We had the good fortune of connecting with Rocky Kuner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rocky, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
There must be a balance of gain and giving present in anything you do. It can be beneficial for your growth to feel out of your comfort zone sometimes, but following your intuition is so important to help you navigate if something is helping or hurting you. Sacrificing your sense of control for new lessons is a risk that must be taken to discovering your purpose or path. Recognizing if something is one sided is key, and knowing when to stop depends on your boundaries and how you go about asserting them. “Giving up” gets a bad wrap, but I personally believe you have time to take breaks and come back to something with a different approach or mindset the next time around. Life will always find a way to get you on the right track. In order to get there, you must “give up” to make space for the new opportunities that await you. No matter what you give up in life, you are constantly moving forward and as long as you keep doing that, you will always be exactly where you need to be.
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.
I’m a singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist. I love to write about life, situations, and whatever I feel called to share a message about. I think there could be many things set me apart from others, but when I make music, my biggest intention is to remind everyone how connected we all are. I’m very proud of all the work i’ve done, but I will probably feel the most proud of my EP when its released sometime this year. It’s been in the works for years and years and it’s finally almost time for it to come into fruition. I’ve been a working musician, vocalist, writer since I was 9 years old, I started out in musical theater, I attended the Orange County School of the Arts and graduated in 2015 for Commercial Music. I was in a touring Rush cover/Original band called YYNOT for 6 years, and I am currently in the Mood Lifters Rush Tribute band as their new lead vocalist. I feel that a lot of my life has been observed from my perspective. I never felt that it was difficult or easy to get to where I am now. I’ve worked very hard for many years, but i’ve also had so much fun and I throughly enjoy what I do. I think I thrive when I am genuinely interested in what I’m doing, and I focus the best under immense pressure. Music will always be something that keeps me challenged and invested. Confidence will always be the key to whatever you do in life. As long as you believe in yourself and go for it, you will always learn and succeed. Staying true to myself and making sure my needs are met is how i’ve overcome challenges. Truly knowing my worth and knowing that what’s meant for me is already mine or on its way to me has been a vital mindset for my well being, and has played an important role in how I handle any obstacles that come my way. Failing and learning is necessary for being the best you. My biggest advice to anyone, including myself, would be to take the risk. Let go. Bounce back if it doesn’t work out, and keep moving forward. Opportunities are always out there and always will be. Don’t forget to be you, unapologetically. You are meant to be here. You impact people more than you’ll ever know and your existence is important and necessary.
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?
One of my favorite places to go is Laguna Beach. I would drive us early in the morning and get coffee and breakfast or an açaí bowl. We could check out the crystal shops, maybe even get a reading, and then walk to the beach. Then we could eat at Active Culture, I would order my usual Lentil Goodness bowl, and their house made almond milk with more iced coffee. then we could check out the museums and then get out in time to watch the sunset.
I also love going to Costa Mesa for the bars with karaoke and dancing. I’m not a huge drinker, but I truly enjoy watching people have fun and encouraging them to let loose and live their lives. I love dancing and making a fool of myself. I also would definitely eat at Nice Guys vegan burgers because it’s insanely good. There is also have a coffee place called WIP goods and they have amazing coffee and snacks there, sometimes vendors will do pop up sales and it’s super cool to be able to support small businesses.
In Santa Ana there are a lot of bars with dancing and my favorite is Mission Control because it’s 80’s themed. There are many many pinball machines, and they play the best tunes. They have a food court called 4th street market with delicious options and sometimes they put on a local art walk. The Frida Cinema is also on the same street and we could watch an eclectic movie there. Maybe even see a show at the Observatory.
LA has tons of options as well, but I think my favorite thing to do is either see a concert at the Hollywood Bowl or to go to the Griffith Park Observatory. There are also so many options, even Universal Studios would be fun.
In Anaheim there’s always Disneyland and that is definitely on the itinerary because a friend visiting is the best excuse to go.
We would absolutely eat at the chicken house because that is part of my Disneyland ritual. Of course at the end of the night watch the fireworks and sob uncontrollably because we miss our childhood.
Locally in Westminster, I would take my friend to my favorite vegan ice cream place called Hug Life.
We could take a drive up the coast to Malibu or go to San Diego instead for a day.
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’d like to thank my parents for encouraging me to be myself, question everything and think independently. My vocal instructor, Gregg DeCastro, for quite literally nurturing my gifts and mindset, keeping me grounded yet spiritually aware. My favorite books by Neale Donald Walsh called “Conversations with God” ( Trilogy ), for validating my experience on this planet. All the people i’ve lost in this lifetime, and how they have all led me to what I needed to know and understand and who I needed to meet in order to truly transform myself into my best self. My closest friends supporting and loving me genuinely, Leah Guerrero of Brujita Skincare for inspiring me and supporting my dreams. David Buccifero for being an absolute gift in my life and making my dreams an actual reality. Wesley Garren, my dearest musical director, producer, collaborator, and gem of a person who is brought my music to life in ways I never would’ve imagined.