Bushwick singer Krissy Krissy at Park Slope Union Hall

Like a prayer

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She kissed a girl — and got in trouble for it.

Bushwick pop singer Krissy Krissy found her voice at a young age singing in the choir, but got kicked out for kissing a fellow female choirmate.

“It was very traumatic. I felt betrayed because that was a community I was a part for so many years,” said the tattooed 23-year-old musician and songwriter, referring to the church where she made a name for herself through her distinct voice.

The young singer was a star soloist at the place of worship and landed a spot in the adult choir at just 14-years-old. So when Krissy Krissy — born Krislyn Rivera — got booted out of the homophobic church, it took a heavy toll on the budding gay singer.

“It felt like everything was a lie,” she said.

The California-born artist who grew up and still lives on gritty Decatur Street honed her soulful, raspy voice and developed a following at a very different kind of institution: local karaoke bars such as North Sixth Street’s Lulu Lounge, where she was discovered by her current manager after singing rock icon Melissa Etheridge’s “Like The Way I Do.”

The up-and-coming singer, who will perform with her band at Park Slope’s Union Hall on Aug. 14, has taken her real-life experiences like getting thrown out of the church, her romantic relationships and breakups, and the death of her father to create her debut EP “Above All,” which was released last year.

“When I sing it’s not a lie,” said Krissy Krissy, who brings listeners on her life’s journey through generally upbeat, feel-good music. “I try to bring them into my story. I like to bring them on rollercoas­ter’s I’ve been on.”

The straight-shooting singer, who is inspired by artists like Adele, Etheridge, and the Beatles, said that her authentic tell-it-like-it-is ways stems from her growing up in a two-bedroom apartment with a family of eight in Bushwick where gunshots ringing through the neighborhood was not uncommon.

“The area I was raised was super gutter,” she said. “My music is straight to the point and I get a lot of that not beating around the bush from the area I lived in.”

The catchy single “Suspicious” from Krissy Krissy’s debut album, which has a humorous Vevo music video on YouTube, is based off of the feelings of jealousy she felt after rightfully suspecting her ex-lover of cheating on her.

The rising singer recently got her own station on Pandora Radio and is gearing up to go on her first tour across the country with rock band Hunter Valentine and Girl In A Coma.

“The world will see a lot more of me,” she said. “I just want to keep grinding and work my way to bringing Bushwick a Grammy.”

Krissy Krissy at Union Hall [702 Union Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 638–4400,]. Aug. 14, 8 pm, $10 online, $13 door.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at

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Reasonable discourse

Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
What an extraordinary story! A talented young artist who is local, who is from the neighborhood, is spurned by her community for being gay. Meanwhile, her own gritty Bushwick has become an artist's mecca which embraces her and which is also, tragically, part of the cause of the displacement of her own local community. This is a big, heart wrenching story! Kudos to Musumeci. Thank you, Krissy Krissy! I hope you can forgive the peccadilloes of your local choir, for it is also clearly the source of great talent in Bushwick.
Aug. 3, 2013, 8:05 am
diehipster from pissing on rooftop kale says:
Just pulled up a random video of her. Not a bad voice at all. However, someone should tell her to lose the unoriginal, played out fauxhemian Bushpointburg look and vibe. I mean really, look at the predictable picture: ski hat in the summer, overly tattooed, L train in the background, etc, etc. She should realize that once its known you are a struggling artist from Bushpointburg, you'll remain a struggler.

The [real] music industry already knows of the laughable North Brooklyn scene of the last decade and of the thousands upon thousands of failures that flew in from the cul-de-sacs of the U.S.A to be sucky self-proclaimed artists and musicians. That's why you never hear of anyone 'making it' out of those neighborhoods.

So Krissy, if you're reading this, don't listen to Ethan the racist and gentrification cheerleader (you'll find his other comments on this site as The Chooch who speaks in the 3rd person), listen to me - a real Brooklynite and a voice of reason: lose the ski hat; remove the visible tattoos, get contacts; stop posing in L train stations; and tell people you're from NJ or Sheepshead Bay or Florida. Trust me on this.
Aug. 3, 2013, 8:45 am
T-Bone from DoBro says:
Sorry Jerome. She doesn't have to change for you or anyone. Your just as bad as that church. Haven't you been priced out yet? The day will come. Maybe Swampy will let you move into his basement.
Aug. 3, 2013, 10:32 am
Bohemian Goombah from Morgantown says:
And Dennis has a woodie for some drag queen. It's a joke, the hipster-hating mooks on these threads are closet queers. It's hilarious.
Aug. 3, 2013, 11 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Stamped out with a cookie cutter - right out of central casting.

Nice cartoons on your arms though.
Aug. 3, 2013, 11:37 am
jay from nyc says:
don't know about all the other comments on here, guessing people think they are funny, but that picture IS lame.
Aug. 3, 2013, 12:28 pm
The Chooch from Transgendered Brooklyn says:
Lesbo, you're totally missing the thread here. Can you read? You have a closeted homosexual man from Brooklyn, ragging on an openly gay woman from Brooklyn. He's a troll in a basement in Dyker Heights. She's a rising star in Bushwick. The Chooch rests his case.
Aug. 3, 2013, 12:33 pm
o3 from bk says:
diehip actually made a (semi) cogent comment...disregarding the hate acourse.
Aug. 3, 2013, 12:38 pm
The Chooch from Transgendered Brooklyn says:
You're waffling, Dennis. And ducking. I can tell from the insecurity in your very short "03" and "bk" tags. Diehipster totally sank himself on this one, and you know it. And now you're not sure you want to go down with that boat. You should have thought twice before jumping into this creep's camp after the Chooch knocked the two of your heads together. Now here's my proposal. Let's take this one off this thread. This artist deserves all of our applause. Let's agree to that and scram. We can pick up again somewhere else, hopefully after the two of you get out of your closets. You should be ashamed of yourselves, laying into a talented homegirl like you do.
Aug. 3, 2013, 12:52 pm
Charlene from Park Slope says:
Transgendered: I dont see anything against her being lesbian in Diehipster's comment. They are just making their usual observational humor of that common and tired uniform that hipsters seem to wear. You though seem to be accusing people of being closeted homosexuals and mocking transgendered people with your name. Or do I have it all wrong? You're typing as if you're the victim here.
Aug. 3, 2013, 2:42 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
I actually agree with diehipster this time.
Aug. 3, 2013, 3:29 pm
Nigel from Brooklyn Heights says:
To Charlene's point. No, the comment does not involve remonstrations with her lesbianism per se. It only involves bad faith. For if the fellow is homosexual and not saying so, and he takes issue with her look and style, and she is openly homosexual, then I am afraid there is a credibility gap in his comment, no matter what the comment. In the scope and tenor of his comment bearing upon her, I would call it encumbent upon the commenter to be forthright about his own homosexuality (or lack of it, of course) at the very least.
Aug. 3, 2013, 3:51 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
I must say it's the first time I've seen diehipster depart at least marginally from her schtick. There is hope for the future. The rest of us, who respect talent, skill, and ambition no matter the source, can take heart that there is a point, no matter how remote, beyond which the haters cannot truly follow. Whoever we are, wherever we are, let's raise a glass tonight for the the light who comprise Krissy Krissy, and against the dark who are diehipster, SwampYankee, Pat I, and Tal, and all those who are like them. In the end, love always wins.
Aug. 3, 2013, 8:31 pm
The Chooch from The Brooklyn Renaissance says:
Scott. I raise my glass as well to this talented daughter of Brooklyn.

Swampy. Spare me your unctuois hypocrisy. Suddenly you are an advocate for gay rights. Well, how about extending some "tolerant civility" to hipsters, artists, and bohemians. If you can't take it, don't dish it. If you want to play dirty, the Chooch can play dirty. Your call.
Aug. 3, 2013, 9:29 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
There is no need for an advocate for gay rights. It's the 21st century. There are no separate rights. Everybody has the same rights in all ways and in all things in Brooklyn. You just don't seem to get it. Perhaps it's different in the flyover state you came from before your extended playcation in gritty BushPointBurg . Now why don't you put on your Where's Waldo suit, get on your adult Big Wheel and peddle on over to the house of someone born Brooklyn and hit me with some rolled up Kale.......oh, and barista me some espresso on the way
Aug. 4, 2013, 8:56 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Winner of the Woody Allen Look-a-like Contest!
Aug. 4, 2013, 10:33 am
bkmanposuer from brokeland says:
Cant we all get along.
Aug. 5, 2013, 9:08 am
The Chooch from gentrified Brooklyn says:
"Get along", what is that supposed to mean? You can go to or the gothamist or the Times and "get along" all day long. The comments of BP are not for getting along. Enjoy them while they last.
Aug. 5, 2013, 10:02 am
The Chooch from gentrified Brooklyn says:
And if you can't take the heat you can stand on the sidelines and watch the homoerotic gaucho and the transvestite goombah slug the crap out of each other. It's a rare and colorful display of Brooklyn culture.
Aug. 5, 2013, 10:08 am
bkmanposeur from brokeland says:
Gothamist? That rag is just devisive. Chooch needs a drink and its not even lunch time.
Aug. 5, 2013, 10:23 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Her songs include:

I'm a Victim, I'm a Victim, I'm a Victim.


Poor Me
Aug. 5, 2013, 1:15 pm
The Chooch from Bushwick Rooftop Farm says:
Swampy, you're missing the point. The Chooch is merely amused that you mooks always turn into granola balls as soon as the rumble gets a little thick. You seem to think you have a monopoly on politically incorrect speech. You can give it, but you can't take it. You always call time out as soon as the fun begins. The Chooch never calls time out.
Aug. 5, 2013, 4:58 pm
Bruce from Brooklyn says:
My question is why did sexual orientation need to be mentioned at all? Why not an article about a talented new artist from Brooklyn who will playing at Union Hall? What is this obsession with sexual orientaion.I dont need to know. I dont want to know. Who cares as long your music is to my liking..
Aug. 6, 2013, 8:31 am
The Chooch from transgendered Brooklyn says:
Because, Bruce, sexual orientation is a big part of the story. Did you read it?
Aug. 6, 2013, 8:54 am
Bruce from Brooklyn says:
Yes Chooch I did Thanks for stating the obvious.. My point is it didn't need to be the focus of the story. I am sure there is more to this womans story than her sexual orientation. It doesnt matter. How about more about where she grew up? Was it Brooklyn or someplace else?The style of music?The instrunments she plays? Who writes her music?Anybody who hasnt been living under a rock can guess her sexual orientation from the photo. The reason why it was focused on in this article was to light a spark under all you regulars here so you will do what you always and predictably do.
Aug. 6, 2013, 9:22 am
The Chooch from Morgantown says:
Well, Bruce, "The California-born artist who grew up and still lives on gritty Decatur Street" ... and who grew up "in a two-bedroom apartment with a family of eight in Bushwick ..." etc. ... was kicked out of her choir because "She kissed a girl."

I disagree, Bruce, I don't want the nitty gritty on what style of music or type of instrument she plays. This isn't Guitar Player magazine. What is interesting about this story is precisely what it talks about - artists, locals, LGBT people, and someone who is all three.
Aug. 6, 2013, 3:36 pm
Bruce from Brooklyn says:
Sorry Chooch but there is nothing special about proclaiming you are LGBT. There are gay people all over Brooklyn who live their lives very succesfully without having to tell the world of their sexual preference. Its getting old and tired. But I do thank you for her biography.
Aug. 6, 2013, 6:06 pm
The Chooch from Trandgendered Brooklyn says:
She's not trumpeting her LGBT identity, Bruce. She's saying she was kicked out of a choir for being gay, and that IS news. Consider that this happened only about 9 years ago. Williamsburg was full of openly gay and transgendered people and had been for at least a decade. Yet homophobia persisted in conservative enclaves among the locals. The Chooch thinks this story speaks miles about the parochialism of so-called "authentic" Brooklyn, and the progressive influence of hipsterism in the borough. Makes my point. You're welcome. Any time. It's a pleasure.
Aug. 6, 2013, 7:11 pm
Bruce from Brooklyn says:
I don't know? I grew up in authentic Brooklyn in the 60's. Most of the people I grew up with had no issue with LGBT folks. Thats not to say I didn't know people who were homophobs. But the same can be said for many people growing up today. My point really was that this paper not the artist trumpeted her identity to get people do do what you and I are doing right now. The artist of course is what she is because of her life experiences. Nobody should or could take that away from her.
Aug. 6, 2013, 7:53 pm
The Chooch from anybody''s Brooklyn says:
I can live with that. I've been in Brooklyn for 30 years this year, and you're right, the vast majority of native Brooklynites are indeed unbiased and cosmopolitan people.

But then you have some of the ethnic communities that practice abuse and try to cover it up, or they isolate people, and so on. Seems like Krissy Krissy may have experienced some of that.

And then the very small handful of anti-hipster reactionaries you find on these comments are really just more resentful than anything else. They would be fine with gentrification and sponge parks and artisanal rooftop farms if it were native Brooklynites who were doing these things.

But the change and innovation is mostly coming from out of state, and that's what they're bent out of shape about. It's really just base nativism, there's no rational system to their rants.
Aug. 6, 2013, 8:39 pm
Bruce from Brooklyn says:
Sounds right to me Chooch. But there are people from ALL ethnic communities that have bias not just certain communities. As far as the anti hipster stuff goes I agree with you there. If nothing else they bring some nice restaurants and lower crime rates as they move into some of the rougher areas and change them.
Aug. 6, 2013, 9:50 pm

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