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

Hi Valerie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Isn’t it interesting how there are times in our lives when we see other people accomplishing amazing things we’ve always wanted to do, but we imagine how we would do things differently? We say, “Wow! I would really love to do that, but I would change so many things. I would make this better. I would make that better.” Yet we never actually do it, do we? Performing, in general, has always been my saving grace, my lifeline, my emotional defibrillator in this crazy world. There is something so special about it, especially with music and singing, that is innately and instantly reciprocal.

For me, I found that it all trails back to being of service, which is truly the highest form of consciousness. Yes, I perform because it fills my soul, but my main goal when I am up on stage is to entertain the audience. To give back to the beautiful souls in front of me. I will do almost anything to make someone smile, sing, get up out of their seat and dance or even just rock back and forth in their chair. Self-consciousness goes completely out the window. I don’t want to just put on a show. I want to give the audience an experience and music is such a powerful way to do that. I am up there for THEM and they can feel it. A song can instantly transport you back to a memory in time, a feeling, an emotion, and fill your entire body, mind and soul. It was always very important to me to make my time on stage a portal for the audience to step away from the stress and doldrums of real life, for just a couple of hours, to let their hair down and get crazy on the dance floor and feel like a teenager again.

Introducing ANTHEM ROAD COVER BAND. The name, the videos, the pictures, the song list, the wardrobe, the marketing materials, the online presence, etc., all had to be spot on. I wanted to be all things to all people with an amazing mix of the top Pop, Rock and Dance “ANTHEMS” from the 1950’s to the top hits of today. We play all genres, all venues and have the ability to go from an upscale corporate event to a classic rock show, all in the same day. So, that explains the name for ya! At our very core, it has always been so important to keep to the integrity of the music we are covering, by recreating each song, note for note, with authenticity and passion. We’ve all been listening to our favorite music for decades, and the last thing I think the audience wants to hear live is us doing our own rendition of their favorite song. I want them to hear it the way they remember it. Even down to melodically singing each note, as it was performed by the original artist, is a key component to our success. We also love to give them a show. If people are going to come out to SEE live music, I want them to feel as though they are at a full-blown concert, even if it’s just at their corner bar. This also means that we want to get them involved and give them the spotlight and make them the stars, with props and contests and interactive moments. I honestly spend just as much time with the audience as I do on stage! Maybe we should change our name to “THE EXPERIENCE BAND;-)

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.
In setting out to create my vision of doing things differently, I auditioned dozens of musicians from around Southern California, with several key things in mind. I didn’t just hire highly proficient musicians, which they are. I was searching for people who had the whole package. They had to be authentically kind, gregarious and extremely professional, with fun personalities that would be very relatable to our audiences. I wanted people who were healthy and happy, who would showcase a fun energy and a deep love and excitement for the music, while on stage, which always exudes energetically into the audience. Everything matters; what we wear, what we say, where we perform, how we conduct ourselves with clients, and especially the songs we play. Whether we are at a casino, bar, summer concert, a wedding or private party, I want every single person in that room, to hear at least 3 or 4 “ANTHEMS” from their youth, whether they are 26 or 76. We need to give people their moment of instant bliss, especially after these last 2 years of excess stress. If people are out, I want to give them a hall pass from the real world and an amazing memory, which they will take home with them and smile about.

I guess my vision and intention worked, because we landed our first gig within 4 months and were playing Vegas within 6 months of shooting our first promo video. Over the years, we have opened for iconic bands like Berlin and Warrant, we’ve played casinos all over the West Coast, from Washington to San Francisco, Las Vegas to San Diego, LA to Palm Springs and every place in between. I hustle every day to procure all different types of shows, not only through agencies, but through hundred of submissions, phone calls, photo/video editing and other marketing tools, geared toward potential clients and venues. Then we ALL hustle to make those gigs we DO get an unforgettable success!

So, what have I learned in all of this? The old adages are true! (Cue the groans from the readers…)
“You’ll never know until you try.”
“The worst they can say is no.”
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”
“You never are going to know how good you really are until you go out and face failure.”
“You’ve got big dreams? You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying … in sweat.” (My favorite!)

We continue to look for ways to improve, evolve and do things differently. Never stop striving to do better and be better. If someone doesn’t hire you or like what you do, then find out why and learn from that situation. Is there something you want to change or was that client or venue just not the right fit for your overall vision, ideals and integrity of what you do? There IS always a yes around the corner. It’s the rejections that gives you the key learnings you need to become successful. (Do I sound more like I’m trying to emulate Yoda or Mike Brady?)

I was so blessed to find such an amazing group of quality friends and bandmates, who all share my same vision and mutual respect, in doing what we love to do, while simultaneously reaching out to our audience and making their lives better, for at least a few hours. It has now been over 5 years and we have definitely sacrificed a lot. We’ve invested our time and money, our hearts and souls, as well as our physical and emotion energy, but in return, we’ve received so much love, support, fulfillment, memories, crazy and ridiculous road stories and a lifetime of fun and laughter. I know this may be viewed as “just” a cover band, to some people, but I know in my heart that we’ve given countless gifts of joy to our audiences over the years. There is nothing better than people coming up at the end of the night, grabbing my hand and saying things like, “Thank you so much. We haven’t had this much fun in years.” “Thank you. My daughter is usually so shy. You really brought her out of her shell tonight.” “Thank you. I’ve never seen my husband dance that much in my life!”

So, was it all worth it? ABSOFRICKENLUTELY! This is THEE best mid-life crisis EVER!!! 😉

Life is made up of moments. What are YOU gonna do in the next one?

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, of course, I would invite them to whatever venue where Anthem Road was playing that weekend, but depending on what their specific interests were, we would be covered, no matter what, in LA!

1. There is always something happening at SoFi Stadium, whether it’s a concert or sporting match. For more concerts, we also have The Hollywood Bowl, during the summer.
2. We could hit one of the many Southern California beaches or even just drive up the coast.
3. To sightsee, we have the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign and LA Live.
4. We could hit one of the thousands of top rated restaurants in LA, like Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, Mother Wolf in Hollywood and Bottega Louie or Caboco in DTLA. For more iconic, noteworthy experiences, we have The Ivy, Spago of Beverly Hills and even Pink’s Hotdogs. For fantastic views, we have WP24 by Wolfgang Puck in DTLA and Mastro’s Ocean Club or Nobu in Malibu.
5. For shopping we have Rodeo Drive, The Grove and The Fashion District.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this Shoutout feature to my husband, Rick Ojeda. He encouraged me to start my own band, back in 2016, in order to fulfill my perfect vision. He came to every single show, during the first 2 years, to lug gear, take pictures, shoot video and even just drive me to venues, so I could prepare for the shows without added stress. Thank you, Rick, for believing in me and showing me that I can achieve anything and everything I put my mind to.

Website: https://www.anthemroadband.com

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

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCt2twxkYRjoISitSG3vZiQ

Other: https://vimeo.com/anthemroad

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