Author: Mausiki Scales
Last Friday night, we hit at one of Marietta’s best kept secrets, Terra Cotta ATL’s Open Stage Night. There were so many things that struck me about this spot. It’s tucked away, so when you arrive and walk around to the side of the building where the inconspicuous entrance is, you feel like you’re walking into an exclusive club where everybody has to do a secret knock to enter. And, once you’re in, it’s like walking into your coolest friend’s dimly lit loft living room, complete with cozy couch, custom funky wall mural and eclectic African décor. In fact, Terra Cotta is a new performance space opened recently by one of my coolest friends, Tosin Tosinger, who greets every guest warmly at the door, makes sure they get a good seat and offers them traditional Nigerian food like puff-puffs, plantains and zobo.
The open mic line-up was a list of talented artists: J.R. Fresh kicked things off with some inspirational gospel and R&B;SashaV gave us a dose of empowering soul; Duwa and her guitar brought a smooth acoustic soul vibe; Toye with the Afro-rock Fela-esque delivery; and Marijo Monteiro, who didn't just sang, but also free-styled like a master...in English and Portuguese. And, they were all backed by the house band of Caleb, David and CJ. Every one of them brought it, performing original songs that ranged from Reggae, R&B, Afrobeat, Soul and Gospel. There were also golden moments that allowed for improvisation and call-and-response over grooves established by the house band.
So, by the time Dash, Alex Jones, Edgar Clark and I took to the stage, the energy was high, the crowd was moving and the air was steamy. And, of course, at the end of our set, Tosinger had to turn on the lights and turn off the mic to make us stop playing.
That’s OK, though, we’ll be back!
Be sure to catch Terra Cotta’s Open Stage Night every first Friday, and check out their other events.