top of page

Louise Page

Pianist and singer-songwriter Louise Page reminisces about finding herself through a bit of luck, persistence, optimism and betting on herself.

Photos by Houston Cofield, Photos by Robbie Eubanks

Fun fact, I was born in Wisconsin. I don’t remember it because we moved to Central Pennsylvania when I was one. I grew up in a little town called State College, or as the locals call it, ‘Happy Valley,’ because State College is a silly name for a city.

It’s where Penn State University is. So, it’s literally the state college town. It’s one of those classic college towns that is very tiny, but with a huge University that doubles the population when school is in session.

It’s really different from Memphis, State College has an almost ‘Pleasantville’ energy to it. There is not a lot of crime there, and I remember being 10 or 11 and being able to go on walks at night without having to be worried. There was only one highschool. When I moved to Memphis everyone would ask what highschool I was from and I had no idea what they were talking about because we only had one in the whole city. It was just a very different world.

Both of my parents are originally from the South, my mom is from Memphis and my dad is from Greensboro, North Carolina. My mom ended up meeting my dad when she went to Davidson in North Carolina. They landed in Central Pennsylvania because my dad is a German professor.

The reason being, Central Pennsylvania is where a really huge population of native Pennsylvania-Dutch speakers live. You know how you’ll see crossing signs for deer or children playing? Back home they’ll have signs with Amish buggies on them. You’ll literally see people in buggies going down the street. So, yeah, that’s where I grew up.

My dad teaches at the college and my mom works for the university as a lawyer. I have two siblings, my oldest sibling, Briar, is an artist and an author, and my middle sibling, Charlie, is a dentist.

There are a lot of music lovers in my family, but not a lot of musicians. My dad loves to sing and he played the trombone in high school, but he’s not a professional musician.

When I was five years old, my family got a piano. They bought it for my older siblings, but I was really into it. I’ve always loved things that made noises, bleeps and bloops. So when we got the piano, it was like, the best version of a toy I could ever think of.

‘Oh, my God, every single thing on this, you press it and noise comes out. This is the best toy of my life.’

I was like, ‘Oh, my God, every single thing on this, you press it and noise comes out. This is the best toy of my life.’ I absolutely loved it. I ended up being the only one that was really into the piano lessons.

Our piano story was a classic tale of a woman from our church, Mrs. Nancy Willis, who taught us lessons. All three of us would go together. My siblings lasted a couple of years, but I stuck with the lessons. When I was in high school, I began taking lessons from a very talented pianist named Koya Ohmoto, and my skills soared. I took piano lessons until I was 20, and now I’m 27, so I’ve been playing piano for the past 22 years.

As far as seeing live music, my only real experience with live music growing up was in church.We went every Sunday growing up, and to like a youth group type thing once a week. I am not very religious anymore. I’m spiritual, but not religious.

Regardless, I had a great experience in church growing up. Honestly, it was a really positive place for me. It was a very accepting church and I got to sing in the children’s choir, which I loved to do. When I was in elementary school I got really into musicals. I tried out for a couple of parts in our little local theater productions. The biggest part I ever got was playing Mrs. Darling in our school’s production of Peter Pan in eighth grade.

If you google Louise Page ‘Tender Shepherd,’ which is the solo Mrs. Darling has in Peter Pan, there’s a YouTube video of me from like, 2007. It’s pretty cute.

The town I grew up in is about three hours away from New York City. My mom also really loves musicals and musical theater, so we always went to a ton of local productions. I always felt really lucky about that. But one year, for either my 11th or 12th birthday, my mom took me to see Wicked on Broadway and it blew my mind.

A couple of birthdays later I asked, ‘Can we go see Wicked again?’ Those memories are some of my favorites. I always thought, ‘Wow I have the coolest mom ever, I can’t believe she’s doing this.’ But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that it was really fun for her too, which makes it even better.

When I got to high school, and I think this was true for most people, you try to find ‘your’ thing. Are you a ‘sporty’ kid or like, the ‘nerdy’ kid who is really smart and good at math. I was a ‘music’ kid. I played piano and, little known fact, the oboe. Throughout middle and high school I was in all of these different concert bands playing the oboe.

I definitely didn’t have a band and wasn’t playing shows as a solo musician, but I really loved playing music. I did start writing music back then, but I only showed my best friends or boyfriends.

I had some insecurities back then, especially with my appearance. When I was that age I was a really late bloomer. I looked like a little kid when everyone else was trying to look older. I still had braces and acne when most people were kind of done with that. Being older I know everyone’s insecure at that age, honestly, but I was just really nervous to share the songs I’d written.

At the end of the day, and I really mean this, my songs are like pure expressions of how I feel. So I had a very real fear, especially when I was 14, of sharing these songs with someone and them thinking they were bad. I just wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

‘When I’m older, I would love to be an actor or a singer. I just think that I could make people smile by performing. That’s what I’m really good at. And also, I’m a knockout. I’m beautiful. So people would love to watch me perform.’

It’s funny, because for years, I told myself this story of, ‘Oh, I was always insecure. And it wasn’t until I was an adult that I found myself.’ But, a couple of summers ago I found a diary of mine from when I was in the sixth grade and I had written something like, ‘When I’m older, I would love to be an actor or a singer. I just think that I could make people smile by performing. That’s what I’m really good at. And also, I’m a knockout. I’m beautiful. So people would love to watch me perform.’

It made me remember that who I am now is really similar to my inner child. I thought it was really cute. I was like, ‘Oh my god, like I really actually had great self esteem until I was maybe like 12 or 13.’

I had my friends who I was really close to but I definitely wasn’t like some super popular kid. I was kind of nerdy, but like, not quite nerdy enough to get super picked on or anything. I was in the marching band. So sometimes I’d get teased a little for that. Especially when we would have to wear our uniforms to school. In marching band I actually played auxiliary percussion because, fun fact, you don’t play the oboe in marching band because double reed instruments are too fragile.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I was writing songs and still playing piano and taking lessons throughout highschool. But the songs I wrote were really for me personally. Maybe I’d show my best friends, but when I did it was a whole ordeal of me being like, ‘Okay, I’m really going to play. Oh my God, I’m so nervous. Can you look the other way?’ Then I’d play it and sing really quietly. I was extremely terrified to share my music.

After I graduated highschool I knew I didn’t want to go to Penn State. I really knew that. Something like 90 percent of my graduating class went to Penn State, because it’s right there. My parents both worked there and both my siblings went to Penn State. But, I knew that I wanted to move. I was definitely a kid with ‘big city’ dreams. Most Memphians might think it’s funny because they don’t consider Memphis a big city, but to me it was huge.

My grandmother lives in Memphis and we would visit her growing up. She had gone to Rhodes and always wanted her kids or grandkids to go too. But I really wasn’t sold on it. I really wanted to go to Boston University, but when I toured Rhodes to appease my grandmother, the tour guides really sold it to me. And it is a very beautiful, fairytale like, campus

But, what ultimately sealed the deal was the scholarship I got to Rhodes, which made the price comparable to Penn State, even with the employee discount. I ended up not getting a scholarship to Boston, so I moved to Memphis which was the right move.

I got to move to a bigger city, broaden my horizons and I still got to be around family. In a way Memphis has always felt a bit like home, because growing up we would visit maybe once or twice a year to see my mom’s family.

There’s no zoo in State College, so the Memphis zoo was my zoo growing up. Most of my ‘city experiences’ growing up were connected to Memphis.

So at Rhodes I majored in creative writing and minored in German and gender studies.

For the first few years I went there I was trying to figure myself out. The other passion I had growing up, besides music, was writing. I had this thought that deep down I always wanted to be a performer of some kind. But I literally, it’s kind of ridiculous to reflect on, thought that at 18 I was too old for that already. I was like, ‘Oh, I didn’t star on a Disney Channel original TV show, or whatever. So it’s too late for me. I’m never gonna make it.’

And I also thought, as many people think, if you want to be a musician, you’re either going to be struggling super hard and playing on street corners for pennies or you’re like a super famous mega celebrity. I didn’t realize how much fits in between. I didn’t realize that you can make a living being a musician. I think with the age of the internet, more and more people realize how many artists exist in those gray areas.

I was still a kid, maybe that’s more of a societal problem, but there’s a lot of pressure to have your whole life figured out at 18 years old. I feel like that sends a lot of people down some weird paths.

I would say the first four years I lived in Memphis, 2012 to 2016, most of my friends didn’t know that I even played the piano. College was a really hard time for me in my personal life.

I found that when I went to Rhodes, and this is just my personal experience, that there was this very specific Southern culture that lives within the wealthier conservative echelon of people who went there.

In my hometown, and remember that it was a small town, I had like this short haircut and a tattoo that I had gotten right after highschool. None of my friends saw that as overtly crazy, or even edgy I don’t think. But, at Rhodes I got pinned as this ‘super edgy and crazy punk’ girl. And it’s not that people didn’t like me, but that it just wasn’t who I was.

You know, I’m like a nerd. So, I kind of struggled to make friends. I did make a couple of really, really good friends. But it was like the sort of thing where I would get invited to parties, but I wouldn’t get invited to study with people or have coffee or just hang out in more casual ways.

So I felt kind of lonely at Rhodes. It was just a really hard time for me. I was experimenting with partying and drugs, and I had some really negative experiences with men.

Back in highschool I had gone to maybe a couple parties, but I wasn’t drinking any alcohol. I might have smoked a little weed, but whatever. I really wasn’t some big party queen in high school or anything like that. I really was kind of a dork.

So then being thrown into this drinking and drug culture, which is college in general but Rhodes at large, was a lot for me to handle. I had a couple of really close friends who were really struggling with hard drug addictions, which thankfully, wasn’t my struggle, but that still impacts you when someone you love is dealing with that.

I had one of my closest friends pass away from a heroin overdose my sophomore year of college. It was absolutely horrible. I felt the worst I ever had and I felt isolated.

Rhodes really encouraged their students to stay behind the gates, but I did end up getting a job at Urban Outfitters later that year. And that helped me make some friends and opened me up to the rest of Memphis.

I really don’t want to paint a totally negative picture, because it really isn’t all of Rhodes fault. I got a good education and there are some professors and friends I still keep in touch with to this day.

But I think my friend dying really changed who I was. It made me really realize that people die young.

If there are dreams you have you have to start chasing them. I went through this moment where I wanted to drop out of school and write the ‘Great American Novel,’ but thankfully, I have a really great and practical mom who always has my back. She basically just told me, ‘No, you’re not doing that.’

So I stayed in school but just didn’t show up a lot and was having a really hard time keeping up with my classes.

Since Rhodes is a smaller school, this is something I’d really like to commend them on, the staff really worked with me to get me back on track. I think if I had gone to a larger school I would have just failed out and gone unnoticed by falling through the cracks.

But since I had been a good student up to that point, and a student had died, my professors let me make up work. I was really, really close to flunking out.

One professor in particular, Dr. Bigelow, reached out and was like, ‘You were one of my favorite students this fall, why didn’t you come to your finals? Is everything okay?’ I think I would have dropped out of school if he hadn’t reached out like that.

While all of that was going on I also had a string of pretty terrible relationships in college, which anyone who’s been through those knows they just really impact your whole life. I was in a physically abusive relationship when I was really young, the kind of young where you don’t even know you’re young. I was probably 20, so I thought I was grown. Thinking back, I was really just a child and I had no idea.

I’ve been blessed and cursed with a very forgiving heart. I’ve stuck with some people who I probably shouldn’t have.

At this point in my life I was in a bad place. I was suffering from the grief of losing a friend, trying to get back on track with school, and dealing with this very physically and emotionally abusive relationship. My self esteem was at an all time low. We did end up breaking up, but I held a lot of resentment towards him.

That was the time period where I kind of forgot who I was. I forgot that I liked to be in front of people, that I liked to perform. I forgot that I liked myself.

That was the time period where I kind of forgot who I was. I forgot that I liked to be in front of people, that I liked to perform. I forgot that I liked myself.

To a lot of the people I met when I first moved to Memphis, me playing music might seem to have come out of nowhere. But it really didn’t, I just wasn’t in a strong enough place to be performing or sharing my songs. I didn’t think I was good enough. And again, just like in high school, I wouldn’t be able to handle people critiquing my music.

I was mainly trying to just get through school, and I thought I would probably leave Memphis after I graduated. At that point Memphis had been sort of a rocky road for me.

I ended up graduating from Rhodes in 2016 on time, and still to this day I’m not exactly sure how I did it. If you look at photos of me from my graduation day, I swear I’ve never looked happier in a photo. My little joke I make is, ‘Some people graduate Cum Laude, some Summa Cum Laude, but I graduated ‘Thank the Laude.’ I graduated with a degree in creative writing and minors in German and gender studies.

I was still working at Urban Outfitters the summer after I graduated and the store was putting on a ‘Girl Power’ pop up event. The event didn’t specify who was going to play, but advertised that there would be artist booths and women-led musical acts.

JCKSN AVE was actually scheduled to play, but for some reason they had to drop out really close to the day of the show. I was scheduled to work the event and the store manager at the time, Chance, knew I played piano.

At that point I was 22 and I had dipped a toe in the water and posted a video or two of me playing and singing on instagram. Anyway, we really needed someone to play and Chance asked me to. He was like, ‘You’re already scheduled to work, so why not perform instead?’

I think I needed someone to push me to play a show, because I was still overcoming my low self worth. So, I played this show at Urban Outfitters and I was incredibly nervous about it. Thankfully, I was surrounded by a lot of friends and coworkers who were extremely supportive.

At that event Lucy Hall and Emily Zachry, who ran GRRL PUNCH, saw me play and approached me afterwards and were like, ‘We really liked your music. We have this magazine called GRRL PUNCH. Would you want to play at our event later this month?’

It just felt very cosmic that my manager would make me play this show and then I would get booked for my next show at that first show. I’ve played shows pretty regularly ever since then.

It just felt very cosmic that my manager would make me play this show and then I would get booked for my next show at that first show. I’ve played shows pretty regularly ever since then.

I don’t know if I would have ever played with music without that push. I had gone through this terrible time in college and had really developed stage fright from my self esteem being so low. But underneath all of that was still this born performer that I was as a child. That show gave me the kick I needed.

Not long after that show I got a job at the library with my English degree. I was playing music as a hobby on the side and working at the library full time and had started a new relationship with somebody.

I worked at the library for about two years. For the record, I think the Memphis Public Library is a great organization. I made a lot of friends there who I’m friends with to this day.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the right job for me. In my last semester of college I was diagnosed with ADHD, and I think that has helped me understand myself and my personal challenges a lot better.

I realized when working at the library, that a nine to five job is going to be something that’s always really challenging for me, because there are some days where I do have that focus, but others where I just simply don’t. And in our corporate culture world, taking mental health days is not something that’s necessarily encouraged.

Anyway, I was at this job for two years and I was dating the same guy I was when I graduated college. I was just like, ‘Wow. This could be the rest of my life. I could marry this guy and work at this job forever and no one would stop me.’ I just felt so old and so depressed.

There was nothing necessarily wrong with this guy I was dating. We just weren’t for each other. There was nothing inherently wrong with the job either, but it just didn’t feel right.

So then another event happened that totally changed my life and my whole perspective on the world. One of my best friends in the world, one of my best friends from high school, overdosed on heroin in August of 2017 and was in a coma.

It was really hard for me to get the time off I needed from the library to go and be with her. I really resented the fact that when something that’s really important to me, as a human, happens, I can’t take that time off.

I got this message from her stepmother that was like, ‘She’s on life support in the hospital, they just intubated her, we don’t know how long she’s gonna last or if she’s ever gonna wake up. So if you want to come say goodbye, now’s the time.’

So, I went into my boss’s office with this ‘If you don’t give me this time off, I’m just going to quit’ energy and she let me off. I really prioritized going up to say goodbye to my friend.

I flew to Pennsylvania and visited her in the hospital. Seeing her there was one of the saddest moments of my life.

That’s how I know I’m still a spiritual person. I knew it could not be a coincidence, it had to be real. I sat there all day with her, trying to make her laugh.

I hadn’t seen her in person in maybe two years. And when I came in her dad was sitting there and said, ‘Hey, Louise is here.’ I said, ‘Hey, I’m here,’ and she started crying. It was the first time she had done anything in over a month. At the time the nurses said that she might not actually know I was there, it might be a coincidence or whatever, but I was like, ‘Fuck no it’s not.’ That’s how I know I’m still a spiritual person. I knew it could not be a coincidence, it had to be real. I sat there all day with her, trying to make her laugh and telling her stories about high school and college.

I could only stay with her for a day because I had to go back to work. But I like to think that day helped.

The doctors told us if she does wake up, and that was a big if, she’s going to have a really hard road and might be permanently physically disabled.

It is nothing short of a medical miracle that she didn’t die. She was in a coma for six weeks, but she defied the odds and woke up. Her life has been a big struggle since. She suffered a lot of brain damage from being in the coma and pretty much had to relearn how to do everything. Luckily her story does have a happy ending.

She started in a wheelchair and then moved to a walker then to walking with a cane, and now she can walk unassisted.

She has a beautiful, healthy, young daughter, and I’m honored to be her godmother. It’s just a really happy ending.

At the time I had this huge existential crisis. It reminded me of my friend who had died four years previously.

It turned out better than we ever could have hoped for. But it did end up being a very hard journey for her. Watching her in her hospital bed, totally helpless, reframed a lot of my life in my mind. It was one of the few moments in my life where I truly had an epiphany, and I had two of them.

The first was this: I was so sad and mad at myself that I hadn’t seen my friend in two years, and now she might die. I had a lot of bitterness and hatred towards my ex boyfriend who had physically abused me. I talked about it and I talked about him a lot. I spent a lot of my energy trying to make other people hate him like I hated him.

I just had this lightbulb moment of, ‘I’ve wasted all of this energy hating this person I hate when I could have been spending my energy loving people I love.’ I want to spend my energy loving the people I love. This fucking guy doesn’t deserve my energy. It totally reframed how I thought about forgiveness, revenge and healing.

Our time with people is often shorter than we realize.I don’t want to spend that short time thinking about people I don’t even like. It’s absurd and doesn’t make sense.

Now for epiphany part two. I realized that the relationship and job I was in were making me miserable and depressed. But, I chose those things. I have autonomy over those things. I’m staying in this job and relationship because it is the easier thing to do.

I feel that it was also stemming from being in an abusive relationship. It’s like ‘They’re not so bad. I mean he’s not punching me in the face, so it must be a decent relationship right?’

It’s harder to spot when a relationship just isn’t working out for more normal reasons. Anyway, I realized that I chose this life. No one made me do these things, but I also can’t live my life for other people. The guy was honestly more of a douchebag than I’m painting him to be, but I’m trying to be nice.

I came to terms with the fact that I hated my job and I was unsatisfied with my relationship, and most of all I realized I have the power to change things.

That same year I put out my first EP, Salt Mosaic, and it was pretty well received. I had some money saved up, so I was able to quit my job and I broke up with my boyfriend.

I remember when I told my parents I wanted to quit the library and pursue being a musician. My parents were very supportive and are wonderful people, but they were worried about me because it’s an obviously less stable career. They said something like, ‘You know, Louise, not a lot of people make it as a musician.’ And I was like, ‘But some people do. And why not me? I’ll never know unless I try.’

So I started working part time at Fox and Cat Vintage and finding several recurring gigs playing piano. I did that for about a year as a transitional thing. It’s really hard to dive into music full time. Shoutout to the guys in Spaceface and to Marcella Simien, because they really gave me some great pointers and advice during this period.

They also showed me this middle ground for musicians that I didn’t know existed when I was younger, that there are people who are successful, full time musicians, even though they aren’t charting number one on the Hot 100 or whatever.

They also showed me this middle ground for musicians that I didn’t know existed when I was younger, that there are people who are successful, full time musicians, even though they aren’t charting number one on the Hot 100 or whatever.

They make a career out of music because they’re talented and they work hard. Marcella helped me get the gig that I have at the Zebra Lounge. She also told me, ‘Your moneymaker is going to be that you’re really good at the piano. It’s hard, especially at first, to make money off original music. But if you let it be known that you’re good at the piano, and you’ll play at people’s bars, restaurants, weddings, whatever. That’s where you’ll make your money.’

That’s been very true. The core reason why I’m able to be a full time musician is because I’m very skilled on the piano. Not to brag. It’s just true, and people pay for that skill.

After I released that first EP in 2017 I had kind of cobbled together this band that wasn’t really intended to be my live band. It was just that I wanted some extra instruments on the EP that weren’t just the piano. But, we played a show together as a full band in 2017 and we’ve kind of stuck together ever since, though there have been a few key player changes over the years.

One band member who’s been with me from the start is Annalisabeth Craig. She’s been along for the whole ride.

In 2018 we went on this East Coast tour, which was a great experience. It was like a two week long tour, and we went all the way up to New York City and back. I got to play a show in my hometown and was very supported, which was a wonderful experience.

I released my second EP, Simple Sugar in 2019, which was also the first year I worked solely as a musician. I released my first full-length, Silver Daughter, later that year. I was on this hot streak working with Blair Davis and Calvin Lauber at Young Avenue Sound, who are both really dear friends of mine and really talented people.

I know that over the years I’ve gotten a lot better. I don’t think that I was bad when I started out, but practicing and playing shows definitely builds up your experiences and your confidence.

I’ll be the first person to say l I was really insecure when I first started. I didn’t think I was that good. So if you want to come to me and say, ‘I heard you in 2016 and I didn’t think you were that good.’ I agree. I was shocked that anyone thought I was good, because I was still finding myself and had really bad stage fright. I would shake and tremble before my shows. I would drink a lot before my shows. So no, I don’t think I was the best at all. I feel like not everyone, but people who don’t know me very well might misinterpret me as some sort of megalomaniac, but that’s not who I am. I’m just optimistic.

I think social media causes people to misinterpret others. You don’t actually know someone on social media, you just know what they’re showing you. I try to have an optimistic and positive spin on almost everything I put out into the world, especially on the internet. I think that sometimes that can be misinterpreted by people as me not understanding that the world is a hard place, or that I’m being ignorant to the suffering of the world.

Or maybe that I’ve never suffered or that I’ve never struggled myself. I know that I do have a lot of privilege. I’m a white woman. I went to a liberal arts college, so on. But to anyone who interprets me that way, I think what they don’t understand is I really do struggle with my mental health and with depression. That positive spin is as much for me as it is for other people. It’s the kind of stuff I need to see. My brain is constantly telling me that things are not going to be okay in the end, things are terrible, or I shouldn’t be here, whatever.

So anytime I see anything positive or uplifting or hopeful it helps me. I think hope is such a cornerstone to human existence. You have to have things you hope for and things you’re striving for or you get depressed. So that’s as much for me as anyone else. There’s this form of depression that’s colloquially referred to as ‘Smiling Depression.’ Robin Williams was a great example of it. A lot of people who are depressed spend a lot of energy in making other people happy. They feel so low that they can’t bear the thought of making anyone else feel that way. They want to be a person who lifts people out of their low points instead of embroiling them within them.

Even if I write a dark song I try to have something about it that feels empowering, or something about it that feels hopeful.

I just read this quote from Nelson Mandela that read, ‘May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.’ I feel like I’ve always kind of tried to live that way. I have a lot of fears and anxieties about things, but I try to make choices based on what I hope for, not what I’m afraid of.

Another thing that’s been important to me throughout my career is getting paid for music. I’m a huge advocate for musicians getting paid for their work. If you have a skill that people want you should make money for it.

On the other side of that, as much as I’m financially able to, I also really like to play as many shows as I can that are raising money for causes that I care about. I think there’s a way that you can use entertainment to make social activism really fun and accessible. You go to the show, you pay the cover and just have a great time like you would any other weekend, but you’re also doing something to help your community. I’ve always been really into that idea. So that’s been really important to me since the start of my journey. I try as much as I can to give back through music. This is true especially in a COVID world.

We’re all sick of the pandemic. I would like to say, please do not ask musicians, unless you’re very close friends and are having an intimate conversation, about how 2020 was, because the answer is ‘It was awful.’ It’s been really tough. I worked really hard to be a full time musician, and then out of nowhere, it was gone.

During the worst of the pandemic my depression was in full force. It was just terrible. I made ends meet luckily. I’m privileged enough that my parents helped me out in the beginning until I was able to start teaching enough piano lessons to make up for the loss of live shows.

The pandemic is terrible and people died and people suffered and people are still dying and suffering. And I don’t want to make light of that by finding a silver lining, but again, as I’ve described, that’s kind of part of who I am.

I think many people, and especially self-employed people, realized that they were overworking themselves, myself included, before the pandemic.

And when the pandemic hit, there was this huge contrast from ‘I’m busting my ass to prove myself’ to ‘Who am I trying to prove myself to?’The answer is, ‘I have no idea.’ I kind of realized that as long as I’m getting my bills paid, I don’t need to do that to myself.

When you work for yourself, especially as a musician or an artist, there’s this need to prove yourself. You’re playing four gigs a week, writing songs during the day, recording, carrying all of this gear around, managing social media, practicing, coordinating shows and so on. And when the pandemic hit, there was this huge contrast from ‘I’m busting my ass to prove myself’ to ‘Who am I trying to prove myself to?’

The answer is, ‘I have no idea.’ I kind of realized that as long as I’m getting my bills paid, I don’t need to do that to myself. It’s helped me pace myself more and that has been good for both my mental and physical health. On the other hand it also made me realize how special it is to connect with people. When I played shows pre-pandemic I’d always have this groovy moment where I’d be like, ‘Grab a friend and dance. You neve know, this could be your last night on Earth! What are we gathered here for on a Saturday if not to dance and be together?’

Now. It’s different. It’s basically like, ‘We survived the apocalypse. Think back to that time last summer when you were sitting at home wishing with all your heart that you could be out at a show! Let’s dance!’ Even though I have some heavier songs, I try to make my live shows really uplifting and fun.

Another thing to come out of the pandemic was that I wrote a bunch of music and I recorded some of it with Calvin Lauber at Young Avenue Sound at the end of 2020.

It’s different from anything I’ve released before and it is 100 percent me on the EP. Just me and a piano. The record is kind of a reflection of my pandemic experience and the isolation that came with it. I really try to capture the loneliness and solitude of those moments. It’s called Play Nice and will have three solo renditions of older songs and four brand new ones.

A music video featuring one of the new songs, “Mirage”, directed by Laura Jean Hocking, will be released on September 13. I’m really excited to share it- I love working with Laura. The record will be released shortly after the video this fall.

I’m really proud of this upcoming record and I feel that I’ve grown as a musician over the last few years. This is something that would have just scared me to death at the start of my journey. It’s a really stripped down album and I feel somewhat vulnerable putting it out. It’s pretty much the antithesis of my first release where I put together this band to take away some of the spotlight from me. It was a big fear of mine to face and I’m proud of that. This release is the bare bones of my music and I’m excited to see what people think.


bottom of page