We had the good fortune of connecting with Deborah Solo Collins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deborah, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I learned so much about balance after becoming a mother. Before, I could write songs whenever I felt inspired and I had lots of time to fit music students into my schedule, while I was working and getting my degree in Music Education. I also had lots of time to perform. But once I became a full time mom, I was worried that I wouldn’t find the right balance and that music and teaching would slip away. Fortunately, I have a really supportive partner in my husband, so together we made it a priority that we both still carved out time for the things we needed outside of being parents and making a paycheck. I was able to still teach two evenings a week, which I love, and even start my band, Deborah Solo Trio, when my first daughter was just six months old. I may only have four hours a week to dedicate to meeting my band and we may only perform once or twice a month (or not at all during the pandemic) but it is so much better than nothing, and over these six years, that dedication has added up to a lot. We’ve created a full length studio album and performed at amazing venues all over Colorado. Now, Instead of sitting down to write songs whenever I want, I learned to sing melodies and ideas into my phone, so I can come back to it. And I’ve learned to tap more easily into my creativity, out of necessity. It’s also been so helpful to write music with my band members, because they can do a lot of the creative heavy lifting for me and it gets done so fast.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work with Kari Clifton (cello) and Chad Johnson (percussion) in our group, Deborah Solo Trio. We are a Denver based indie-folk band that features acoustic guitar, cello, warm percussion tones, three-part vocal harmony, and lyrics that sink in. We strive to write music that is meaningful, relevant, true, beautiful, and accessible upon the first listen. Our music features themes of love, growth, and living in a chaotic cultural moment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think Roxborough Park is amazing and never too crowded. That’s a great place to see the foothills without having to drive too far.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to Shoutout Swallow Hill Music Association. When I graduated from MSU Denver in December of 2013, I thought I’d be a full-time stay at home mom for a few years before I got a chance to work as a music teacher, but a good friend got me in touch with Swallow Hill and they were so enthusiastic and passionate about music and teaching. They made me feel like I would be a perfect fit with them. They allowed me to teach one evening a week, and helped me get my foot in the door for so many opportunities. I’ve met the most wonderful students through working for them. They’ve booked my trio for many different gigs and I felt so connected to the music community through the people there. I was able to work with colleges to do the things I was passionate about, like leading the first two installments of the Young Songwriters Workshop and Showcase. I love participating in the annual teacher feature concert as well. I’m so in awe of the amazing staff and talented, nice teachers that I get to work with there. Swallow Hill is a nonprofit and is struggling during the pandemic, by the way, so they could use support from the community.
The three pro phots I uploaded (the three of just me) are credited to Kathleen Bracken Photography