We had the good fortune of connecting with Adri-Anne Ralph and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adri-Anne, how do you think about risk?
I think that doing anything out of the ordinary, especially pursing a dream, involves risks. And to really go after something involves a lot of sacrifice, so there is always the risk that what you’ve sacrificed for your dream may be lost, or not worth sacrificing in the long run. But I believe that risks are important and even necessary for innovation, creation, and expression, and I admire people who pursue their dreams and ideas whole-heartedly.
The first risks I remember taking artistically were risks to my own ego. Self=expression that affects others really does require vulnerability and any artist who puts themselves and their creations out into the world risks rejection, looking foolish, and failure. One thing that has followed me through my life, that I have lived by is something a dance teacher told me in high school; The only thing between you improving at your craft is your own ego — because often our own worries about how others see us keeps us from trying new things and risking failing at them, or looking foolish.
Another big risk that I took was moving from my small hometown community in Canada to work with a music studio and non-profit music program in Southern California. I had some money saved, but I didn’t really know where I would live, how and if I would find work, and where I would fit into any sort of community. I left behind my family and friends, and an established career as an MA to pursue music and songwriting, and to work with at-risk youth at this non-profit, just trusting that God would use it to take me to the next step on my journey.
Thankfully, the studio and community I worked with became like family, and I eventually gained a foothold in the music industry, met and married my husband, and started a family. Looking back, sometimes I can’t believe my courage at taking such a big leap of faith, but I am so glad now that I did.
Recently, we had some health issues in our family, which meant I had to dust off my MA diploma, and return to work in a medical office to pay off some medical bills. However, as time went on, my husband (also a musician) and I realized that although this was helpful for a season, that I thrive when I can work on creating and teaching music. So, after praying and planning, we took another risk for me to return to music and music teaching full-time.
Logically, this doesn’t make sense — in fact it was difficult for me, because I didn’t want to leave the security of a regular paycheck, despite feeling like I was withering away inside! But looking back again, I remembered the risks I took, the trust I had in God, and the amazing things that resulted, and especially how I was always taken care of and provided for. So we are taking another risk, and I’m excited to see where this one leads!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a vocalist, a songwriter, and a vocal coach. I also do in-studio vocal production, which helps singers best use their voices to interpret the material they are singing in recordings. I love pop, R&B, soul, and gospel music, and you’ll hear those influences in the music I sing and write. I grew up loving jazz, too! As a singer and songwriter, I feel I’m always being stretched between the two extremes of making music that makes me want to dance, and music that has depth and emotional impact. I try to pair honest, fresh lyrics with strong melodies and beats that are fun to listen to, and have good groove.
I’m still not where I want to be professionally, but some things that I’m very excited about are all the releases I’m putting out this year; the music I worked on over the course of the pandemic and lockdowns is finally being put out into the world! I have two or three more songs set to be released this year, and two that have been released. The enthusiasm and response I’ve had to my new releases has been so humbling. I’m very excited to see what the next couple of years holds in terms of my music career.
One of my greatest challenges has been believing in myself enough to step out of my comfort zone and just put my work out there. Living here in LA/OC surrounded by so many people excelling in the music industry, it can be difficult not to constantly compare my work, and where I am in my career, to the musicians around me. I periodically have to take breaks from social media and just cocoon myself creatively to re-center and refocus on where I am and what I need to do.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Two of my favorite things to do in L.A. are eat and laugh. Whenever friends visit, I try to take them to a Comedy Sportz show — it’s a family-friendly comedy show that’s improvised, so it’s different every time, but always hilarious. Another things I love to show off to visitors is the variety of great food — starting with the classic Pink’s hot dogs, to amazing fusion cuisine!
Being an artist, I of course like taking my artsy friends to art galleries, live music, and the Getty Center. Even just walking the grounds of the Getty is refreshing and inspiring. To the south, I love showing off the beaches at Laguna, La Jolla and all the attractions in San Diego, too.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents for sure deserve a shoutout for supporting my efforts and encouraging my creativity in all its forms throughout the years! But I also want to give a huge shoutout to Joey & Lisa Arreguin at Love & Laughter Music Group for being my California family. When I was lonely, confused, and just trying to find my way here, they supported and encouraged me, even letting me live with them for a while until I found housing of my own, and they were patient mentors to me as I matured as a singer and songwriter.
Other: Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/7v4lQcynFMbBpcIdzfqqtX?si=mbh4EyirQZSi2Zj5AAenZQ Soundcloud – https://www.soundcloud.com/adrianne_r