We had the good fortune of connecting with Memo 71 and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Memo 71, how do you think about risk?
I think risk taking is almost crucial for being successful as any innovator or artist. For me, as a musician, I take risks almost daily! I risk every time I post a new video, picture, or song online. I risk every time I perform a show. I risk every time I decide to spend my paycheck on new gear rather than food. These are all risky because I am putting myself out there, hoping to attract the right people, always one “no” away from nothing coming from it.
While it is important to risk everything to be successful, it doesn’t mean it can’t be calculated to better fit your given situation. So for example, it is hella risky to uproot your stable 9-5 job to pursue a career as a musician as you will be struggling to afford almost all of the essentials. So maybe instead of quitting and pursuing music full time, you can find a part time job whilst also working on building your brand. This way you are still risking but with the control of having at least some finances coming in. Of course, once your brand or music career starts to blow up, you can transition full time into it, but the beginning stages are by far the most important to have these calculated risks.
For me, I graduated with my degree in civil engineering from UCLA. My family was set for me to find a stable and high paying job as a full time engineer. But it just wasn’t me. Instead I decided to work part time as a tutor whilst pursuing my music career. Every hour in between lessons, I am running to my laptop to work on my new track. So whilst I had to risk giving up all of the money I could have made as an engineer (not forgetting about the dental, medical, 401k, etc.. that would’ve also been taken care of), I was able to coarse it to fit my personal lifestyle.
In conclusion, risk things, but be smart about it! It’s so easy to romanticize the idea of moving to LA with nothing but a guitar on your back and becoming the next Ed Sheeran, but let’s be a little more realistic about our approach. Do what you have to do to get by and take things day by day!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My name is Memo 71 and I make music for dreamers! I do everything on my tracks! I write, sing, play the instruments, produce using Logic X, mix, master, and market all my music by myself. My style is a blend of indie/bedroom-pop/dream-pop, inspired by artists like Tame Impala, Boy Pablo, Mac Demarco, and Cuco.
I am most proud of the way I blend genres together. I grew up playing a mix of Spanish and rock guitar, so implementing these sounds with the dreamy synths really set my music apart from most. I try to evoke an emotion of relaxation with tranquility. In other words, let’s just say that I make music for you and your friends to lay back and fall into a trance (with possible help from external sources). It’s this that really excites me every time I start a new project. I love the way my music can evoke that kind of feeling in someone.
With a lot of hard work and dedication, I got to where I am right now! Years of practicing guitar and songwriting, which then transformed into years of practicing producing and singing, are finally paying off. I believe that there is no substitute for working hard. But of course, this comes with it’s challenges.
I have faced many challenges myself of getting rejected over and over and over again. It’s almost a given when you get into this industry but it can really mess up your mental health. So overcoming these mental health issues is definitely something that is needed to be done. I face doubt, depression, and anxiety almost on a daily basis. I can feel like the best musician ever to the worst in a matter of seconds. So really facing these head on, finding ways to channel them into my art, and seeing a therapist has really helped me work through these issues. Mental and physical health is always most important so if you ever feel like you need a break, then TAKE A BREAK! I can’t stress this enough! I have gone my fair share of days of abusing my mental and physical health in order to finish “just one more song”. But not only was the quality of my music worse, but my attitude towards my career too was shifted negatively. So the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to always to take care of your health first and foremost. You’ll thank me later.
As for my brand, I want people to just know that my brand is colorful and dreamy. I want you to join in my journey only if these two words resonate deeply with you. I’m a very chill person and find it difficult to make music anything other than that (as of right now). It was just natural that my brand should be associated similarly to that as it is true to who I am.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well it’s funny because I have a friend coming to stay with me for about a week, so this is a perfect way for me to plan what we are going to do. I live in Long Beach, California so there is a lot I would show him here. We could start by hitting up Pine Avenue and going to Shannons (my favorite bar) and get some drinks there. Walk around afterwards and maybe catch a drag show in Hamburger Mary’s. Other days we could go to The Pike and grab some bomb-tastic food like street tacos and nachos! I can then take him to the pier where we can grab some ice cream or funnel cakes and maybe play some games at the arcade. If he is in the mood for something more relaxing, we can go to the beach and just toss a football or frisbee around. Most people here are very kind and open, so making new friends definitely would not be difficult. We could end the trip with a visit to Legends on 2nd Street where we can grab bottomless mimosas on saturday morning!
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?
First and foremost, shoutout to my mom for always believing in me and never giving up on me! You have always been my greatest supporter and I will always love you for that. To my family too for being so understanding of me giving up on engineering to pursue this career! To Jasmine and Kayla, you two have supported me for so long and continue to be my biggest fans! Jasmine, you made me believe in myself when I couldn’t see it. Kayla, you paid for my equipment when I couldn’t and pushed me to gig when I was unable by myself. To my friends, you guys went to my gigs, streamed my songs, and shared my music with others! What can I say but thank you. Thank you to Damien Keyes for mentoring me with music marketing! And finally, shoutout to all of the fans that have kept me going all of these years. I do this ALL for you!
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@memoseventyone?