FYIG Chats With Singer/Songwriter Shannon Garcia

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hmmm, well I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. I have a dog named Don Diego de la Vega and am currently admiring a rotating Galton Board to purchase because it’s probably the neatest thing I have seen in a long time.  

You got into music after going through a divorce. Did you ever think this was going to become anything more than a coping mechanism at the time?   

No, not at all. I made the decision to never allow someone to restrict me from pursuing activities/goals/dreams that I have always wanted to do. I had a heart to heart with myself and thought back to a time when I really felt like my true self and alive, prior to some of the challenges that life has a way of throwing at people. I wanted to feel ‘that’ again. (back story: When I was in 8th grade, I was moved from a marching band playing the clarinet to a jazz band and started learning the bass clarinet. A series of events happened in my family and I was not able to continue my journey into a jazz band.) So, I decided to no longer think “what if this wouldn’t have happened” I searched craigslist and was able to find a  bass clarinet. It was meant to be, in my opinion. I named her Madeline and went on a yoga retreat, True Nature Retreat in rural Ohio. I spent every morning practicing by a pond. That time was so healing, the owners were so hospitable to me and I am so thankful to have had that time there. When I returned home, the energy continued and I started taking piano lessons from Jess Lamb, resumed drum lessons with Josiah Wolf and guitar lessons from Matthew Meldon. This kept me on a schedule that I personally needed and the interchanging of the instruments lead my heart and mind to write songs. These songs were kept to myself for a while. I remember the first time I showed Jess, I was so nervous. Honestly, when it comes to music and playing around these talented musicians… I am mostly nervous.

You met Josiah Wolf of the indie rock band, “Why?” who introduced you to the rest of the band and you started learning different instruments. How did that friendship get off the ground and how important was it to your growth as an artist?

I met Josiah while he was bartending at the restaurant that my ex was a chef at. Since I was newer to Cincinnati, I didn’t have many friends and would hang out there when I had free time. He mentioned that he gave music lessons in a conversation one day and I took him up on that offer.

I would say the influence of Jess, Warren and Josiah have been very important to my growth as an artist. It is in part because of them that I pushed myself from devastation into creativity. I recorded fnExists with Josiah and that was completely unplanned and evolved organically. The day he asked if I would like to record was one of the most memorable moments of a series of most memorable moments to date. He understands that I am not technical and shows me a lot of respect when I am trying to explain my ideas for the songs.

For instance, I just started recording new material with him. For this new song, I am not playing all the instruments as I did for fnExists, in an attempt to learn how to collaborate. We sat down to write a bass line and I gave him my vision for it. When he played it back it was not quite the speed I was hearing. Instead of explaining it as a musician would, I said, “Could you play that a bit slower as if someone dipped your hand in lead and you are having to drag your heavy hand to the next chord?”  

How would you describe your musical style?

I’m not sure, I struggle with that question. I think I am still figuring that out. The sounds come to me and I try my best to express them.

You go by Shannon Garcia and the Taken when you perform. Is there any significance to that name?

For each show, I am playing with different musicians “taking” them into my world and while they are here, they are helping to create a unique live experience.

What can audiences expect from your upcoming EP, fnExists?

Feelings, a lot of feelings. I didn’t want to write about one subject nor for this to be a breakup album. In writing the songs, each one deals with different scenarios or experiences from my life so that I could heal those occurrences.

You recently released your single “Spooky Action At A Distance”. Tell us about this song and how it was inspired by physics.

“Spooky Action at a Distance” got its name while I was listening to one of The Great Courses – Physics 101. It’s about a 16 hour listen, if you are interested the instructor is very engaging. The concepts of quantum entanglement seemed fitting for the stories that are being told in this song. When I was taking lessons from Matt, in between practicing the chords for the key of G and finger strengthening exercises, I’d start playing this melody. It became my calming pattern in the event that frustration took over when I couldn’t play an F chord or when my ring finger was a bit slow in responding to my brain signals. Then I found myself playing it nonstop, on walks with Don Diego de la Vega, in my kitchen, reading, and while watching documentaries. It was all I could think about so it became clear that it wanted to live on outside of my head.

What advice would you give to aspiring singers/songwriters?

I still consider myself aspiring but I would say to anyone about anything they are passionate about: “Silence your doubt.”

What’s your life like outside of music?

I work, really enjoy cooking, creating art, gardening, going to shows, taking improv classes and hanging out with my favorite furry friend Don Diego de la Vega.

Let the readers know where to find you online.

I have a website www.shannongarciaandthetaken.com or because socials are oh so convenient https://instagram.com/shannongarciaandthetaken/ (IG)

https://www.facebook.com/shannongarciaandthetaken (FB)