From the moment I came into the world I loved music. My mother said I’d hum melodies before I could talk, and as soon as I could walk I was humming and dancing. I hoarded any music or record I could find. If someone was tired of their old vinyl or cassette music I’d take them and add them to my collection. Before long I’d collected hundreds of albums. My room was a music library. I had every type of music genre imaginable. I learned to love all music and still do to this day. I learned to sing gospel, reggae, rock, blues, soul, country, classical—you name it. If it was music I was listening. I never missed an episode of Soul Train or American Bandstand. I loved Don Cornelius and Dick Clark. I lived for their interviews. And when BET and Donny Simpson and MTV came on the scene I was an addict. All the while these diverse music experiences were influencing my own development and style. Which most say is hard to pigeonhole into one specific genre. I took my clarinet and cassette player with me everywhere I went. And when I wasn’t listening to music I was composing it and singing it. When I was 10 years old I won First Chair in All City Band. I played my clarinet and everyone loved it. My mother hugged me and asked how in the world did you do that and I looked at her and without emotion said God. She laughs and tells that story every Thanksgiving. I never quite believed I was good enough to pursue music as a career and in my family focusing on a college education was what was expected of me. So I focused on my education and on my business career all the while privately obsessing on music. My husband and best friend who is also an artist and loves music, looks me in my eyes one evening during a candle lit dinner and says, “Follow your heart and dreams. Success is measured by happiness. It doesn’t matter who may or may not like your art as long as you do.” He said, “You are very talented and your voice is the most beautiful I’ve ever heard.” I’m sure he’s quite biased. But that day changed my life’s journey. And I haven’t looked back. My music is an expression of me and who I am. I hope you enjoy it.
- Peter Rios
- Mayra Razo