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  • Ed Schmieder

Rorie Kelly: Resistance Is Fuel

“Resistance is futile, say The Borg in the Star Trek franchise as they are about to subsume another civilization into the hive mind. That ominous declaration has been lurking in popular culture since the 1970s*. Rorie Kelly stands the notion on its head as “resistance is fuel” in her song “This Girl” from her 2021 album Shadow Work. “May this song help you step into your own inner power - that deep wisdom that can help us overcome anything” she explains in commentary on her website.

Rorie sees herself as an elder millennial; I’d add the word “sage” to that hyphenate. Across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube she beams out her songs’ and their themes both recorded and live, mentors young women-performers, offers her “Shadow Work Self-Care Series.” She’s also a beacon of political progressivism and LGBTQIA+ advocacy. In 2016, she performed at the Obama White House on a day devoted to consideration of the bi-sexual community and its unique challenges: an arts and sociological convocation.

And then there’s the Ladybeast. I asked Rorie about this epithet she uses to describe herself on her website. What does it mean to her? She said it’s not about the genre of songs she writes. It’s about “fierce feminism, a deconstructionist push around gender roles, not being passive but embracing its opposite: “badassery.” And yes, it is about “getting under peoples’ skin a bit too.”

So, what is the Ladybeast’s origin story? Bayville born Long Islander, Rorie has lived in Nassau and spent a couple of years in Brooklyn before returning to Suffolk. She says she and her husband decided to buy a home out here recognizing that Suffolk has its own arts scene that makes going into the city unnecessary. I can speak for The Suffolk and the Long Island Stage that we are thrilled to be a part of the Suffolk scene too.

In recent years she boldly left her day job and as she puts it became an “adult full-time musician.” To quote from Shadow Work’s “Up from Here,” it’s all up from here.

On stage in The Suffolk, you’ll principally encounter Rorie Kelly -musician, singer, songwriter (though she does wear her fierce heart on her sleeve). She said she has two new songs nearly ready to record which we may hear.

And we can expect to hear material from her most recent album Shadow Work. “It’s about shining a light in the darkness and healing wounds. The production is big and dark, and performed largely by just two people – Rorie, and her father/production partner, Kevin Kelly. ’It was exciting to us to see just how much power we could pack into these songs as two humans in a studio with a vision,’ says Rorie. The songwriting looks deeply into topics like self-worth, growth and letting go, and how our culture treats people who don’t fit the mainstream….”

The opening song, “Full Moon Charm Bracelet,” was featured in the 2021 film Hearts and Vines, which won a Telly Award for Use of Music.

Visit her robust website: discover its resources, visit her merchandise pages “The Ladybeast Emporium,” buy a download of her entire digital discography, meet her on her own terms!


DigitalCultures is an online education platform that provides information about the meaning, origin, distribution and public interest of slang terms and phrases used online.

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