Vixen Initiation: Avery Sunshine Talks Opening For B.B. King And The ‘Bag Lady’ Issues Of Black Women

It seems like such a battle, but you seem to be moving along nicely. You’ve been touring with singer Rahsaan Patterson and have upcoming tour dates with B.B. King!
First of all, meeting Rahsaan was a dream come true. I’m serious. To get the call, ‘I want you to do these dates with Rahsaan Patterson,’ I mean… We’ve done four shows together, and we have another one coming up in July. It works; people like our show together, and Rahsaan is amazing. At the end of his set, he always calls me onstage. And if he never does it again, it’s fine! It is such a compliment.

That’s awesome. Are you equally looking forward to performing with B.B. King?
I adore B.B. King for a different reason. I adore him because he was one of those who paved the way for the rest of us. He got to perform for people years ago, but he had to go through the back door! What? And [he’s] still playing well into his eighties. We got the call in November, and the president of our label in the UK, Peter Robinson, set it all up. I’ll be opening up for thee B.B. King at Royal Albert Hall in London. So, not only am I opening up for a legend, but I’m opening for him in a 5,000-seat venue; a place where The Beatles have performed.

Dope. Now, let’s switch gears a bit. “All In My Head” is a hot record about a woman dreaming up these realities that aren’t actually taking place in her relationship. What made you write that song?
The point of writing a tune like that is to poke fun at how silly we can be. They not all cheating. They don’t all not love you. You don’t look terrible. Stop it! We have to tell ourselves that. I realized our baggage and the stuff we’ve dealt with prior to [our current situation], and dwelling on that stuff keeps us from enjoying healthy relationships. I have to give it up to Erykah Badu; she’s a prophet! A prophet! [Laughs] When she said, ‘Bag lady…’

What do you think it’s going to take for women to get those thoughts out of their heads and believe that they’re beautiful the way they are and that they deserve love?
Sometimes, we want to point the finger at [men] after we’ve been hurt, so we’ve got to get right. We just have to decide that we’re not going to live that way. And it’s really not as hard as we think it is, you know? Change your mind immediately.

I totally agree with you. And along with the other things black women are dealing with, there’s always a constant battle of beauty and what’s fashionable. Tell me why did you decide to rock such a low fade.
This is the second time I did it. I did it in college, and this time I did it because I have a daughter who has a lot of hair. Between doing my hair and hers, I was getting stressed out, so I cut mine off.

Do you think it’s foolish for women to put such an emphasis on their hair?
I used to, but I know it’s deep for us. I wish that it didn’t, but hair does, to an extent, define them.

Lastly, what do you want fans to learn, through your album, about Avery Sunshine?
I want them to feel better. I want them to know that it’s okay to talk about how you feel.

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