When speaking to Kaitlin Bailey and Curtis Stith, the musical duo who head up the local group Ozymandias, it is clear they have big plans for 2016.
2015 was already huge for them; they grew from an acoustic act working open mic nights at area coffeehouses to a four-piece band playing Triangle venues alongside much more established acts. Their excitement is palpable when discussing their upcoming performance in the Afton Music Showcase at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre on Sunday.
Bailey and Stith, both 18, are pretty young to be building as much local buzz as they are right now.
So, how have these folk-pop kids found the music business so far? And do their parents constantly leave college brochures next to their guitar cases?
“I think our parents are all cautious, but they all trust us,” says Bailey. “We do our research and stuff like that, and I have a couple of family members in the music business who are always giving me advice.”
Stith chimes in, “To be honest, this whole music scene in the Triangle, and especially Carrboro, is really kind of accepting. It’s really not been very full of people trying to trick us or anything, and it’s been really nice to just see how generous everyone has been to other artists just starting out.”
That generosity has been one of their biggest surprises. Stith knows the band still has a long way to go, but says they’ve gotten help in unusual places.
“We were on a bill with some friends in Runaway Cab and Honor Among Thieves, and they let us open up for them one Friday night at Deep South in Raleigh, and they didn’t have to do that,” Stith says. “We weren’t bringing in that big of a crowd yet, but they wanted to meet us and hang out.
“A lot of the local clubs have given us slots that weren’t that lucrative for them, but they are kind of helping welcome the new band to the neighborhood. As a new artist it feels like you are on the outside looking in a lot of the times, but I think the key for us has been meeting people and being open to new things.”
Stith admits to feeling pressure about booking a show at the Lincoln. “There’s a lot of pressure to perform well, and a lot of pressure to get the ticket sales up,” he says. “It’s definitely exciting, and almost overwhelming.”
Bailey is more measured. “I think we’re just excited to have the opportunity,” she says. “We’re just excited to play and meet the other members of the bands that will be playing with us that night.”
For a band whose origins began as a writing exercise, they are looking at a promising future. And if Ozymandias is already booking the largest venues in Raleigh, maybe their biggest successes will come in larger markets.
But first there is the Lincoln on Sunday. The band realizes this will be their biggest step into the spotlight of the local scene, and they are doing everything in their power to make an impact.
“We’ve already had a great response from locals noticing that we have booked the Lincoln,” Stith says. “We’re practicing to get our set as tight as we can so that we can impress all of the people that work at the Lincoln, so maybe we’ll get invited back.”
What: Afton Music Showcase featuring Ozymandias, VEDA ST, Earl Bullard & the Steelbenders, Father and others
When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Lincoln Theatre, 126 E. Cabarrus St., Raleigh