by Christy Rodriguez de Conte
It’s the second coming of Motown, and it lives in Tallahassee. Vocalist and longtime member of Tallahassee Nights Live, Kami Hayes describes the company as, “a live entertainment machine…There are people from all walks of life here… It’s like the second coming of Motown.”
Tallahassee Nights Live (TNL) is a touring live music production best known for its spoken word, hilarious comedy, and high-energy jazz, soul, and R&B.
Their performance scope has expanded beyond Tallahassee to include multiple cities throughout Florida and are known globally through their musical troupe Soulful Escape on Carnival Cruise lines.
Tallahassee Nights Live will honor musical legends with its Soul Heaven concert at The Moon on Aug. 28.
The company prides itself on the role it has played in developing and uplifting new artists in the industry.
Having grown up singing in the church, Hayes understands the value of communal support. The self-declared epitome of an MTV ’80s child, she relies heavily on her large musical knowledge and experiences with many genres of music to educate and mold the next wave of Tallahassee artists.
She admits raw talent is the foundation of a talented artist but builds upon that to add the need for heart in this business, as well as dedication. Hayes invites talented, passionate musicians that are willing to work hard to join TNL and develop their talents and gifts.
Hayes recalls asking the question, “How do I make my talent work for me? How do I do the work so that my gift makes room for me? How do I do that?”
The answer became clear to her, “I think TNL is a great vehicle for learning that. For learning ‘how to’ definitely sharpen your skills … You are surrounded by excellence. That pushes you to be better and pushes you to work harder, and everybody wins.”
She credits Darius Baker, aka “Doc,” founder of Tallahassee Nights Live for the atmosphere of excellence. “Doc lights a fire under us,” says Hayes, “(He) is a mentor that you can touch in town that can help steer you where you want to go, musically.”
“I came in (to TNL) in 2011,” says Hayes, “To see how I have grown as an artist from then until now is absolutely astronomical, like leaps and bounds. So, a person who is interested in music and loves music — who’s a singer, who’s a dancer, a producer, who’s a writer- in whatever capacity they are a lover of music, Tallahassee Nights Live can help them perfect that craft … and work that musical muscle.”
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