Deekah Wyatt (featured on this month's cover) knows about the zones of comfort and tends to ignore them. The creator of the Cosmic Slop Festival – featuring rock musicians of color – as well the founder of the group Roxolydian, Wyatt stays busy. Playing and performing around metro Detroit seems like, for her, the ultimate dream. As a kid, she "stumbled" into rock via Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, but her father had a better idea – Jimi Hendrix. The exposure literally opened up her skull and freed her mind.
She started creating music and doing the open mic circuit, but that was back when "no one wanted to see a black woman with a guitar for a while." Although the black rock scene is populated by black women, and while the overarching theme extends to something like progress, women still have issues – even in a progressive city like metro Detroit. "There's going to be different genres," Wyatt says. "It ain't all got to be smooth, it ain't all gotta be in E flat. Shake it up a little bit. I wondered what would the world have looked like if rock 'n' roll hadn't been whitewashed? How free I feel sometimes. It's not a miracle cure but a motherfucker feels powerful."
She's encouraged that groups such as Raven Love and the 27s, Cast Iron Cornbread, Blackmail, Scientific Sunshine, and a host of others – Roxolydian included – are pointing the way toward a movement that many don't even know exist; it's happening right in their backyard. The Cosmic Slop Festival was a way to give these groups and others a place to gather. Still, there's plenty of work to do. "The problem I've encountered was being taken seriously," Wyatt says. "I've also had some beautiful moments with people. My experience being a black woman being in rock 'n' roll is misogyny has no color. It's color blind. It's frustrating to me that rock 'n' roll is treated like a redheaded stepchild by black folk. I would just love for us to understand how liberating it can feel."
curvy black woman singing with eyes closed holding a silver guitar with a graffiti wall behind her
Click any of the links below for media coverage from past Cosmic Slop Music Festivals.