Artist Spotlight: Gonzales
Los Angeles musician Gonzales is returning to her Garfield County home to sing the national anthem at the fair next week. She is also gearing up to release a new EP.
Gonzales shared with the Post Independent her connection to the region, why she left and how it feels to come back to sing such an important song for the Garfield County Fair.
Post Independent: You were born in Garfield County, correct? Where exactly did you live out here, and for how long?
Gonzales: I was born in Glenwood Springs — my awesome mom and dad are Bert and Connie Gonzales. I spent most of my growing years in Parachute. All my family lives here in the Grand River Valley, so after moving to California, I would often return for holidays to enjoy the snow and family.
PI: Did you become interested in singing while you were out here? Did you do any performing or vocal studies in Garfield County?
Gonzales: I have always been drawn to music, especially the instrument of the voice. As a child, I would spend endless hours looking through my mom’s record collection. I started choir when I was in middle school and carried on into high school with choir, show choir and state competitions.
PI: When did you move to Los Angeles, and why?
Gonzales: When I finally determined it was time to take the leap of faith and truly pursue my passion for music, I knew I had to move to New York or Los Angeles. I’ve heard an NYC winter could trump a Colorado winter, so the decision was easy. I was headed for some sunshine, ocean and fun. I was headed west, baby!
PI: How did it come about that you’ll be singing the national anthem at the Garfield County Fair?
Gonzales: I was working with the GCF for another event and knew the fair was coming in August. I asked if they had anyone scheduled to sing and sent them links to my other national anthem performances.
PI: How does it feel to have this important role for your hometown fair? Have you sung the national anthem for the fair in the past, or is this your first time?
Gonzales: I am super honored! This will be my first time to sing for the GCF. Every time I get the opportunity to sing the national anthem it’s a huge honor. I feel very passionate about our nation’s anthem and try to convey the beautiful story that it tells every time I sing it. I have had the great opportunity to sing the national anthem for the Colorado Rockies, The World Boxing Association and two years ago for the NFL Cleveland Browns vs. Seattle Seahawks game in Cleveland, Ohio.
PI: You’ve got an EP you’re promoting, correct? Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Gonzales: Yes! I’m very excited about the new release. It’s a bit psychedelic rock and folk (Jefferson Airplane meets Neil Young). It will be my fourth album, and I’ve decided to make the digital release available the same day I sing the national anthem. On Aug. 7, my album titled “Gonzales” will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Music, etc. I will have cassette tapes with me both evenings that I sing; Aug. 7 and 8. The cassette tape will also contain a digital download card inside. I’m also printing vinyl, and in October the vinyl album will be available locally at Triple Play Records on Main Street in Grand Junction.
PI: In general, what do you love about being a musician?
Gonzales: I love being able to create living, breathing, moving art right there in the moment. I love all art mediums, but think music is such that you are able to create right on the spot, give and have it received. Often there is reciprocation from the listener, and it becomes this beautiful exchange of energy. All involved have a tactile sensation, yet music, the art form itself, is not tactile. That’s what I love about being a musician and, moreso, a vocalist. Your entire being becomes “the instrument.”
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