We had the good fortune of connecting with Cliff Beach and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cliff, what role has risk played in your life or career?
A ship is safest at the dock, but it will never fulfill its purpose if it does not lift anchor and set sail out to sea, which takes risk. Now it needs to be a calculated risk, you don’t want to go on a fool’s errand. You need to bring the boat close enough to the dock to make the leap, or you will end up in the water, and could possibly drown when being too risky. In my life and career, I have had to take several risks. Currently my latest single Black Moses, forays into politics and social concerns which I do not normally address in music. It even uses the ‘N’ word. Some people may love it, some may hate it, and some may be offended but as an artist you have to not be afraid to say something fearing what others will think. At the end of the day all I can do is my best and hope to land on my feet. But no one who ever did something to be revered or remembered played it safe. If you want to successful you will have to take a risk at some point.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Berklee-trained, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, keyboardist, the host of the Deeper Grooves Podcast and owner of California Soul Music Record Label based in Los Angeles, CA. What sets me apart most from others is that I wake up every day and only try to be the best me I can be. My mom gave me a Snoopy card once for my birthday which said “Be you. No one can ever say you did ‘you’ wrong.” Being in LA and working on my craft the last 17 years has not been easy. There are tons of challenges in the Entertainment industry. Even at almost 40, I am amazed that I am still doing it. So many times, I wanted to quit, and so many people I went to conservatory with do not play music anymore. The only way to overcome the challenges is to have what Angela Duckworth calls ‘Grit’. She defines it as “passion and sustained persistence”. Basically, it means never giving up, even when it seems impossible, and even if you do not get the desired outcome. I have been kicked in the teeth, punched in the gut, knee’d in the balls and almost swallowed up by LA, the industry, disappointment, despair, addiction, you name it, but you know what? I am still standing. And that is a testament to my sticktoittiveness, determination, and will-power. I have learned you have to be tough and grow a thick skin. You have to seek out mentors. You have to find the lesson in every trial. You have to keep going, long after the fun and excitement has faded. It will never be easy. I am the Rocky Balboa of music. I am the person you will root for after what seems like years of being bludgeoned by circumstance. In all I have accomplished I know you have to celebrate those small and big wins a like, because you earned them, they were not handed to you. I can easily look back at my catalog of work and show anyone how I invested my time wisely. My brand is to be as funky as you want to be. God Made Me Funky and I am 100% unapologetic about that!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I were going to plan something fun to do in LA, most recently I went to visit the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena. They have a lovely café where you can sit outside and watch the sunset while sipping iced tea and eating artisanal salads, sandwiches, meat & cheese plates and desserts. Then I would hit up Rhino Records in Claremont (owned by Ben Harper’s mom) and go vinyl collection shopping, walk around a bit and then end the night with a drive-in movie or concert! LA has the best weather, the best food, and a great culture and nightlife. I have lived in several metropolitan cities, but no other place has the beach, the mountains, the city, the suburbs and everything in between quite like LA.
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?
I would like to dedicate a part of my success to self-help books and audio programs, the first being Earl Nightingale, The Strangest Secret, a million selling Gold Record which launched the spoken word business, motivation and audio publishing industry. It is summarized as talking about not conforming to the world’s standards and views but making and adapting your own, by continued self-education; as Earl famously once said “You are now, and you do become, what you think about.” This phrase has had a profound effect on me. I would also like to thank my Mom who is my biggest fan, contributor, and supporter. Her taking a risk to have me, ultimately gave me life and a loving foundation to lead me to success by taking my own risks. What I think about most is not how it can be easy, but how I can continue to improve, and thus I think about my personal growth and development and I see growth in that area in my life and career because of it. That’s the secret success formula!
Sheldon Botler Hoai Doan Luis Narino