We had the good fortune of connecting with The River and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi The River, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I imagine myself on my deathbed and ask her if I would regret giving up at any point I feel weak. There are moments where we have to switch directions within our art and try something new, but that’s not giving up, it’s being innovative. Taking breaks is respecting our minds, bodies, and creative stamina, not giving up. If we are always stepping on the gas we burn out. This is something I’m still learning but my art has gotten better because of it. I have less moments where giving up crosses my mind because I allow the burnout less and less. The reason I embarked on my artistic journey in the first place is because I didn’t want to watch my life go by and look back wishing I had listened to my desires or wishing I had chosen a different path. People doing what they think others want from them over what they want out of themselves is commonly what makes people bitter. I see it in my own family. Giving up at the end of the day has never and will never be an option for myself, music is apart of who I am.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I had always wanted to go to a University and get a degree but there were a multitude of road blockages keeping this from me, the main one being money. I had always viewed myself as the “intellectual” type and I wanted to break generational trends by becoming a scientist. I had ignored my creative self for a very long time even though it was always part of my life in some capacity. I started runway modeling at the age of 14 and I could have taken it further than I did but I didn’t feel fulfilled by the idea of being a model. I felt as though no one would really see me for me, but this experience gave me my exposure into performance, fashion design, set design, hair & makeup, etc.. Through high school, I performed in color guard with two of the top marching bands in the state and did countless concert performances and a clarinetist. I had always written poetry I never even thought of sharing, and when I realized I was able to sing (which I always did behind closed doors) these poems turned into songs. For the longest time, art was only a hobby. It wasn’t until I was almost 20 did I think I could pursue anything artistic as a career. I worked countless soul-sucking jobs in healthcare, corporate companies, and in service industry before I allowed myself the grace of calling myself an artist. I felt like an imposter doing so but now I feel that “artist” the best description of who I am. I work in the beauty industry now as I continue to tirelessly pursue music, but what I have realized is that being an artist is not mutually exclusive to being an intellectual. It takes a fair amount of emotional intelligence to truly be vulnerable with ones art and a massive amount of courage to share that with peers and strangers. I am proud of myself for truly listening to what is actually fulfilling to my soul. I am continuously being humbled as I mature as an artist and as a human. No life path we choose is going to be “easy” and we will always have to put in the time and effort. Putting my time and effort into music makes the most sense to me so, that’s what I will continue to do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take my best friend up to Copper Mountain for the beginning of the week to avoid crowds and we would snowboard all day then warm up by the fire in the evening. Go to local restaurants and coffee shops in the mountains and on the way home we would stop by a hot spring to loosen our muscles. I would take them to local jam sessions and open mic’s so they could meet my friends and watch us play. Such as the corner beet, the mercury cafe, mutiny cafe, herbs, etc. We would go to the studio and I’d show them what songs and ideas I am working on. We would ride bikes through city park, cheeseman, and down town while I explained the lay out and history of the city. I’d show them south broadway and pearl street for their cute shops, bars, and coffee spots. I would take them to my favorite roller rinks and we would roller skate while dancing our little hineys off on adult nights. I would host a board game night at my house and maybe bust out the poker or craps table as well. We would sit on my deck and drink coffee and people watch too.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many influences in my life who have supported me in various ways allowing me to be where I am today. I would especially like to dedicate my shoutout to my musical partner and producer, Sam Goodman AKA Sammy Seeds. He believes in my ability as a musician and has helped me grow in indirect ways by connecting me with other people and always pushing me to do better. He is not afraid to tell me exactly what he thinks about a piece of music and is dedicated to creating a safe space where I can express myself without feeling judged. He has pushed me to release music I otherwise felt insecure about which has immensely increased my confidence and therefore strengthened my ability as a musician. I would not be making the leaps and bounds I am today without him and I am immensely grateful to be making music with him. He has turned into one of my best friends and I cannot wait to see where our dedication to our music takes us.
Photo Credits to Fake Guru productions instagram @the.fakeguru Willym Brown @strawberry_hive Jake Feldman @jfeldmam_mgmt Quincy Brandt @Quincymalik