We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabe Ratliff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabe, what inspires you?
I am inspired by creating, curating amazing artists and sharing them with others, and by inspiring fellow artists to keep creating. Many of us feel that we are not enough. I know I have to be reminded that I am enough each and every day. My goal is to create and express myself freely and to help others to do the same. Life is short. Life is fragile. We only have so much time to find our voice and share it with others and we all deserve to be that voice that we’ve been waiting for.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a multi-hyphenate. For thirty years I’ve been in love with music and creating it in one form or another, from recording several albums, EPs, and DJ mixes to co-founding and playing drums in two different bands, including performances at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, co-producing award-winning multimedia projects to DJing a music festival on the coast of Goa, India. After designing and producing content for corporate and start-up companies for ten years, I started my own company, called ärtful, which is committed to championing creative misfits, especially music artists, by offering community, support, and creative services like photography, brand development, and media production. I produce and host a podcast where I interview creative souls making an impact in the world to dive into the story of how they got where they are. I offer hangouts regularly for music producers and filmmakers to provide support, feedback, and community for those that need it. I also write a blog called ‘Critical Fandom’ where I recommend inspiring films and music worth checking out.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend was visiting we’d definitely check out places like Red Rocks in Morrison (where we’d also go to see a concert) and the overlook on Flagstaff Road in Boulder with a pit stop up in Nederland to grab some coffee in a train car. We’d grab some brunch at Snooze and walk 16th Street Mall to check out the shops and watch people followed by some dinner and cocktails in Union Station. Another day would be filled with shenanigans in RiNo, riding scooters and checking out the amazing street art. Then we’d grab some prosecco on tap at Cart Driver and put our names down to grab some grub at Work & Class. Friday, we’d catch another concert and grab some dinner at Ophelia’s. Saturday, we’d grab some Torchy’s Tacos and get our groove on at Temple, Neon Baby, or Bar Standard. We’d hit up City Park Jazz for a picnic and some chill time with friends to roll off the week then grab dinner after at Plimoth.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to recognize Jon Martinez from Bart’s Vinyl in Boulder. He was a guide on my journey as a music lover, music buyer, and vinyl pusher in the Denver-Boulder area. He is a humble soul who absolutely adores music in all of its many shapes and sizes. He saw the passion and drive that Chris Karns had for the hip hop/turntablist scene and that I had for the dance/electronic music scene, and was very supportive of how Chris and I showed up for our customers, the local/regional scene, and the genres as a whole. He was open to ideas and innovations in how we ran the store and the systems that kept it moving like a well-oiled machine in a time when record stores thrived before the digital revolution. He would share broad styles of music and artists, and promoted musical knowledge in his own subtle ways. He also shared his broad love for music by DJing at local venues like Hapa Sushi where he would truly show his knowledge and craft. We would all light up when he would randomly drop the occasional tale from the scene or encounter with a musical phenom over the years, not to mention his own stories from his punk band days. Jon is a legend on and off the field. Thank you for everything, sir!