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Check out Michael Ramirez’s Music

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Ramirez.

Michael, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I started listening to music when I was a young child, maybe six to eight years old. My father turned me on to music and I haven’t lost the love for it ever since. I started playing guitar at 11, learning Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Iron Maiden songs. Eventually I got into heavier and more technical music and continued to develop my technique throughout the years. After high school, I attended the Los Angeles College of Music and studied Guitar performance, where I learned to play many different styles of music and really developed as a musician. I then returned to my hometown and began giving lessons at a local music school. After 3 and a half years of teaching, I looked to do something different with my life and decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. I served as a Marine Corps Musician in New Orleans, Louisiana playing guitar and some percussion. During my enlistment, I started writing music every day as a way to escape from my day to day struggles in the Marine Corps. This music would end up being the songs that are on our first EP. After my 4 year enlistment I decided to go back to the Los Angeles College of Music and get a degree in Audio Engineering and Music Production. While at LACM I met drummer Max Brayman and guitarist Traverse Such and decided to start a band to play my music. I also asked my wife, a graduate of LACM’s bass program to play bass. If you’ve seen us live, you may have also seen guitarist Aldo Gongora play with us. We’ve been gigging throughout 2019 and plan to continue playing shows as long as we can.

We’d love to hear more about your music. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I think my art happens when it’s just me, my guitar, and my fingers wandering on the fret-board. I just play familiar shapes, chords, and patterns until I hear something that catches my ear. Sometimes I’ll hear a melody or a rhythm that I think can be developed into something, but a lot of the time it’s stumbling upon something by accident and developing it further. I like to write instrumental pieces. Sometimes an idea has to be forced to fit a certain shape, but I find that letting the music go where it wants to tends to make better songs. For me creating music is the most fulfilling outlet in my life. Writing a song is like trying to solve a puzzle and I love that. Since there aren’t any lyrics, it’s kind of difficult to get an obvious message across to an audience, but I think if people are drawn into the music and take the time to listen, they can pull some meaning out of the song. The music and the artwork all come from the idea of change. People don’t necessarily have to get this connection and can decide what these songs mean to them. There are no expectations from the audience. If people end up liking or appreciating the music, that’s amazing and it makes us happy.

Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Today artists have it harder in some aspects and easier in others. On one end it’s really easy to start recording your own music through your personal computer and there are so many resources to learn how to get better at creating your own music. On the flip side of that, this leads to a lot of people doing the same thing. An over-saturated market of artists that are trying as hard as everyone else to get better every day and it can be hard for artists to be unique. In a city like LA I think it can be difficult to get noticed because there are so many musicians, bands, producers and songwriters, but if you look in the right places and meet the right people, you can find many resources that can help artists thrive. Voyage LA is a perfect example of that.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
We try to play as much as possible and can be found frequently in Pasadena and sometimes the DTLA area but we are currently focusing on recording our upcoming single, “Mocha”. We plan on releasing it sometime at the beginning of 2020. People can look us up and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, Spotify, Google Play, Itunes and Youtube Music. If people want to support us by purchasing merch or our ep that’s awesome. If people just stop by a show that’s cool too. People can do whatever they want, regardless we will still be making music whether people like it or hate it.

Image Credit:
Photographs by Ariel Renee and artwork by Kristina Wheeat

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