We had the good fortune of connecting with Garrett Kealer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Garrett, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Every aspect of music is a risk. There is risk in the form of songs, there is risk in lyrical content, there is risk in how you market your product, and there is risk in how your music is performed. I set myself up in a position where I have to take risks to succeed. There seems to be a point for every release where I think to myself, “Is this good enough? Is this going to hated, loved, or even thought about at all?” My mantra is, “What is the alternative?” Do I turn my back on the thing that I love out of fear of failure and/or rejection? Do I jump to a profession that I don’t find meaning in to find security? No. So my only choice is to take the risk and move forward. Taking risks has only benefitted me; I either accomplish financial gain, a more positive reputation among peers, fans, and employers, experience personal fulfillment, or I learn what not to do in the future.
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 driven by the catalyst of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My mental health disorder pushes me to create, and if I don’t I feel unfulfilled. Through OCD, emotions tend to be amplified (and a bit overdramatic at times) so music gives me a cathartic escape to release built up tension. While I love conveying the height of emotions and thoughts in produced tracks, I am obsessed with sharing experiences with others through performance. I use sounds, melodies, harmonies, lyrics, and ideas in a programmatic manner in which I attempt to put the listener in the center of a story or at least create a relatable blueprint for how I’m feeling or thinking at a specific moment in time. It’s important for me to create songs that make people want to sing, dance, and get hyped, as well as slow down for a moment of reflection and analysis of the surrounding world. It was not easy to get where I am today, but it was worth it. It took years of learning and practicing how to play as well as write music before I was given a chance to do either in a professional setting. Every performance and release is a learning experience. Some of them are utter failures, some of them simply get me a paycheck, and some of them leave me invigorated for the next opportunity to do it again. The important part is to just keep going, whatever happens. I want the world to connect with what I’m creating. I want listeners to feel the excitement, elation, sadness, and frustration that I feel when I’m putting those emotions into my music. I want us to feel the things we can’t quite describe, and in that time, let go of what separates us, and focus on what brings us together.
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?
First of all, I am a massive beer lover. When I’m not creating music, I’m home brewing or trying new beers. So the first places I would take my friend would be breweries. You can’t go wrong with Funky Buddha, Veza Sur, Saltwater, or Due South just to name a few. To sober up, we’d have to hit Tacos Al Carbon, Coyo Taco, Paulo’s Pizza, or 620 Subs. We’re definitely going to the Everglades, Robert Is Here, the Keys, Wynwood, and The BB&T Center – but only when the Lightning play the Panthers (sorry Panthers fans, The Bolts are the best in the league).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s no way that I could narrow this answer down to one entity. The main people I’m grateful for are my parents, fiancé, producer, teachers, and fellow musicians who trust me to push forward relentlessly towards my goals. As someone with OCD, I know that dealing with me is not always easy, and their compassion and understanding truly gives me the strength to keep moving forward. I would be remiss to not also acknowledge the countless musicians, authors, and artists whose works have inspired me to put my thoughts and emotions into music.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/55PHu5iThBn3i9t4XQcNrx Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@stumblesteady Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-271870441
Patrick Montanari Alexandra Wasserfall