement.
That’s what it is: a movement. It’s a movement of artists and art appreciators co-mingling and energizing and mobilizing to become something even bigger and even better, and it’s beautiful.
Well life happens and bands drift apart, and such was the fate of Bassments. After the group dissolved, Case casually mentioned to me that another local band “might be” in the market for a singer and it “might be” be a good fit for me.
That was probably the greatest “might be” I’ve ever pursued.
Enter The Hawthornes.
Meeting them was re-energizing. The guys struck me as some of the most-talented musicians I had ever met, and I was able to re-discover my personal voice in music after playing covers for some time.
And, it just so happened that my first performance with The Hawthornes also was at a Bella Love open mic night. Now on the verge of releasing our second album, my first with the band, I can’t help but be grateful for the opportunities I’ve found through the support of my OTC “family.”
All of this was made possible through a series of fortunate incidents that occurred here. I owe a lot to this community. And I want to transform all the good fortune and love that I have received from it–I want to turn it into energy and voice, and feed that energy right back to the whole so we can nurture it and others can feel what I do. I want to tell the world about this community that embraced and supported me when I was lucky enough to stumble into it.
Keep supporting the local scene. Keep giving energy and purpose to the artists around you. And until next time, let the music play.