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Meet Ruth Nichols

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruth Nichols.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in Hawaii, moved to Florida and grew up on a farm in Michigan. My dad is a music teacher and my mom and sister are nurses that play the flute. I started singing at a very young age and began trumpet around age 12. I went to the Adrian College, University of Denver (BM in Classical Trumpet) and University of Toledo (MM in Jazz Studies). I have been writing songs (Jazz to pop) and lyrics for a long time and decided to come to LA in order to pursue my own artistry. It is easy for a freelance/professional musician to perform covers and play random gigs all the time, but I have made my own voice a priority. I have been through a lot of traumatic experiences and music has always been my way of releasing those anxieties, experiencing catharsis and finding a way to cope and move on.

Being politically informed and reflecting a need for tolerance and equality within the means we are each given is also very important to me. This has led to much writing/poetry about the state of affairs in the US and abroad. My goal is to make music of quality and emotional depth for as long as possible. I live in LA now (1 year in!) and have played with bands like Lemaitre (feat. Stanaj and Maty Noyes), Igor Koga Big Band, Louie Prima tribute band, Jazz Quartets, Salt Petal and more! I have been writing and helping with recording sessions around LA, working for Brent Fischer and Clare Fischer Productions.

Please tell us about your art.
I create music with a message of hope, acknowledgment of despair and daily challenges. The peaks and valleys of great love and triumph are only serviced by the form we give them through art and music. Sometimes I sit down at the piano and write out a chord progression, other times I am furiously writing inspired thoughts that are pouring through my mind (in the moment) and at times I am improvising on trumpet over beats or tracks that inspire me. I am only beginning to come out of my shell as an artist, but I don’t plan on stopping or settling anytime soon and am in it for the lifelong journey. It is my calling as a citizen of the world. To be genuine, considerate and a conduit of emotions.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
-Authenticity
-Quality
-Succumbing to the schedule of social media
-Not playing the long game
-Focusing on marketing or how marketable something is and not the actual ART

Guilty as charged on various occasions for these things. It is hard to sit down and just write something of measure that is also relevant and poppin’ for the culture today. Music consumption is at an all-time high with streaming, but development and higher levels of success are becoming more synonymous with wealth and wealth-based connections. This issue also intersects with the “wild west” mentality of platforms like YouTube and others that are able to break out artists from any background, but are moving towards paid sponsors, paid followers, paid views and algorithms that favor only those with the most likes, “trending” pages that may not actually feature “trending” videos. I could go on, but Congress can barely update copyright laws to fit into the last century so I’ll hold my breath, try not to sweat the small stuff and hashtag everything. #views #hashtag #everything #why

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My website is a good spot and it has links to all my social – ruthtrumpets.com. I regularly use Instagram and follows/likes/comments are of course something people can do to support my journey. For any wanting to do more I have a donation button via PayPal on my site and/or once I release my EP anyone can purchase said EP. I will be having showcases and always have some kind of Jazz gig going on (again gig calendar is on website). Most of all though if people wanted to tell me their stories and how music has changed their lives I would greatly appreciate any messages or conversations about those topics.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Joe Lengson, Vinali Creative, Toledo.com

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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