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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jacob Gonzales

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacob Gonzales.

Hi Jacob, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My family is originally from LA (from Compton to Simi Valley), but I am born and raised in Oxnard, CA. Originally I was soaked in music (mostly hip hop) as a child from my father. But my parents divorced and my mother became a hardcore fundamental Christian (Jehovah’s Witness). Music, art and many other things became exiled from me.

I became deeply interested in underground music for its progressiveness and challenging conventional ideologies. Oxnard is known for its “Nardcore” punk/metal scene that thrived in the 80s. I started going to backyard punk shows at 16 and delved into underground music (hip hop, punk, metal, industrial, etc.). I moved out 18 and finally left the religion around 23.

Life seemed like a restart, so I got into martial arts and music, the two things I felt like I needed in life. But was not allowed to pursue. Thus I swan dived into martial arts and music, and it turned out I was good at both.

I started learning how to produce music, DJ and ran a monthly night in my area under the name “Club Fallout.” Since leaving the religion, I lost my family, friends and job. It felt like a nuclear bomb dropped on my life, and I was figuring out the aftermath. From being homeless, couch surfing, renting tiny rooms, quitting jobs, getting fired from jobs, I have sacrificed everything for my love of music and art.

Covid allowed me an opportunity to get a studio in Hollywood for cheap, so I took it. I have been grinding since then. DJing where I can, networking, throwing events and overall curating a safe space for all those who feel like they have been rejected by society or have to fight to be themselves. This includes the LGBTQ+ community and all those who challenge “traditional” thinking.

I just had my seven years anniversary for Club Fallout, I have released my second EP (in collaboration with my queer best friend) and got approved to play my first festival. I am working with End Overdose to spread drug abuse awareness and am interested in working with more charity events. Just collaborated with a friend’s collective to help raise money for homeless woman.

I want to continue to push forward in music, arts and charities. But the expenses of life always hinder my progress. I just turned 34 a couple of weeks ago and have never felt so tired and happy at the same time.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Zero support from family to pursue music or art. I quit my 9-5 as a graphic designer several years ago. I got fired or force quit for about five jobs in a row, which greatly depressed me.

Wearing too much black, getting tattoos, and overall not having a “corporate culture” attitude led me to quit my last job. That last boss told me not to play any “n***** music” in the office. He didn’t know that I am part black. Ventura County has a nickname, it’s Ventucky.

Getting venues and local support for Club Fallout is like pulling teeth. My home base was a Chinese restaurant, where we did events for free or cheap. I remember somebody off main street calling Fallout a “tranny club,” which helped me put things in perspective.

Los Angeles is more open-minded, but money is god in a capitalistic system. I somehow got connected to the underground and fell in love. I was able to DJ hip hop events and run club fallout in weird cool spaces.

But they do not call it a starving artist for nothing. Especially when you are trying to spread ethereal, thought-provoking music.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a graphic designer by trade. I also got deep into martial arts and have taught boxing, kickboxing, grappling, etc. DJing seems like second nature to me, I love it with a passion, but top 40s can drive me insane.

Since quitting my 9-5, I have done whatever I can to make ends meet. But I apparently have a knack for certain types of “art.”

Be it graphic design, martial arts, yoga, DJing, I take to it like fish in water. But all these things do not pay too much. I am currently figuring what to do to help supplement my income and return to the workforce.

What makes you happy?
As much black as I wear or heavy and aggressive the music I produce, It comes from an energy to combat religious oppression, inequity, racism, and overall prejudices that chain the evolution of the human spirit.

DJing to a crowd of diverse people of all walks of life and seeing them smile and dance away any pains and worries makes me happy,

Teaching martial arts and making people healthier and more confident in themselves makes me happy.

Seeing friends and people grow, evolve and spread equality and love makes me happy.

Why?

Because I believe many influences in this world are unhealthy and feed on the vices of modern society. Combating this overwhelming flood of worshiping materialism and ego makes me happy.

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