By Diana Leyva
Volunteer State Community College hosted a performance by Kin of Hearts on Tuesday March 3rd in Room 105 of the SteinhauerRogan Black Humanities building at its Gallatin campus.
Kin of Hearts is a musical of American Sign Language signing group composed of Kaitlyn Connor, Krystelle Lorraine, and Kaylee Magro. The group performed several songs which included songs by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Elton John, Lizzo as well as an original song titled “Reflect.”
The group’s performance was centered around songs with messages of self-love and female empowerment. When asked about the message that the group is trying to convey Magro, backup vocalist and ASL interpreter, said, “You always hear the saying that women empower women, but we just think women empower people. If you can have a positive, encouraging and powerful woman I think that we can change the world.”
Connor, the group’s pianist, is a traveling musician and is new to the group, having joined just 2 weeks ago. However Lorraine, main vocalist and backup signer, and Magro came up with the concept of a singing signing group a little over a year ago. They wanted to make music more accessible and to create awareness. Lorraine said that the group is a work in progress, as initially there was no intention behind what they were doing. They said they just felt the need to collaborate and create something. Eventually it became bigger and greater than they say they could have ever imagined.
The name Kin of Hearts was inspired by being from the South, and from feelings of family. “This is kind of like the family of passion, the family of heart. So you don’t have to be hearing, you don’t have to be deaf, you don’t have to be anything, except show up as you are and if you want to be in collaboration with our vision then we want you to be a part of it,” said Lorraine.
The group’s main goal is to continue doing what they love, which is providing connection and music accessibility to all people and do it as mainstream and globally as they possibly can. Kin of Hearts has already performed at other schools, music festivals and deaf events. “We want to be everywhere and do everything,” said Lorraine.
The group is mainly local as of right now, but they hope to expand to other cities and venues. They also said they hope to do more writing together and eventually be a band that performs solely their own music.
You can connect with the group on Instagram at