Vixen Industry Couple: Whitney Keaton and Raii + Vixen Giveaway!


Whitney Keaton and Raphael Smith

How’d you two meet?

RAII: I attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and at the end of my freshman year, I was invited to join a local gospel recording group, “Cynthia Turner & Heartspeak”. Whitney was already a member of the group and that is how we met.

Was it an initial attraction or did one play hard to get?

RAII: It was not an initial attraction. In fact, the very first time we met was at the CD release party of the first project that the group had recently completed. From my perspective, Whitney seemed very distant and unapproachable. As the group prepared to promote the CD, there were various rehearsals, sessions and performances, and it was during that time that we realized we liked a lot of the same artists. A natural friendship begin and we continued to find mutual respect for each other’s musicality.

WK: It wasn’t an initial attraction. During one of our first trips to Nashville for a performance, him and I talked the entire way. I remember us laughing, singing, discussing music, and mutually enjoying the fact that we had so much in common musically. Over the course of time, while traveling, rehearsing, studio session etc., a friendship and respect for each other as musicians and vocalists grew fast.

How long were you friends before you started dating and how long did you date before you decide to get married?

WK: We met in 2002, started dating August of 2006, got in engaged August of 2009, and married August 21, 2010.

At your wedding you two chose to enter your reception singing, why did you choose that entrance sans the normal way?

WK: It wasn’t officially chosen yet. We talked about the “idea” of singing that song a few months before the wedding but never followed through with it. So, the day of the wedding I wasn’t thinking about that song. I just took it as we weren’t going to sing it and I was totally cool with that. My soon to be husband on the other hand had other plans. So, the ceremony ended and we’re at the reception hall. The bridal party is lining up to be introduced into the ballroom filled with our guests and he comes to me asking if we were going to sing “Spend My Life”. I said, ‘what?! Are you kidding me.’ He says, ‘I burned a cd with the instrumental on it already.’ I said, ‘we didn’t practice, we never confirmed so I assumed we weren’t doing it.’ He said, ‘I know but I think it’ll be good.’ I said, ‘Well if you’re at peace with it then ok, let’s do it, I’ll follow your lead.’ That’s all he needed, he already sent the mp3 to the DJ, the hostess introduced us and we did it. I was nervous as heck because I couldn’t remember the words right up until they opened the double door for me to walk out and start my verse! [Laughs]

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