We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Frisby and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
One of the musical projects I play with, The OSYX, developed the non-profit organization, This Could Go Boom! in a whirlwind of brainstorming, excitement, and activity. The band was gaining some attention in our hometown of Washington D.C., and we all wanted to create something that would optimize all of that energy and continue to grow in a community driven way. This Could Go Boom! is a grassroots, community supported organization that inspires, supports, and champions voices that have been excluded from much of the world of music creation based on gender identity. Looking back, it seems like TCGB! was a spark of an idea being passed around with cocktails amongst friends one day and was a full blown mission driven organization that was conducting talks at The Hirshhorn Museum and the Kennedy Center, presenting more than 150 artists in paid performances, participating in the Smithsonian Folk Ways Festival, launching a collective learning group for independent artists, and releasing new albums through its record label arm the next. But in reality it wasn’t a lightening strike. Each of the founders had been collecting the experiences and developing the ideas and skills that would lead to this moment over years as performing musicians. The thought process arose from an intersection of the past – the collective wisdom that each founder brought to the table. This aspect is what tied each of us deeply to the mission, the ways that we had experienced discrimination, what we saw as the problems that needed to be solved. The present – the energy and focus that we had to do the work at that perfect moment in time. The future – our willingness to grow and change, to respond to the actual needs of the community and to welcome input and support with a full commitment to holding space for and being open to how all different women, nonbinary, agender, and gender expansive folks with different life experiences interact with the music world. As with many mission driven organizations, we envision a world where one day we are no longer needed, where the world has shaped itself in a way that embodies equality, and equity for all. For now we are still seeking support, volunteers, new board members and collaborators as we continue to prioritize lesser heard narratives in music.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a multi-disciplinary artist with a community activist and DIY bent. I am also a teaching artist and was working with a music education non-profit in Chicago when I decided to leave everything behind and live in a car with my then partner booking shows and playing music all over the country. After several years of living on the road I moved to Washington D.C., specifically for the diverse and robust independent music scene. I quickly became involved with The Sanctuaries D.C., a community and training course for arts activism. This experience really pulled everything together for me. I realized that I didn’t view my activism, visual art, music, and teaching as separate, but rather as a way to live and explore an artistic and spiritual “theory of everything”. It was very difficult to let go of everything that I had learned about self-marketing, genre, compartmentalizing, multi-tasking and give over to what felt more natural to me, a mindful process of artistic connectivity. As often happens, this sort of awakening in life brings on synchronicity and I found myself approaching what was possible with more curiosity. My band mates and I leveraged the power that we did have to start a non-profit organization, This Could Go Boom!, that is able to work collectively, with power sharing and fulfillment in mind – ways of thinking that have never been glamorized by the music industry. As my practice of making art, making music, collaborating, and working toward a world of honest and open narratives, I began to uncover my own sexuality and came out as a lesbian. In recent years I have released two solo albums under my own name that were both supported by artist grants and explore concepts like collective thought and personal growth and change. I am extremely satisfied with the opportunities that I’ve had to make music and to work with other people in finding their authentic voices. It’s not always easy when the way that one wants to live and feels satisfied and fulfilled doesn’t always line up with what is valued or noticed quickly. On the other hand, it’s easy when you are living with a purpose that is driven by greater connection in the universe, to make the brave artwork that you truly want to, to never second guess, to know when something is not healthy for you. I am looking forward to watching the first cohort of the TCGB! Collective blossom and bring forth the amazing musical projects they’ve been working on and I am extremely proud to help in releasing D.C. band, Lightmare’s forthcoming album. i am hoping to work toward releasing a solo album and launching a new band this fall.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
D.C. is unique in that it’s a crepuscular city with beautiful early morning walks or boating opportunities near the monuments or overlooking the banks of the Potomac River. Nearby day trips include beautiful hikes in Maryland or Virginia like Great Falls Park. of course, you can easily spend a day in the city visiting the free to the public zoo, the portrait gallery, the African American Museum or any of the fantastic art museums. This plan will take you on to the mall where you can stroll by the buildings where all of the action of governing the country takes place. A few places I would suggest include the Hirshhorn Museum and The National Museum of the American Indian. Off the beaten path, we could visit the Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens to view the water lily pools. D.C. boasts incredible Ethiopian food. So a stop at Ghion or Chercher is a must. A well traveled foodie friend recently proclaimed that his visit to Rose’s Luxury was the best meal of his trip. I am also partial to Roaming Rooster near DC Brau, where we can grab a beer. We’d end our food tour for the weekend at Purple Patch for incredible Filipino food. i would definitely take you to my favorite instrument store, Atomic Music, in Maryland. And we’d catch a show at The Black Cat, Comet Ping Pong, or Songbyrd.

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?
Thank you to TCGB! founders: Selena Benally
Robzie Trulove
Ara Casey
Maya Renfro

And new board member – Aeryn Goldstein

Thank you community collaborators and supporters:
Gold Pants Rentals
Rock n Repair
DC Music Summit

Shout out to TCGB! Records artists!
Rosie Cima and What She Dreamed

Website: www.thiscouldgoboom@gmail.com

Instagram: @erinsfrisby

Twitter: @thiscouldgoboom

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theosyxband/

Image Credits
Anthony Swartz Farrah Skeiky Selena Benally

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