Capitol Cities

by Richardine Bartee, 25 November 2012 ¤ Images by George Reload

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I’m 27 now. Past that age of “making it out of the ‘hood in one piece”, too young to get pregnant, but in the age frame of being too old to live with your mother and just ten days into that age where important people die.


Since most of us can agree that timing is everything, my timing is always impeccable and guiltless. In fact, as a 27-year-old me, I acquiesced in my multi talents as gifts and no longer suspicions.

What feels like a trimester short of two years ago, I browsed an online music store and listened to different artists in multiple genres.

I engage in what can be considered “visceral searches” when looking for something new to listen to during down-time. It is a weekly wont.

Habitually, I fine-toothed combed tens of artists.

None of them quite stuck out like the artists with the cover in blue tone and an illustrative elephant who was humanized with glasses. It took me back to design school, ideas of juxtaposition and a good story. My trained eye respected the use of complementary colour and composition.

I thought: This person knows what they’re doing (design-wise). Let me hear what they have to say.

I am glad I did.

One song played (“Safe and Sound”) and I contacted the group right away to tell them how I felt about their music via this blurb on the “Buzz Blog”.

We connected.

In May, George, Mark and I went to Los Angeles for a music festival in Van Nuys. During our time there, we met with the pop duo at Stereotrain Rehearsal Studios in Burbank where we filmed this:

Duly noted, we have the first autographed EPs and we went to a show of theirs on Venice Beach and it was on fire! When we saw them live, we knew they were going to take off in two year’s tops. If it didn’t happen, that’d mean the world was deaf. We’re happy to know it isn’t.

On December 2, 2011, I wanted to present Capital Cities to my Northeastern audience, but I was shafted out of my opportunity. Rightfully, they’ve played there a few times since my engagement, but that’s how this world is.

So many people were excited to see them for that show. New fans from Rochester, New York to Atlanta, Georgia were coming out for this show. Tickets were booked and money was spent.

Unfortunately, the promoter or talent buyer I was in touch with since the Summer shaved our time vastly for another group. My full event (4 hours) was consolidated into a set time (just 30 minutes) for the same amount of money. No need to cry for me, Jamaica, Queens.

Regardless, they are now successful with world recognition; an American dream.

Four days ago, they announced their signing with Capitol Records! We are so proud of them. We always hoped for the world to be their stage, taking over one capital city at a time. Congratulations guys!

Is it odd that I do not remember anyone else that I listened to that day? No, it isn’t.


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