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

Hi Graham, how do you think about risk?
I think about risk taking like it’s a tool. I think it is a very important part of being an artist as well as being human. If you don’t force yourself to take risks, or willingly partake in being uncomfortable, you can’t grow. That’s been my experience, at least. I think that going outside of my comfort zone has created some of my best artistic moments. My most valuable creations happen when I am uncomfortable, and I think that’s really important. If you only stay within what you’re comfortable with, you are going to end up painting yourself into a corner pretty quickly. I think personally that has alway been one of my biggest fears- being trapped in one sound or one style. This is the main reason that I value experimentation so highly. My goal as an artist has always been to do what makes me the most uncomfortable. I think that doing anything else would be disingenuous, and that is why I value pushing the envelope and taking creative and personal risks so highly.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always been a very strange kid. I never quite fit in, and for a while I tried desperately to change who I was to match the expectations of others. To an extent, I still do. But, I think what being a musician has taught me is that the key to happiness and fulfillment is embracing yourself. This is obviously much easier said than done, but it is a process I am committed to. With each creation I try to explore the insides of my mind a little bit deeper. Dredge the lake and see what bits and pieces I can recover. It’s a difficult, sometimes very painful process because most of the time I have no idea what I am going to discover about myself. What if I don’t like what I find? It’s pretty scary. But, that’s what you’re hearing when you listen to my music. Digging. Rummaging. Unearthing, and dusting off the fossils. Trying to piece together the story. I am really excited to release the music I’ve been working on this year. It’s some of my most exciting stuff yet. I’ve been working with a lot of very talented people and really trying to push the boundaries of what I am comfortable with when it comes to my personal and artistic expression. Starting in 2022 I am hoping to release one song each month, maybe more. I can’t wait to show the world what I’ve been making.

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?
Well, I am from Sacramento, CA- a city that I feel like gets a bad reputation. I feel like people think of it as the lesser cousin to nearby places like LA and San Fransisco. But honestly it’s a very nice, relaxing city. It’s a great place to go to recharge. I’m visiting in a few days and honestly I’m really excited. I would have to say my personal favorite spot in Sacramento is Land Park Drive. It’s a road that bridges the gap between Sacramento’s suburban area and the Downtown area. It’s lined with these big beautiful trees whose branches form a sort of tunnel over the road. In the summer, driving with the sunroof down through that leafy green tunnel is one of my favorite things. In terms of actual places to visit, Sushi Cafe is some of the best sushi I have ever had so I would certainly recommend eating there. Folsom lake is nice as well, there’s a lot of great spots to swim. I think the majority of Sacramento’s attraction to me is that you can really just wander in any direction and you will find something to do. Whether it’s an old fashion ice cream shop or a park or an art museum, there’s always plenty of low-stress activities in Sacramento.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well, I have to say the first people that come to mind is my parents. They have always been very supportive of me in my artistic pursuits. I know that especially when it comes to being an artist, having supportive parents and family members is certainly a privilege that not a lot of people get to experience, so I feel extremely grateful for that. I also would like to mention my girlfriend and partner, Neesa who is always encouraging and challenging me to do better, whether I want her to or not. She is always encouraging me to make the right choice as opposed to the easy choice when it comes to my creativity. She consistently expects nothing but the best from me, and I feel like I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for her support and inspiration.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graham_mclaren/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/99grahams

Other: Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/graham-mclaren/1455785241 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2mbjYe5KsgPSeL4RJFB2CB?si=McR8fzQFTk6S9m9TypKQRg

Image Credits
Grant Dacklin

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