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Meet Isabella Reyes of ViolinistBAKA in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Isabella Reyes.

Isabella, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started pestering my mom to let me play violin when I was two years old. It was just something I HAD to do.

I was finally given one at four years old and from then on out it has been my best means of communication, my truest expression of self, the path I walk on in life, and the one thing I know will always be there for me at the end of the day. Now it is also my livelihood.

My training has mostly been in classical violin, through a handful of amazing teachers and two college degrees, but my adventures in music have taken me way beyond the stuffy, quiet concert halls we often associate with classical music. From video game music in recording studios to shredding metal violin in front of a crazy mosh pit, I’ve been lucky enough to play so many roles as a violinist.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course not! I don’t think it’s possible to be an artist and never run into bouts of crippling self-doubt or disillusionment. Being a creative sort of person means often having to stop and question what you’re doing, WHY you’re doing it, and whether all the effort is worth it.

As a kind of odd musician, I’ve also really struggled at times to find “my people”. In big city like this one, it’s so often seems like your success depends on who you rub elbows with, who you party with, and what musical groups you align yourself with. It’s an uncomfortable and often futile-feeling paradigm, but I have run into many amazing people along the way who I now regularly collaborate with. I wouldn’t trade those connections and experiences for the world.

ViolinistBAKA – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m a classically trained violinist who revels in bringing my musical abilities to a wide range of settings.

Need someone to add strings to the beats you’re producing? I’m there for you. A refined live classical player to bring a dash of elegance to your event? Also my jam. Collaborating with a client to bring whatever musical ideas they have to life is one of the most satisfying parts of the work I do.

I also collaborate with an assortment of local artists – particularly fellow musicians and visual artists, with a particular lean towards street art and fashion.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It’s a tough choice, but I’d say it was getting to play all of the violin parts in the soundtrack for the 2019 Scifi/Drama movie “Life Like”.

Not only was it a collaboration with Katy Jarzbowski – one of my favorite composers to work with, but it was also for a feature-length movie of a genre I love.

When I got to watch the film, my musician ears kept going to the soundtrack and I remember thinking “Wow, these violin solos really sound beautiful! I wonder who’s playing it – – – waaait a second…” It was a really awesome, surreal experience.

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Image Credit:
Mikel Darling, Sandro Razciel, Libby Keefe, Summayah Ansari

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