Indie-folk band Rainbow Kitten Surprise gets personal during concert at The Beacham

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | Indie-folk, rock band Rainbow Kitten Surprise (RKS) paused to explain the meaning of the song “Hide” to their fans during a concert at The Beacham in Orlando Sept. 18.

“Homophobia is everywhere, and homophobic violence is felt throughout the world,” says Charlie Holt, band’s openly queer bassist.

RKS originated in Boone, N.C. in 2013 and currently consists of five members. Singer Sam Melo and guitarist Darrick “Bozzy” Keller, started the band in their Appalachian State University dorm room and self-released their first EP, “Mary,” in 2013. After the EP’s success, Melo and Keller recruited band members Holt, Ethan Goodpaster (guitar) and Jess Haney (drums).

Melo explained to the crowd that the band’s latest EP, “How to: Friend, Love, Freefall,” is a very personal album to him. Melo came out to his fans as gay through the album in April.

“[‘Hide’] was a pretty personal song to me. I actually had never shown it to any of the guys before we tracked it in the studio. We started jamming on a riff and I just started singing it,” says Melo.

RKS released a six-minute, documentary-style music video for “Hide,” directed by Kyle Thrash. The video dives into the lives of four drag queens based in New Orleans.

“It wasn’t until I started hashing out the video with Kyle Thrash, who’s based down in Brooklyn, but decided to shoot down in New Orleans,” says Melo. “Which hit closer to home in terms of the difficulties of being a drag queen or an openly gay person or at least the perception of you being openly gay.”

The message behind the video for “Hide” is to show the struggle of LGBTQ and drag communities in the landscape of the Deep South, but also to celebrate their stories, says Holt.

Melo also addressed the video’s impact on the relationships in his personal life. He says he has a great relationship with his father although they don’t talk about his partner with each other.

“The end scene where he’s talking to his dad, and that the level of acceptance that his dad is giving him,” Melo continues, “I watched that sitting with my dad, I don’t know if he felt something or not but I’d like to think he looks at me a little bit different now.”

Watch the music video below.

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