We had the good fortune of connecting with Paige Koehler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paige, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
People who think and ask questions. Especially in a time like this where you have so much time to reflect and question. Sometimes it takes a pause like this to reassess what’s important and to find some cracks in our every day lives that we should learn to take care of. I’m inspired by the people who have taken advantage of this time to acknowledge hard issues and chose to take time to learn. It’s a time to pivot and move forward and anyone who’s valuing this crazy time in a way that will help their neighbors and community, I’m inspired by them.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets me apart is that although I’m a solo artist, I’m not alone when I’m up on stage. The crowd becomes my cushion when things get weird. It can be really awkward to to put your diary into lyrics and openly sing them to a crowd of strangers. Because I was involved in a lot of house shows in college, my performing mentality formed into one where if I’m going down, the crowd is going down with me. I usually throw some banter to the crowd and see who eats it up. Whoever gives me any kind of response becomes my go to person. If things get awkward, I’m looking to this person to throw me some banter and help me get out of it. If this person needs me to freestyle a song about their favorite fruit, I’m doing it. If they need me to start a conga line, I’m doing it. It’s me and this person going into battle and from there it becomes an open conversation for everyone. I need the crowd to take some of the attention off of me and usually they’re happy to do it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think I would take them to grab a drink down on Harbor Island at Ketch or Eppig Brewing, both ideal, low key San Diego spots right on the water. We’d spend some time exploring the caves at Sunset Cliffs at low tide and would probably throw in a beach day at the cliffs while we’re at it. Hopefully, one of my favorite local bands would be playing around town or practicing in their rehearsal space. We’d go and see them and let my guests see the legends that are in the local scene. They’d get to experience the open door policy our local music scene has on creating and collaborating with creatives of all sorts. We’d ride our bikes over to Mission/ PB area and ideally they’d be able to catch the legend that is Slomo skating the board walk. At the end of our bike ride we’d have a pop up picnic set up by Beckon Experiences at Kate Sessions park at sunset. Then finally I’d take them to Liberty Station on a Friday night to roller skate and see the amazing, underground skate culture that I’ve only just learned about this year. People young and old, good skaters and bad, bring lights and music and have a good ol’ fashioned Friday night gliding around in the purest of ways – it’s one of the coolest cultures and one my newest discoveries after nearly 10 years of living here.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would say that I owe it to my family and friends from both the east and west coast. Being bi-coastal has helped my musical career immensely and here’s why: Growing up in New Jersey, I had a great support system that pushed me to keep writing and singing (even when my songs were extremely cringeworthy at 15 years old). I think growing up with the east coast mentality of ‘use it or lose it’ has helped me to keep grinding and take on new opportunities. My East coast people taught me grit and gave me the confidence to believe I should keep playing and writing music. Then on the other hand, I owe a lot to my West coast people. After I came to San Diego for college, I found a network that welcomed me into the local music scene. I was always really surprised when people kept showing up for my gigs and I don’t think I’d continue gigging as much as I did if they hadn’t. My West coast people know how to enjoy their after work lives and show up for creativity. The music scene here is not just full of musicians, it’s full of creators, networkers, friends, entrepreneurs, and most of all listeners who recognize the importance of supporting your friends. I feel lucky to be a combination of ‘move it or lose it’ and ‘go with the flow,’ and owe it all to my Weast coast people.
Other: Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3jtq4yZGjUAb8ALTeyKMjZ?si=lP8MBwD2SVupE_MrKMqIXA
Kirsten Anderson Fonzie Amaro Fonzie Amaro Fonzie Amaro Cole Herauf Adam Johnson Adam Johnson