Roberta Lea cheers Black Opry nurturing culture ahead of their Oct. 20 Ohio show, celebrates album crowdfunding success

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The Black Opry Revue is a collective of Black country artists. Founded by country music fan Holly G. in 2020, it quickly soared into an enterprise that showcases a rotating cast of Black country musicians — widely varying in styles — across North America. The Black Opry Revue comes to Ohio on Thursday, October 20; playing Memorial Hall in Cincinnati.

One of the featured artists at the Black Opry Ohio show, Roberta Lea, sat down for an extensive chat with WOUB’s Ian Saint to discuss the Black Opry and beyond. Topics include:

◦ Roberta pursuing music at age 35; and why she agrees with Rick Springfield’s reflection to WOUB that being over 30 is an asset to popular music, contrary to what the music business would propagate
◦ Diffusing misconceptions about the ability of mothers to young children pursuing music careers
◦ Rissi Palmer and “Color Me Country” Radio laying an incredible virtual ground of networking and collaboration
◦ Holly G. convincing Roberta that country music is her true music career path, and the plethora of ways that the Black Opry Revue has jumpstarted her music career
◦ Emulating Miko Marks’ approach of commending and supporting her peers, rather than get baited into bitter rivalries
◦ Detailing strengths of each fellow Black Opry Revue performer at their Cincinnati show
◦ Solidarity with artists from marginalized communities that she isn’t a part of, such as the LGBTQ community
◦ Appearing on the “Kelly Clarkson Show” alongside Jett Holden (also playing Cincinnati) and Black Opry founder, Holly G.; and how Kelly Clarkson helped jolt her music career
◦ Working as a musician in an area far from Nashville, New York, Los Angeles; and how similarly faraway musicians can still effectively network in the music industry (Roberta is based in Norfolk, VA)
◦ Mindful management of social media
◦ Launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording of her full-length debut album, and lessons learned along the way of meeting her goal early
◦ Brandi Carlile and Allison Russell shocking her with their game-changing support; and how forging warm relationships with fans led to this invaluable intervention from such prominent artists
◦ CMT’s commitment — under SVP Leslie Fram’s leadership — to equal play representation for female and male artists, in stark contrast with terrestrial country radio
◦ CMT and Change Agent-cy’s Next Women of Country series emboldening Roberta at an insecure juncture; and how diversifying artist rosters ultimately rewards companies, financially, as well
◦ The significance of returning to Ohio for the first time as a country musician

The full interview segment can be streamed on-demand on WOUB’s YouTube channel. Click Play on the video widget above.

The Black Opry Revue — featuring Roberta Lea, Jett Holden, Tae Lewis, Autumn Nicholas, Ruby Amanfu, & Kyshona Armstrong — plays Memorial Hall (1225 Elm St.) in Cincinnati on Thursday, October 20.

For a full list of Black Opry Revue tour dates, visit their official website: