Female Country/Pop Duo www.pickingviolets.com
This is an incredible and inspiring female country/pop duo, Picking Violets, whose journey has led them to provide a hopeful future to orphaned children and impoverished families in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
As you’ll see in this short, 3-minute video snapshot, longtime friends Erica Stone and Kelly Weston have used their voices and their passion for two very different reasons. Their lives have been shaped by two extremes; from the ups and downs of the music business to their unrelenting fight to save orphans in Sierra Leone with the creation of 501 (c)(3), The Raining Season.
The entire journey began with Erica and her husband’s challenge to adopt a child from the plagued African country. After an intense and grueling 3-year process, they finally brought home their little girl Jayda in 2004. It was through that experience that their eyes were opened to the devastating conditions thousands have faced since the end of SL’s brutal civil war. Kelly shared in her friend’s devotion to the people of Sierra Leone and together, with like-minded volunteers, are now running an orphanage filled with close to 100 children. The two decided they could not wait for their music career to skyrocket to make their voices heard. This is a story about two girls, armed with nothing but the will, passion and their beautiful voices to make a difference.
They have stood up against a corrupt government and child trafficking and continue to work with officials to change the country’s regulations. Their fan club, called The Tribe, is not only a place for fans to follow the music, but also gives them a chance to join the cause. Erica and Kelly’s volunteer network has grown immensely and they consistently bring more people to Sierra Leone, many of which are in the process of adopting children from the orphanage. The Nashville music community has been supportive of the cause, as well, with contributions from artists like Charlie Daniels, Reba, Little Big Town and Sara Evans.
This outreach also coincides with the release of Picking Violets debut single “That Would Be Me” impacting radio June 15. It is the featured song you hear throughout the video.
We were holding and touching children who were starving to death. We hoped that once our music took off that we could use our platform to improve the lives of others. Then it was like, why wait? The longer we wait, the longer those children suffer. – Erica Stone
Ironically, the dual industry thing – the children’s home and the music business – works well together. We experience life in a way that a lot of people don’t get to, and then we can take those experiences, and they become music and they become songs. - Kelly Weston