Quadstock season is upon us, and we couldn’t be more stoked.
Not only is summer near, but we’re about to celebrate the upcoming end of another school year with artists who are here to help us forget all of our current responsibilities.
I was fortunate enough to sit down with Ricky Reyes, one of Quadstock’s talented performers, who gave me some insight on what it’s like to juggle the life of being a musical artist and an active participant in Seattle University’s student body.
Some may recognize his familiar face around the halls of Campion, where Reyes works as an RA. However, some may not know that he’s spent a majority of his life focused on developing himself as a musical artist.
One of Reyes’ first pursuits in music was through a Christian church band in his early years, where he played guitar. From there, his love for making music bloomed, and soon he became more dominant throughout his education.
Back in his hometown of Tacoma, WA, Ricky Reyes grew up in an art school that focused on raising young artists in a big city. “[The school] was wild… We called teachers by their first names. The person who taught me about songwriting did booking for the theater in Tacoma.”
Without a doubt, his connection to the arts began at an earlier stage than most artists we’ve come to know. This eventually became his motivation to continue to pursue music in college.
“I started actually writing [music] in my early high school years,” Reyes admitted. “I used to write a lot about love, and I’m trying to change that. Songwriter-acoustic can be more than love.”
With that goal in mind, he began changing the way he thought about songwriting.
“Right now, I’m trying to write stories. I want to write songs with a cohesive story to them. To do that, I’m literally just writing out characters and plot lines.”
Ricky Reyes’ song, “This Movie Sucks,” is one of his earlier attempts at expanding his horizons as a songwriter. The song, which was written after an awkward moment of trying to kiss someone at a drive-in movie, focuses on writing songs about experiences, rather than the general idea of falling in love.
One of his future goals is finding a larger way to support rising musical artists. With his previous work at Seattle Theater Group (STG), where he dealt with booking artists, he got to experience how hard planning shows for the Seattle community is. He also got to see how badly local artists need to be promoted. “Working anywhere that makes music more accessible to people is the goal.”
Currently, his next big gig is slated for this year’s annual Quadstock, where he’ll be performing with his band that was formed in early 2013 at the KXSU Stage on the Union Green between 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. They’re even coming prepared with some new equipment to hit the stage so they can show Seattle University exactly what they’re made of.
And as for if he’s excited to perform? “I’m just stoked my name is on the same flyer as Honcho Poncho.” A completely understandably reason to be excited.
Reyes epitomizes a young artist who strives to adapt to the ever-changing atmosphere of a big city full of new music. Without a doubt, his music depicts the years of practice and hard work he’s committed to growing as an individual artist.
You can catch Ricky Reyes at the Seattle University Union Green this Saturday, May 20, 2017 between 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. It’s free to the public.
LAURA POPESCU | KXSU DJ + Guest Writer