musings on music

Chicago has a great crop of talent. Check back here to see who I feature, from time to time!

Krystal Metcalfe releases, "In Real Life" EP TODAY!

                                                                                       Chicago-based Rock 'N Soul artist, Krystal Metcalfe releases her EP, "In Real Life" today! 

                                                                                       Chicago-based Rock 'N Soul artist, Krystal Metcalfe releases her EP, "In Real Life" today! 

Le Sigh. Sometimes life can be challenging, but they (I know, Khaled done already told us they don't want us to do nothin' great) say things are going well for you when your real life is finally better than your dreams, right? I guess that's what Miss Krystal, who performed recently on Windy City Live,  had in mind when she was working on her latest EP, In Real Life, which is being dropped exclusively on kikospeaks TODAY! Woo! Lol.

Before we get into the album, I met Krystal back in what, 2012? We were both working at Express (I have no idea why I ever tried working retail; I was not good at it) and I don't think she ever mentioned she had a passion for music at the time. It would be a couple years later when I was freelancing for Rolling Out, that I would run into her at an event I was covering for the publication. Ever since then, I have been following her growth and am very proud of where she is today! I think In Real Life is coming to us at a time when real life for Black folks is literally being taken for granted and it's far too easy to become a hashtag and news trending topic. We need constant affirmations that our lives matter because they're being snatched from us, with little-to-no repercussions, and we're expected to just swallow it and keep moving. There's no better time than now to be reminded that if we have a dream, if we focus our goals and keep pushing, things will get better. The Lord will honor our hard work and eventually, real life will be sweeter than what we could ever dream about.

Metcalfe's EP is five tracks and full of robust sound, flavor and hard-to-ignore motivation. In fact, if you could see some of the lyrics, they would be warm, smiley and friendly, much life Metcalfe in person -- who I've never seen without a smile or a less-than-captivating presence (this girl was born to be on someone's stage). I don't want to give too much away because I want y'all to listen for yourselves, but this is what you can expect from the title track, "So High;" it's a reminder to continue pursuing your dreams no matter what. Keep pushing. Keep fighting. Keep reaching. Keep floating. On "All My Life," we're reminded to be ourselves unapologetically, regardless of how awkward we may consider ourselves; we're perfect in God's eyes. "Highlight Reel" recognizes in pursuit of the life we've imagined, we might gotta (yes, I meant to say that) fake it sometimes. Errbody wanna be somebody, ya know? The last two tracks, "Sallie" and "Adversary" are the embodiment of what can potentially keep us from feeling so high or even putting on that highlight reel for the world. If you've ever been in a relationship you felt trapped in or thought there was no escape from, that's Sallie A.K.A. Sallie freakin' Mae; the nuisance that will leave you broke, frustrated and disgusted. Let's be real, no Millennial feels good about that payment every month! And underneath the New Orleans Bounce music-feel of "Adversary," Metcalfe tells us we gotta stay the course because everything will be just fine in this life, as long as we remember our dreams and do something everyday towards pursuing them.

Also, she always slays her photos; check out her Instagram and Twitter when you have some time.

Overall, the projects executes excellent live instrumentation, which I love and Metcalfe's personality is all up and through this thang. Give it a listen below: