About Krista

Krista O’Connell is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and violist from Virginia Beach, VA, who now calls the Washington, DC area home. She has roots in folk, country, rock, and blues and enjoys improvising, writing original music, and creating unique covers. She started playing guitar when she was 12 years old and instantly fell in love. Nearly two decades later, music is still her blood, sweat, and tears, and she’s passionate about uplifting women in music and showing that women can rock. Her musical influences include Maggie Rogers, Susan Tedeschi, Gillian Welch, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Sublime, and more.

In 2010 she was a finalist in the TAO’s Sea Level Festival’s Emerging Artist Showcase in Norfolk, VA.

Streaming now: Fight or Flight

Her debut EP, “Fight or Flight,” is now available on streaming platforms and for download on Bandcamp,  iTunes, and Amazon. The EP contains thoughtfully crafted songs with a full band, exploring themes of the natural world, anxiety, isolation, and hope.

DC music rocks

Krista loves being a part of the vibrant DC music scene. She is a member of the Songwriters’ Association of Washington (SAW). She’s performed at many venues in the DC area, including the Songbyrd, Pearl Street Stage, Arlington Acoustic Cafe, The Vinyl Lounge at Gypsy Sally’s (RIP), and numerous coffee shops, breweries, and farmers markets. She’s been a featured songwriter for showcases at the Local Cream at Hank Dietle’s Tavern, the DC Music Summit, and other events.

Listen ma, I’m on the radio!

Krista’s original tunes have been featured on WERA’s Local Music Scene radio show, WHRO Out of the Box radio show, the Women of Substance Podcast, and the Formative Tracks podcast, and many Spotify playlists (see Features for more).

Not just a singer-songwriter

Since 2021, Krista has played viola in the Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra, which is based out of Rockville, MD. Listen to our music on Spotify.

From 2007-2009, Krista headlined the rock band Rusty Pliers which played across Virginia Beach. As a student at the University of Virginia, she was a part of the student-run recording group O Records (now University Records) and played guitar in a jazz combo.