Whether she’s performing alone or with a group, Chloé Marie Johnson knows how to captivate an audience.
When she performs with her funky, neo-soul band Alabaster Stag, she’s lively, fun and magnetic. She glides across the stage, connecting with her bandmates like family.
Her stage presence has the same effect in theater. She has performed in several Theatre Baton Rouge productions, including the more recent productions of Hair, Little Shop of Horrors and Newsies. She embraces each role as a new persona, with a passion and confidence that makes each performance memorable.
Johnson loves what she does. You can tell by her infectious smile when she talks about her craft.
“I’m working on so many different things, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way,” she says. “I am in the best position that I’ve ever been career-wise.”
The Baton Rouge entertainer wears many hats. She is a singer, songwriter, actress and a prep cook at Elsie’s Plate & Pie. She spends most of her days mixing fillings and prepping pies for the oven, while her nights are often spent on stage practicing or performing.
Johnson’s sound as the singer for Alabaster Stag is smooth, sultry and refined. It can fit in with the indie music scene while remaining eccentric and commanding enough to complement R&B, soul and funk songs.
In solo singles she released in 2019—“Water Sign” and “Blue”—she shows off a unique, alternative indie sound that displays her wide melodic range and soothing vocals. It’s a dreamy contrast to the upbeat, R&B songs she makes with her bandmates.
Alabaster Stag has performed locally at venues from Baton Rouge Gallery to The Varsity since the band formed in 2016. In 2017, the band opened at Spanish Moon for the Grammy Award-winning New Orleans group Tank and the Bangas. It has also taken the stage at local festivals like Baton Rouge Blues Festival, North Gate Music and Arts Fest and White Light Night.
Since the government-mandated ban on social gatherings, much of the events she would’ve been involved in this spring and summer have been put on pause. Johnson and her bandmates plan to use the downtime to work on their debut album to be released later this year.
Music has always been a part of her life. She started playing the violin and cello in third grade and joined a choir in middle school. Growing up, she loved musicals like Chicago and The Color Purple. Now, she gets to take the stage in some of those memorable productions.
Johnson has been cast in Summer Lyric Theatre’s production of Legally Blonde, which is set for June 18-21 in New Orleans. She is also performing at Theatre Baton Rouge’s Summer Auction Gala in July.
“As long as I can make my schedule work with being in a band and also doing theater, I will definitely make it work,” Johnson says. “I don’t see myself doing one without the other, and they both help me in so many different ways.” instagram.com/chloebandita
Editor’s note: Up Next is an occasional 225 series highlighting up-and-coming young artists, musicians and creatives in
This article was originally published in the May 2020 issue of 225 Magazine.