Emilie Rasmussen 3.13.2019

On February 28, Ryan Maki (whose musician name is Maki) had an EP Release show at Art Obscura. Simeon Beardsley and Nicholas Roche performed before him.

Art Obscura is a small, local art gallery located in Mesilla Park. It was my first time visiting the gallery in the almost year-and-a-half that I’ve been living in Las Cruces. I realized that it’s ridiculously close to where I live, and that I really have been missing out on something. I went with my friends Alex and Christian, both of whom really love music.

We drove over at about 8:00, thinking that we were going to be late, but the performances only really began at about 8:30. We walked around the downstairs gallery and then went upstairs to take a look.

The downstairs gallery was sparsely but warmly lit, and the upstairs was bright but filled with interesting things. It felt like a safe and comfortable place to be.

When the performance began, the three of us sat down near the front of the small crowd. It was a very intimate performance. Nicholas Roche performed, then Simeon Beardsley, then Maki.

Maki performed the songs from his new EP, “In My Head,” and then a couple of his older songs. “In My Head” includes the songs “Live,” “Crossroads,” and Mercy.”

On Wednesday, February 27, I sat in on Myra interviewing Maki for an episode of The Blah Blah Blah. In the interview, Maki explained that music is something that he can lose himself in.

About the song “Live,” Maki said: “As I was writing this song, it was like the words were just spewing out of my mouth… Honestly, I’d say the same about the second song [Crossroads].”

Maki went on to explain what his song “Crossroads” means to him.

“Crossroads…that one hits home because, without stating who it’s about, it’s about a struggle I have with someone in my life that I love a lot, and we have just had a very hard time finding a good balance between each other. That song is basically about that and how I feel like this person struggles listening to me and understanding where I’m coming from,” said Maki.

“It’s the closest thing, when I play it again, to ever… fully expressing how I feel in the moment,” continued Maki.

Later in the interview, Maki told us that the music he writes is for himself. Because of this, he is always amazed when people connect to it.

“You don’t really think about how that really impacts them until someone comes to you and really tells you how they feel about your music,” said Maki.

About writing music, Maki said that it “…is very worth it. I can evoke that kind of emotion or connect with someone because of something that I wrote, that is about me, or something that I’m going through. It’s incredible. There’s nothing like it, honestly…it’s amazing.”

Maki also said that performing in front of people is “…amazing. I love it. It’s amazing. I’m really fortunate to even have that platform, to be honest…”

Being with other people who care a lot about artistic expression is refreshing.

During his performance, Maki talked about how vulnerable the musicians before him had been, and how he admired them for being able to do so. This was something that I had noticed, too.

When I watched Nicholas Roche sing and strum his guitar, I realized just how personal what he was performing was to him, and I felt amazed that he was able to share that with a group or twenty-or-so people. This reminded me that vulnerability and connection to other people are very special things.