We had the good fortune of connecting with Milo Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Milo, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Music. Music Is the thing that makes me the happiest. On the darkest days, and the lowest lows, I know that music has my back. Not only does producing and songwriting make me happy, but listening to music makes me happy as well. Music has been my life and passion since I was 4 years old. It keeps me going everyday. It gives me something to wake up to every morning. It makes me the happiest no matter what.
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.
To get to where I am was not an easy journey. To start off, I am trans, and I have Tourette’s. Dealing with a disability like Tourette’s is something that is so unpredictable and can get in the way of creating my music. For months I could not produce and create my art because of my tics. I had to relearn how to live my life because of my Tourette’s, but eventually decided I would not let my disability get in the way of creating music. My Tourette’s, along with the fact I am a trans teenager are extreme challenges in my day to day life, and in the music industry. Also the fact I am a teenager who makes his own music at the age of 16. These are all challenges that I face. I face ableism and transphobia, and people who don’t take me seriously because of my age.
Something I am most proud of is the fact I released music to the world while dealing with my Tourette’s. A year ago I thought I would never release music, or even touch another instrument in my life because of how debilitating my tics were. It definitely took a lot of time to get to the stage, or even the thought of releasing music while going through a hard time mentally and physically. Not only did my tics make it nearly physically impossible to make music, it took a major toll on my mental health. Then one day, out of nowhere, I decided I would not let my tics get the best of me, and decided to sit down and try to make music again.
One lesson I’ve learned throughout all of this is that you should not change yourself for anyone. Through coming out as trans, I went through a major identity crisis. Part of me wanted to stay closeted for my family and friends, but what would that mean for my happiness and well-being? I felt myself trying to change for the happiness of others and never myself. I wanted to fit everyone else’s standards but never my own. I had to learn how to live for myself and no one else. Learn to never change yourself for other people’s happiness.
What I want the world to know about my story is that despite all of my hardships, music has helped me through it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One place I would take them is to The Pearl. There’s lots of places to eat, and quite a few picture opportunities. If it is the first of the month, I would take them to “First Friday” at The Brick at Blue Star. I would also take them to Hemisfair tower to see a great view of the entire city. I would take them to the Jefferson Bodega for snacks from all over the world, and Mi Tierra to see the Christmas decorations left up all year. At nighttime, we could possibly hit up a show at the Paper Tiger. I would also take them to the beautiful River Walk! I don’t live downtown, so anything in the downtown area is fun and exciting for me.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely my Mother Madeline Bueno, my mentors Dillon O’Conn and Jed Craddock, and San Antonio Sound Garden. All of these people encourage me, give me opportunities, and push me to be the best I can be.