We had the good fortune of connecting with Mauricio Jimenez Villarreal and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mauricio, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Well, I think comfort is the true enemy of humanity. Which is funny because that is all we look for in life. I mean, comfort is great and rest is important, so I get the appeal, but when we live in comfort, our lives become stale and murky. We miss out on life. I think thats the beauty about taking risks, and why we have things like mid life crises, and spontaneous hair cuts and hair dying, and tatoos random trips to random places. I think as humans, we know we need to seek discomfort to have a taste of what life has to offer. There are some that make a habit out of it and those who only seek it when things start to get too repetitive. Risk taking has played an instrumental part in my life. It comes with the career path, but I also think its something I was raised with. My parents have always been that paradox of parents that believe in the comfort of life but through their example have made massive moves in their lives to raise us and taken major risk to grow their own business and pursue their own passions. it is the heartbeat of pursuing something creative. You have to take risks if you want to pursue art, and for me, that was music.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, I am an artist. My artist name is MAUMAUMAU but it has been Night Lights or Wolfside prior to this. I am a songwriter, and a damn good one at that. My current project is my first time ever doing something solo. Now, solo doesnt mean alone. Like you have previously read, there are a ton of people involved in making music and creating. All solo means is that I am the image and the brains behind the brand. I love it though. It has been so fun to look for ways to be different and create differently and to say things that I think need to be said and haven’t been in our society. My passion in life is to make people feel seen. To acknowledge those who feel unheard and unnoticed. My motto is, “I write music to encourage anyone who has ever felt like the underdog”. And thats what I do. My music is fun and messy and a mash up of genres. I have the freedom to do and create what pleases me and I believe that if I can fall in love with the songs I create, so can other people.
It has not been easy. I mean, the music, yes! the creation and the project its self, absolutely! However, being a musician in the 21st century is tough. There’s so many of us out there and we all want to be heard and feel like what we say is important, and we might all be right, but theres not enough people out there to hear everything, hahaha. So that has been hard. Being heard has been hard. Finding my people has been hard. Making it through the static noise of the internet has been hard. But! in the end, it has been so worth it. I get to create and fall in love with my creation over and over again, and slowly, so are other people that sincerely, don’t have to! Thats the silver lining. Watching this project grow is what keeps the wheels spinning. If you read this and are compelled to hear my music, thank you, and I hope you fall in love with it too. its pretty cool, but im biased, hahaha.

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.
I still have a long way to go before I can proudly say I know LA. My favorite spots are kind of lame honestly, but, they’re the life blood of my love for LA. Will rogers state beach is one of my favorite beaches. I am a lover of activities and will rogers has some mediocre, but charming beach volleyball nets. So thats a “must go to” for me. Food wise, I love me some ramen, so Kai Ramen in Sherman Oaks would be the spot. Bao Dim Sum on beverly for some delicious dumplings. the rock pool in Malibu creek state park is one of my favorites. its a short hike, but its an amazing little oasis for climbing and jumping off of things in to things. no vacancy is still my favorite bar out here. love the experience and the vibe. School night on Monday’s is my favorite show/venue choice. The Cinemark on victory and Coldwater is my favorite movie theatre. Love me some Thai food and sticky rice in echo park is the spooot. I actually really love echo park, so id probably just walk around there with them for a while. same with silverlake. Theres also this delicious hot pot spot (hahaha rolls right off the tongue) in pasadena called Oseyo which is by far my favorite noodle/hotspot place in all of los angeles. im not much of a drinker, so bars and clubs dont tend to go high in my priority list. sorry friends that are visiting!

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 have many! I hope thats ok.

My family is huge, and I know people always say that and it somehow comes off as a copout, but hear me out.
My parents fought me to pursue a career in music. I wanted to study mechanical and electrical engineering, but they saw me struggling in classes and taking it out through songs. They supported me when I dropped out and gave me time to figure out what I wanted to study. When I finally told them, “I want to study industrial design”, they slapped me upside the head and said, “no you idiot, go do music! but if you do it, do it right”. They have ever since, been championing me, even when I see the giants I have to tackle to make this a reality and doubt myself.
My brothers have always said it to me straight and will vouch for this, I sucked until I didn’t, and when I didn’t they too have gone up in arms with me to carry this career through and to make this dream a reality. They are my number one fans and I love them for it.

Some more incredible mentors and championns for my career are Curtis Kelley (multi instrumentalist, producer, friend, mentor) who has believed in my vision and music and tells it to me how it is. His positivity is palpable and its infectious. Devin Runco (engineer, producer, guitarist, friend, mentor) who has shown up in dark times and encouraged creativity to press on. his wisdom and guidance has been instrumental to my creativity. Zack Djurich (producer, engineer, friend, mentor) he too has believed in me and my potential and nurtured it through friendship and creation. Gianna Vona who has heard all my voice-notes and all my ideas and has stood up to my inner critic time and again to encourage me. she has heard me at my worst and still reminds me of the beauty in creativity and creation and my place in all of it. Daniel “Cloud” Campos (musician, filmmaker, creative, dancer, friend, mentor) has been a fan and a co creator for a while. His creativity and imagination is so inspiring, its crazy. Michael “Meekoh” Martinez (Musician, Songwriter, Filmmaker, Friend, Mentor) has believed in me from the day we met. He has been a massive champion for me in my creative struggle and I am forever indebted to him for his fearlessness in spreading my name and in stepping up for me. Brene Brown and all he studies on vulnerability and shame. the list is vast and im pretty sure I broke the rule of this section, hahaha. I could go on. there are so many people who are important along the way and they all deserve a shoutout. Sorry if you werent mentioned and are reading this. I promise I know and I see you and I appreciate you.

Website: https://maumaumau.bandzoogle.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/maumaumaumusic

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mauricio-jimenez-4a879525/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/maumaumaumusic

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKAlBYMJjrSxhGZK6-iF7ag

Image Credits
Nathan Tecson @bringoutthegold Lucila Muriel @lucilamuriel

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