We had the good fortune of connecting with Simone Reyes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Simone, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I recall reading the quote “If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs” by Tony Gaskins and it resonated with me. I have taken great joy, for MANY years, working under entertainment mogul Russell Simmons. During those years I helped build Rush Communications, the umbrella company for Def Jam, Phat Farm, Def Comedy Jam, Def Poetry Jam, Rushcard and a slew of other successful businesses into the timeless legends they became …but that was Russell Simmons’ dream. When he very publicly stepped down from his active businesses my life took a turn and I found time (which was always in very short supply) to focus on my passion which has always been country music. That quote spoke to me and because of it I am doing what I love- making music, shooting music videos and sharing it wide.
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.
My art is my voice. First, always first, voice as an activist – using it to speak for animals who are the most voiceless and the most choiceless. My art is also my singing voice as a country singer. If you ask me what sets me apart as a country artist I would say it’s the fact that I am a native New Yorker and have started this particular career later in life. Singing in my shower and singing live was not an easy jump but I have always lived by the mantra- Do It, even if you do it scared. That is how I got through the grueling process of doing a live TEDx talk with no notes or teleprompter allowed. It is also the way that I got myself up on stage to sing live for the first time- I did it scared. I think the way I overcame these challenges was by reminding myself that, for the most part, people want to see others succeed. Sure, there are haters out there but for the most part, I believe people root for others who are doing things they recognize as being out of their own- and the other person’s – comfort zone. To answer what I want the world to know about me is that I believe in the voice we all have inside of each of us that says ” you CAN do it” – and I want to remind everyone to listen to it and to honor it. . At the end of the day, we are either our own best friend or our own self sabotager.
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.
Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting the city the first place I would take them to is Crossroads Kitchen on Melrose for brunch ( we would be there for dinner as well), then we would do a hike ( Fryman, Runyon or Griffith- all are equally as fun but I do tend to see more dogs at Runyon so that may win out for that one reason alone), we would absolutely hit up a few flea markets (Melrose Trading Post is always good for finding a treasure or two), then cuddle a few bottle baby rescue kittens at my neighborhood local rescue – Laurel Canyon’s Kitten Critical, then we would head over to the Den Meditation center ( using our transportation time to send some support emails to key legislators to get Social Compassion in Legislation’s vital animal protection bills passed) to get our zen on before heading to the Forum, Hollywood Bowl or the Staples Center to see a great country artist that is hopefully passing through town. To end the night I would take them to Farmer Johns in Vernon to join our friends at The Save Movement who live stream and bear witness to the animals who are on their way to slaughter, much in the same way as Joaquin Phoenix did an hour after he won the Oscar – because in the end, none of us are free while others are oppressed.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout series to my late father, Roberto Phillip Reyes, who passed away a month ago. One of the last things he told me was to “ keep singing” – so to honor him that is what I plan to do.
Instagram: @simonereyesmusic @simonereyes