We had the good fortune of connecting with Raul Ochoa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raul, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Over time music had to evolve from an obsession into something more concrete and scheduled. I’ve found the older I get in a way the more introverted I become and the quicker I am overstimulated so I find quiet much more comforting. It’s regular routine for me now to dedicate only 1-2 days a week for rehearsal or writing. I also drive to performances in complete silence versus when I was younger I would blare music to get myself hyped up.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My professional life happened by accident. I needed money for rent and through a friend vouching for me after seeing me at open mic I became part of Tammy Miranda Music Productions roster of musicians. I haven’t looked back. The part of my story I would want to share is that despite all that life throws at us, we can prevail and find beauty in our past.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Food will be all local spots. First round will be taco carts followed by some other Austin staples. In better times I would recommend jazz night at Elephant Room for some cocktails. Then we would hit up either a local open mic to hear up and comers or somewhere on east 6th street. Eventually heading downtown to see the club scene and catch top notch cover bands. One of the days will either be spent at the Greenbelt or driving out to Salt Lick or a winery. And lastly would be watching the bats at sundown over Congress bridge.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Austin Harmony Project Non-Profit. It is a center for developmentally disabled adults founded by a fellow musician, Tressie Seger. The adults have regular shows of musicians volunteering their time to perform which I used to organize. Now it is run far more efficiently and successfully by my friend Samantha Lee Bridwell, another fellow musician.
All photos by Bill Müllarky and Studio Gilbii