1. Met Chick Corea at the Jazz St. Louis and got the best advice ever. "Play like YOU."
2. Won championship at an all women's beat battle. #FemFest #FreshProduce
3. 5 days later went to ATL to perform at the Black Lives Matter Conference and met Stacey Abrams (in the bathroom of all places. Lol).
4. A week later, went to Miami and performed in front of thousands of people opening for The Internet at III Points Met Syd who was meh. Then had an entire 10min convo with Herbie Hancock and his band. Then met Terrace Martin and got industry gems. Met SZA too!
5. I had the flu at its worst stage during all of this. #FemFestFlu
6. Few weeks later got a residency w/ one of the greatest arts foundations at The Dark Room. #DarkRoom Kranzberg Arts Foundation
7. Bought an upright European brand piano for $75 at the thrift store. #Savers lol
8. Saw my little sister go to High School. #CentralVPA
9. Wrote, curated, and released my first music video. #PhoenixRising
10. Released my first single and performed at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation the same day.
11. Visited Aretha Franklin's birth home.
12. Opened up for Michael McDonald at Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center. #kranzberg
13. Released my debut album, independently. #CocoaVoyage
14. Had debut album and my story covered in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Magazine, St. Louis American, and the Riverfront Times.
15. Was interviewed by several local television, podcasts, and live platforms. #StaciStatic #FruitoftheBoom #RockPaperpodcast #STLTV #TheDailyMix
16. Had physical copies of my debut album made and sold in Vintage Vinyl, a pillar of St. Louis music.
17. Featured on Bandcamp's Best Soul of 2019 24 hrs after releasing my album.
18. Found out my album was one of Riverfront Times 9 Best Albums of 2019 days before the New Year.
19. My artist page Katarra went from 763 supporters to 1,168 within a month of my album release.
In the midst of all these great feats this year, I was broke, suicidal at times, went through toxic relationships, had my heart broken twice, broke someone else's heart, had mental breakdowns, was diagnosed with 2 mental disorders, lost friends, loved ones, saw loss, grief and pain. Went to therapy, currently in therapy and receiving treatment. I've also experienced absolute joy, peace and have witnessed how miracles really do happen when you truly believe in yourself. Music is for me.
And I've learned this year that losses and gains are one in the same. Both heavy, and both impacting my life, guiding me towards my purpose even more. This has definitely been a crazy, crazy year. But this year changed my life. And I am forever grateful.