“Music is the tool with which we wield political prowess. Melody for the Roots of each of us…spreading song and sound around the globe. Music has become our script for vision- not just for aural pleasure, not just for hobby, but now as a means to connect and create in ways that we aren’t taught by mainstream culture. We are building community and tackling social injustice through melody, making the stage reach out with wide arms to gather this great family. It has taken on its own personality, carrying us all along the journey. Heres to poetic observations, social change, lyrical messages, political focus, symphonic coercing, ferocious bantering, bicycles and train tracks, primal will, fresh air, harmony, flow, and beautiful noise. ”- Leah Song.
What started out as two young sisters busking in the French Quarter of New Orleans has become a grassroots collective and movement. Chloe and Leah Smith (Leah Song when she’s solo) grew up in the Dirty South, raised close to their roots in many aspects. Rising Appalachia brings together a blend of folk, soul, hip-hop, classical, southern funk, and southern gospel all with a touch of originality.
In 2005 Leah and Chloe recorded their first album titled Leah & Chloe, in a friends private studio- AKA The Basement Studio in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. This album was only meant for friends and relatives, but became so much more. Two years later their second album Scale Down was recorded and became a hit. The first four albums released were completely self-produced and self-funded.
Both Chloe and Leah are involved with activism for the greater good. Leah Songs is involved in the environmental activism of the Appalachian Mountains and The Gulf Coast. She is also involved with Food Justice, Human Rights, Prison Activism, and is a part of the Occupy movement. Chloe is involved with social activism and issues relating to the environment, race inequality, equality, and cultural appropriation issues.
From The Roots of Rising Appalachia Stems The RISE Collective
The Rise Collective is a collection of artists, global performers, environmentalists, poets, speakers, and artists all down for the greater good. The Collective works together with Rising Appalachia in order to support the many community-based projects using art of many forms as a source of activism and cultural development.
The goal is to spread awareness about the injustices of the world, the changes we can make to make, and sharing the many truths that are hard to hear. Songs like Occupy, Scale Down, or Don’t Miss Your Water are all good places to start listening to their music- if you don’t know who they are already. In 2008, Rising Appalachia won Green Album of The Year and Atlanta’s Best Folk Act.
Rising Appalachia and The Rise Collective recently launched the Slow Music Movement in efforts to promote sustainable touring practices, source farm-to-table for backstage meals, reduce single-use waste, bring local outreach to ALL events, and to spread awareness to the people- being the change we want to see, first hand. Changing the world one event at a time. Reach out to teach out!!
To learn more about The RISE Collective visit risingappalchia.com/the-rise-collective