'Singing Is The Scariest Thing I Do' Interview + Portraits with Blossom
Meet BlossomCool, seafoam colored matcha passes my lips as I ride up the elevator to the third floor. The bell dings, and I step out and look for the right door. I knock and Blossom opens and greets me with a kiss. We’ve met a few times at this point. I photographed her last summer at Pickathon Music Festival.
I remember the first time I saw her, her big curly hair bouncing as she sang her heart out on the stage. She was oozing soul and positivity. She had an electric energy as she performed and I couldn’t stop watching.
Almost a year later we’re sitting on her bed in her room. She has a row of lush plants that line her window. One of them she lovingly calls Persephenie.
Her ChaptersI ask her about her journey with music, and she begins with her chapters.
She tells me when she was beginning to find her sound, she would look up beats- soul, jazz, early frank ocean stuff, and see if she could make a melody.
Then she met Neill Von Tally, producer of Eryst Studio, and he invited her to experiment with his beats. “Right in his small ass room, before he had a studio is where it all began”
After that they made an EP and she started doing features with friends to get more exposure. “At the time there was a need for female vocalists to just sing on the albums”
She views her journey in chapters beginning with recording the EP, features, singing those features live, and now venues are reaching out to her for live performances.
“I was really open to anything going into it, and I was rewarded after putting myself out there”
Portland's Music SceneWhile we chatted about the current state of the music scene in Portland, she pointed out that there's an interesting divide in what she describes as New Portland vs Old Portland.
The old Portland feels like every man for themselves. New Portland is community oriented. There is support from organizations that coordinate events and parties that cater to artists to perform. If it wasn’t for those efforts, performers would be waiting to open when a headliner comes through town.
More and more venues are accepting the culture to curate shows. She mentions Holocene, Killingsworth Dynasty, Produce row and Swift’s legendary Mondays.
"Singing is the Scariest Thing I Do"As we dive deep into the topics of art and music, I can't help asking about how she creates music now. If she isn't pulling beats off YouTube and trying to make melodies, what has changed and evolved from then?
She tells me she has so many friends and colleagues that send her raw musical beats to work with.
Every day she has a drive to work that takes about 35-40 min. During that time she listens, she experiments and tries to make something out of what is bumping through her speakers. It sounds like a true creative process where she trusts the vibe.
If she likes it she records it as a voice memo on her phone and once she gets home in the evening she will work on it. Sometimes she makes her roommate, Brittanee, listen to it.
She tells me, “Singing is the scariest thing I do. Every time I make sure my intentions are positive and that I am going into it with that. Because you can't care about others, You just have to be happy that you put something out in the universe. That has to be the motivation.”
This hits home for me, and I immediately share how it feels the same with photography and art in general. If you're excited on what you're creating, that should be enough. That it doesn't have to please anyone because that's not why you're doing it.
She tells me, “On a photo let's say you only get one like. But that one like, that one person sees what you see in yourself. That one person could open so many avenues for your future”
“You can exist in a space that is occupied by others that inspire you"An example pops into her mind and she dives into telling me about her show in Wilsonville, Oregon the day prior. The audience was primarily caucasian and quite reserved, a bit different than her usual listeners. After the show a young girl came up to her. With wide eyes, Blossom tells me how this 16 year old girl told her that she listens to her music when she gets ready in the morning or before she goes out with friends.
The coolest part about all of that she tells me is that this person found her online, just like she did with her sources of inspiration. “You can exist in a space that is occupied by others that inspire you. You all are on the same level.”
The feeling I get from Blossom is that she harnesses that artful energy into knowing that there is something for each and every one of us, something further than ourselves. The first step, is putting yourself out there in the first place.