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Meet Dakota W. Ringer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dakota W. Ringer.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born and raised in the East County of San Diego (La Mesa to be exact) and I started off the way a lot of artists did, at my church! My first performance was with the children’s choir at five years old where I immediately fell in love with singing. I took that taste and continued trying every performance outlet the church had to offer including the adult choir, youth theatre, and eventually the church orchestra! Simultaneously my parents began taking me to piano lessons and, despite my weekly objections and youthful tantrums, I was fed music theory and classical form. It was tough. But I thank my parents every day for dragging me there because it allowed me to expand my knowledge of music into mallet percussion, drums, and guitar by the time I got through high school, where I attended the Coronado School of Performing Arts! I was accepted into the musical theatre department and studied that every day, but at my lunch breaks I would go jam with my friends in the music department! I developed a need to be in a rock band and write songs from that point forward so I joined my first band when I was 16 and got my first shot at songwriting and composing. Once I got to San Diego State University, I continued studying theatre and fully intended to pursue acting as my main profession. But after my high school band fell apart (surprised?), I created my own band in 2012 during my freshman year of college and I’m happy to say that band is still going strong today! I graduated SDSU in 2016 with a BA in Theatre-Performance, but by then I was in three working bands, performing solo, and playing in the orchestra pit for theatres around town. It was clear my heart was in music and since graduation, I have dove head first into the music business here in San Diego. I even work a day job building banjos for the esteemed “Deering Banjo Co.” and although I will continue to do theatre to fulfill that passion, I hope my career continues to root itself in the music business!

Please tell us about your art.
I try to do some amount of songwriting every day. Whether that means actually sitting down with my guitar and recording a 10-second riff on my phone that I think sounds cool, or writing a couple lines of verse in my virtual notepad for a future song. I’m constantly singing in my own head and I tend to write a lot about what I observe rather than my “personal demons.” I generally keep pretty busy and I’m constantly around the public, so I have learned to people watch and I’m inspired by events that I observe far more often than events I personally go through. Of course, I write about that too, but I think its fun to be a narrator and it allows me to create my own mix of fiction and non-fiction about the events I witness. I tend to let my subconscious take the wheel a lot of the time which sometimes leaves me the job of decoding my own thoughts after I finish a song. And although I write primarily as an on-looker a lot of the time, I later realize how much of my raw emotion about the situation is strewn throughout, sometimes feelings I didn’t even know I had about it are revealed throughout the process. I love the feeling of discovery and I write with the hope that people dont find it contrived but hear the honesty in the lyrics or the music.

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
I think the life of an artist has gone through a complete overhaul this past decade from what people may view as stereotypical. No more can artist be these indie, mysterious figures that hole up and focus on creating something gorgeous for months at a time without constantly engaging with there fans. Everything is social media and the constant changes in trends, what’s correct to talk about and when the right time to post things for the best “engagement results”, make becoming an artist more like studying to graduate with a social-media marketing degree. Your art is barely the thing people engage with, they are far more interested in getting to know you more personally. Once they have become a fan of “you”, THEN they may consider listening to your music or reading your book or watching your film. Its created a culture of artists that are far more self-absorbed. It’s hard to call it narcissism because I see now that it is truly an essential aspect of success in our world.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am constantly performing in one aspect or another and you can follow me on Facebook at Dakota Ringer. My band “The Naked i” is performing all over San Diego and releasing new music very soon! You can follow a lot of my personal events as well as band updates through the bands Instagram (@thenakedimusic) and you can hear my music on our website or any streaming website you use like Spotify, Apple music, etc… The best support we can have is new fans so if you like funky, alternative blues rock (or the like), you should check us out!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Fred Strack
Ted Caplaneris
Will Rice

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