LaGRANGE — Singer-songwriter Kyshona Armstrong, nominated for R&B/Soul Best Vocalists 2016 by the Nashville Industry Music Awards in the female category, will perform Saturday at Pure Life Studios.
Armstrong is a music therapist gone rogue. She first worked in the state mental hospital, then a public school system in Georgia. She started by enabling others to enjoy the healing properties of songwriting while keeping her thoughts to herself.
“When you’re a music therapist to incarcerated and institutionalized adults and school children with emotional behavior disorders, artistic considerations aren’t even on the table,” said Armstrong.
When describing the positions she held during her decade in the mental health field, she punctuates each chapter with the same phrase: “That got kinda heavy.” The weight of it was what eventually moved her to begin penning her own tunes.
Armstrong has mixed her love of storytelling with the sound of her musical roots. Soulful, spiritual, at times guttural, Kyshona delivers an open honesty through her voice and lyrics. Her desire when she is performing is to connect with and take the audience on an emotional, soul stirring, musical journey. Her goal is to move a crowd.
Armstrong moved to Nashville in January 2014, spending the first couple months commuting back to Athens to record her second album, “Go.” Smack-dab in the middle of “Go” is a song that distills the insights of her therapeutic work and the artistic aspirations she’s developed since.
The song is based on the true story of Cornelius Dupree, a turbulent channeling of a black man’s real-life experience serving 30 years in Texas for rape and robbery before being exonerated. Rather than narrate the external details of Dupree’s story, Armstrong gives voice to the searing physical and emotional strain he must’ve felt having to defend his innocence for so long.
“She taps into this vein of life that shouts ‘this is happening, wake up’ with Cornelius Dupree and then turns and pacifies you with ‘Time,’ a blues song that makes you sway and lose all sense of, well, time,” said Maggie McDonald, owner and operator of Pure Life Studios.
Local teen singer-songwriter Alaina Magee will open for Armstrong with three original songs. Magee, 17, has been singing since she could talk. She started piano at 10 years old, guitar at 12 years old and voice when she was 13.
Most recently she has performed at Pure Life Studios Teen Sessions, Battle of the Bands, Jam N Java in West Point and is currently working on starting a band.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
Pure Life Studios, an acoustic listening room, is located at 206 Clark St. Outside food and drink welcome. To reserve a seat or for more information about this concert and upcoming events visit Pure Life Studios on Facebook, facebook.com/lagrangepurelife, contact Maggie McDonald by email at [email protected], text 706-443-4838, or check out www.purelifelagrange.com
From a press release submitted by Pure Life Studios. To submit a release on behalf of your organization, sent it to editor Matthew Strother at [email protected]