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

Hi Paul, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
It’s been challenging to say the least. I feel like I’ve done a complete 180 over the past 5 years. I’m maintaining balance for longer periods of time though. I’ve added a lot more to my life the past 5 years, which obviously impacts that balance. The more I’ve taken on, the better I’ve gotten at keeping things in place, generally speaking. Balance can be seen as a result just as much as an action. I think about balance as a feeling most of the time. It’s a good indicator to show that certain things need to be addressed.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It’s funny because my professional life is actually pretty different from the creative efforts in my life. The two have definitely crossed over throughout the years. While playing music and gigging in my early 20s, I also went to school and earned my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. I’ve worked in the mental health field for almost 5 years and am currently doing community outreach, working at a consulting firm. Like I mentioned, I always found a way to connect creative efforts into these traditional professional settings. When working with people at the community clinic, I often brought music into our discussions and found ways for people to use music as a tool to help address certain challenges. It’s amazing to see music positively impact people’s mental health.

I can’t say that things have been easy and I don’t want to dive too deep into the challenges because the important thing is that I’m seeing the choices I’ve made work for me. Ultimately, completing tasks is the way I overcome challenges. I can think about something all day, but getting things done creates the momentum to face the next challenge. At the moment, I am refocusing my efforts to continue creating and developing my music endeavours, including building N9 Records.

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.
One thing I would for sure do is grab a sandwich and drinks from either The Heights Deli and Bottle (Lincoln Heights) or The Little jewel of New Orleans (Chinatown) and drive over to Elysian park and enjoy the view of DTLA. I love that park. After, hit up a few bars in the area, Either shoot down to Boyle Heights, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, or Arts District since all choices are about a 10-15 minute drive from Elysian Park. Each area has a good variety of places to grab drinks and walk around. Another spot that’s great is San Pedro. Pick up some carnitas burritos from Flores Market (Wilmington) and cruise down to Joan Milke Flores Park off Gaffey street and enjoy the ocean view. From there it’s a short walk up to the Korean Bell of Friendship which is a chill spot to see and gives you an amazing view of the ocean. Then walk down the “Stairway to Ocean” and chill at the shore.

Another classic is chilling in the Monterey Park/Alhambra area. Plenty of great spots to eat, drink, and chill if you’re looking for a more relaxed type of day. There is so much to do in our area!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s been a lot of interesting things happening since 2020. A lot of hard-working, passionate people continue to do what they love for the love of it. Seeing this is motivating and I want to highlight a few individuals that have continued to inspire me. Shout out to Andrew Gastelum. We’ve known each other for years, having first met in college. We share a studio space and work together on various projects, most recently finalizing our debut EP with the group “The Mandalas”. He’s also behind Los Fauna Collaborative along with his self-titled solo project .

Shout out to the group of hard-working homies I’ve recently been spending a lot of time with. We’ve all generally known about each other for a while but only recently started hanging out and creating together. They are great people. Insightful in their varying ways. Amazing musicians and good people to chill with. I’m very grateful that they were open to have me join them and be a part of the following bands: Bedrest, Pretzels, Bad Posture, and Milky Toast. Chris Garcia, David Cervera, Dyllan Oakeley, Alex Castillo, and Cary Barba. I’m proud to call these guys my friends and look forward to what the future holds for our group!

Shout out to Oscar Saldivar, Quinn Dean and Quinton Caringella who have been on this impactful journey with me in our band Reanimatxr. Thank you guys for your patience, encouragement, and invaluable perspectives. Outside of Reanimatxr, we’ve had amazing times that have directly influenced my growth. We are working on various other projects and I can’t imagine this journey without these dudes!

Shout out to my friends Anthony Ybarra (deeeeepspace), March Namatay, Jeff Ruiz, Anthony Arellano, and Juan Estuvier for sharing their amazing skills in their respective crafts. Our latest creation, via N9 Records, is “Hilltop Session” featuring Sancho Villa. Amazing team with incredible insight and drive. I have had great times with all of these individuals and am excited for all of the things that are to come with the projects we’re collaborating over.

Shout out to Cuitláhuac Perez AKA Eddie. I’ve been through so much with this guy. I’ve learned a lot from him. Eddie is a determined, disciplined, and hard working creative director that continues to inspire myself and others around him. I have a lot of love and respect for him.

Last shout out goes to my family, my girlfriend Dianellie and our son Layne. I love you two very much. I could not do what I am doing today without their love and support. I am forever grateful for the understanding, love, and patience that they have shown me.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/n9_recordlabel/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChuUkzc9dIXI5QhvgmJjuyQ

Image Credits
Anthony Ybarra

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