Female band LA’DY says creating music boosts their mental health

The 5 musicians say they work together seamlessly

LA’DY is an all-female band that features soulful vocalist Ashley Kimbrae, guitarist Ari O’Neal, keyboardist Kris Callazo, bassist Zuri Appleby, and drummer Michel’Le Baptiste. Together, they make melodic R&B music while working with producer Harmony “H-Money” Samuels. Their latest single “Love Me Down” dropped on May 3, 2023.

The band opened up about how they met and how making music helped them deal with various stressors in their lives.

How do you all work together so cohesively?

Ashley Kimbrae: We work with legendary, iconic producer Harmony Samuels. I met him some years back when I was trying to get some records. [At the time], I’m living in L.A. and trying to figure everything out, but he had this idea. He was like, “How do you feel about a group?” I was like, “What do you mean a group, like a girl group?” He was like, “No like a band, [similar to] Mint Condition but a female band.” Literally immediately the next morning, I called him and I was like, “I love it, let’s do this, and figure it out.” Finally, everything was formed in 2019. We have just been vibing, working on our project, and getting everything going. I think since it’s actually something that’s building and growing, it’s really just a natural situation. For us, it’s not something that’s just put together like most groups, [which] helps with our chemistry with each other. It’s really become like a sister bond for us. We’re just really close, and I think it really helps along the way with creating. Since we are all creatives that helps us respect each other.

How have you all managed your mental health while creating music?

Ari O’Neal: I feel like we all go through different things. We don’t know what anybody is going through. I feel like in our music, when we came together to write this stuff, people were going through stuff on gigs, going through breakups, going through stuff with their family, and [we had to] respect people’s spaces and where they are. We did have those days in the studio where people were crying, people were upset, or people were happy but [we] just respected where we were in that moment, and still came together in that respectful space to make this music. I feel like we were able to do that through our music, and I hope people feel what we were feeling when we wrote that stuff.

Kris Callazo: One thing I do want to say is, I want people to be OK with talking about how they feel. Don’t feel like you have to hold it in. There’s somebody out there that relates to you and that connects with you. There’s somebody that’s going to love you and support you.

Zuri Appleby: Doing what you love is so healing. I’m so grateful for these women in this group because, in some of my really dark moments, I had a reason to get up and go do something.

Michel’Le Baptiste: We are in different industries where it takes a toll on us. If you can’t go to therapy, just speak to somebody that you know you can trust.

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