He’s the homespun harpist with a wildly artistic streak. Of course we’re talking about musician/vocalist Calvin Arsenia whose seamless blend of indie, jazz and live electronic music continues to dazzle audiences all over the world. With two albums under his designer belt (including the forthcoming Cantaloupe), he’s become the toast of Kansas City.
Given his fashion-forward flair and harmonic arrangements, the oh-so conspicuous performer can often be found at some of the most well-heeled philanthropic events in the metro. We caught up with the genre-bending (and gender-bending) artist to find out five things you might not know about him. True to form, they’re quirky and quippy—just like Arsenia himself.
5. “In 2018, I took a trip to Australia, on a whim, for three days. It was delightful. Their possums are undeniably cuter that the ones we have in North America.”
4. “I failed creative writing in college because I was afraid of turning in drafts and being judged by my teachers and peers. Talk about stage fright!”
3. “I have included red, orange, and pink roses in most of my recent events, images, and videos for the last several years. I’ve spilled the delicate, color-saturated petals over balconies at the Madrid Theater, the Gem Theater, and the Midland Theater—and out of the windows onto unaware West 18th Street Fashion Show attendees. The flower that makes my heart go pitter-patter though? It actually comes from the Mimosa Tree—little, pink, fluffy flowers that smell like candy and feel like feathers. The scent lures me back to the simpler days of my youth—alongside anthills and Country Time lemonade on a swampy summer day.”
2. “I had my first kiss at 23 years old. Until that point, I was saving my lip-ginity for my wife on our wedding day. Some things have changed.”
1. “Titanium pins are holding my legs together. At the age of 12, I broke both of my femurs from growing too quickly—a condition called slipped capital femoral epiphysis. Yes, it hurt. Sometimes still does.”