Video Feature & Web-Exclusive Interview

Video:  “My Love is a Hurricane” – from the new album My Love is a Hurricane


David Ramirez will be the featured artist this Thursday (July 30) at Blue Rock aLIVE!—a unique virtual summer concert series—featuring iconic Austin-based artists every Thursday this summer. Blue Rock is a good example of innovation, quality and creativity. Each event is produced in broadcast quality audio-video from Blue Rock’s renowned Texas room—streamed straight to you. When you buy a Season Pass for $105 (, you send in your headshot—and they place it on a seat, so you will literally be sitting in the room.

Ramirez has been building a strong following with his intuitive songwriting and wide range of musical styles. He speaks his truth and allows the listener to feel joy and sadness with equal measure. He doesn’t hold back—forging ahead without apology as we enter his soulful perspective on life, as he sees it. His passion for songwriting stirs the listener to move their feet and bob their heads.

We talked with David Ramirez about his passion for songwriting, the unique way he tells his story as we watch his life unfold in soulful songs with a sonic groove, and what continues to inspire his creative process and keep him humble and hopeful.

David Ramirez

with M Music & Musicians magazine publisher, Merlin David   

How did the idea for the song “My Love is a Hurricane” come to you?
It’s the title track to the new record and it is a testament to how wild and constant I can be. I’d been in a relationship for a few years and last fall I was going through a rough time—not sure we were going to make it out. I had no intention of this being a breakup record. I wanted it to all be love songs, so I was trying to navigate writing a song that was still positive in the midst of what could be a big heartache. As I was thinking about my life, I realized every relationship I had been in had ended in hurricane season. I immediately thought of my parents and the stories they would tell about my birth. I was born in the middle of one of the biggest hurricanes that Houston had ever seen—Hurricane Alicia. As I was processing that, I wondered if there was some weird parallel in the universe—because I came into the world during a storm that I’d be carrying that around with me every year. I saw it not as a hurricane being destructive but as a hurricane being powerful.

What happened to that relationship?
Fortunately, she and I mended fences and all worked out. But the birth of that song tracked back to my birth into this world. It’s heavy but I think there’s also sweetness to it—the power of Mother Nature. I’m not sure I believe in destiny or fate, but I do love that imagery and I find it to be incredibly romantic. I’m sure it’s easy to write a song about a hurricane, but the fact that I was born into one—that’s like that Bane quote from Batman (The Dark Knight Rises): “You think darkness is your ally. You merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, molded by it.” (Laughs)

David Ramirez

What did you learn about yourself after completing this new album?
I learned that collaboration is the only way I want to live and create from here on out. I was invited to do a side project with a few other songwriters in 2018—they wanted to start a band, Glorietta, with just friends [a self-titled “friend record”]. It was the first time I recorded as a band member and not the front man. There were six of us in a house, an Airbnb, and we made something really special. I fell in love with it and I wanted to explore that with my own music. A lot of it boiled down to getting older and understanding my ego is not that important. Before Glorietta, I was so obsessed with my name being on the back of my record: “All songs written by David Ramirez.” I let go of my ego and realized there is beauty in collaboration—a lot of people putting their fingerprint on a project. If you get the right people, it can be a lot more beautiful and a lot more layered than just one person’s perspective.

Was it a difficult transition to work with others?
It wasn’t easy but very much worth it. It took a lot more time. When you make plans to work with a lot of people, inevitably you have a more schedules to deal with. My past albums only took two weeks to a month to compete. This album, we worked on for 18 months. There are only 10 songs on the final record, but we wrote and recorded 18 songs. We had to navigate people’s schedules and we didn’t know the sonic vibe we were trying to create. We experimented with a lot of different stuff—but very, very well worth it. You have to find the right people. If I’d tried to tackle something like this when I was younger, I would have probably walked away from it. But I’m older now, and I can navigate putting that team together that I trust. I got real good at delegating.

Is there a song that you are especially glad made it onto this album?
There are a few for different reasons. Sonically, as far as the recording goes, the vibe and the genre, “Hell” is my favorite. It just bumps. I love the mood it creates. But lyrically, my favorite song is “Easy Does It.” It’s such a hopeful tune, from partner to partner—we’re on the same team and you don’t have to go through this whole life by yourself. We can get there together.

David Ramirez

This album vision seems very different from your other albums.
The evolution has been happening since my debut album in 2009 [American Soil]. I did go into this one knowing that I wanted to switch things up. I’ve been making folk/Americana records my entire life. As much as I love that genre and that world, I was personally getting a bit bored—here’s an acoustic guitar, a banjo or a fiddle or something. I wasn’t sure contextually what I was going to write about but I knew sonically I wanted it to have a real vibe, a lot more electronic. When they put it on, I want people to bob their heads. Typically with a folk record the most movement you’re going to get is somebody taps their foot. I was looking forward to touring with this record. Unfortunately, we’re quarantined. I wanted to see people in the audience move a little bit more. I definitely purposely took a left turn. This album was definitely intentional.

What instruments and equipment can you not life without?
It’s pretty basic to start out. It’s either with an acoustic guitar or with a piano. If I can’t get a whole song complete, then I at least come to the table with an idea. As more people start putting their instruments on the track, then we move things around—what if we put these instruments earlier rather than later. Then my brain starts opening up. But it all starts very simple with just a notepad, pen and one instrument. The thing that I love more than anything is the story. If the story is not there—I couldn’t care less. Whatever the song sounds like or feels like, I personally gravitate first to a story. If I get bogged down with drum machines or all kinds of instruments before I get the idea of what I’m trying to say, which I have sometimes done in the past—then I lose sight of the essence of the story. The story is first and foremost.

Did you always want to be a musician?
There wasn’t any particular day when I said this is what I want to do. My senior year in high school, I got transferred to a different school. All the kids I fell into were all theatre and choir kids. I had come from a baseball life. It was an introduction to arts that I never had before. That was a slow build. When I went to college, everyone was in their dorm rooms playing acoustic guitars. Then I started playing shows. I never really thought this is what I’m going to do with my life. Slowly, more opportunities started coming my way, and before I knew it, and for a lack of a better word—I was stuck. (Laughs) This is who I became. I 100% stumbled into it. It wasn’t intentional. I do wake up now choosing to do this. But when it first happened, it wasn’t by any means a conscious decision.

David Ramirez

Who originally inspired you to write songs?
No one person inspired me to begin writing. I just felt the need to share my feelings and my story. It wasn’t a childhood dream. I did love music and there was always music playing in the house. Music was never an option for me. I never thought “Oh, I could do that.” I just thought—that’s what certain people do. They are musicians, and I’m not one of them. I wanted to play baseball. I wasn’t good enough to go pro but I wanted to play baseball in college and then I’d go and get a job. But the world had different plans.

Do you remember the first time you heard your song on the radio?
I wish I had grown up in the time of the 50s when you’d make it by hearing yourself on the radio—and you’d run around the streets going crazy. Now, there’s no longer a surprise element because you basically know when someone is going to play your song on the radio. I absolutely love that radio stations play what I do. I am grateful.

Do you remember the first time you realized your music was making a big impact?
About eight or nine years ago, the first time I got a million streams on Spotify—that was mind-blowing—probably more so than being played on the radio for the first time. The radio can be background music. Streams are intentional. People are intentionally listening to that particular song. Just the fact that I’m doing something that people want to have as a part of their lives—is easily the most humbling thing in the world. I’m continually surprised that people go out of their way to scroll through millions of artists and click my name.

David Ramirez

Which Top 5 Musicians inspired you to become a musician?
I wouldn’t dare name five. I’m inspired by anyone who has the courage to look themselves in the mirror and choose to create.

What are your Top 5 favorite albums of all time?
Tidal (1996) – Fiona Apple
The Eminem Show (2002) – Eminem
August and Everything After (1993) – Counting Crows
Heartbreaker (2000) – Ryan Adams
To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) – Kendrick Lamar

Tell us a “pinch me” moment when you thought “Wow, this is really happening to me!
The first was March 5, 2011. I had just released an EP titled Strangetown. I released it in January, and two months later, I sold out my first show here in Austin, TX at The Parish. It’s not a massive venue but it seats 450 people. There was a line around the block to get in. Before this, I had just been playing open mics, people’s living rooms or tiny coffee shops. It was a testament to my getting better as a writer but for the first time I had a manager who cared enough to put in the work to spread the music around. We played the show, and I could tell that it was packed but I didn’t know that I’d sold out the place. I was on stage—I wasn’t counting tickets. I finished my last song and I walked to the green room and my manager, Shane Wells, was sitting there and he said, “Congratulations, we just sold out The Parish!” I didn’t know what to do. He said, now get back out there and play another song. I’d never done an encore in my life—and certainly had never played for more than 50 people at one time. Shane started with me in 2010 and he believed in me.

What is it about Billy and Dodee Crockett and Blue Rock that is so unique?
I’m really looking forward to Thursday night. It’s going to be a good night. It’s been maybe two years since I’ve been there. It was a beautiful night, a beautiful space, great crowd, and they are really kind and generous. I’m looking forward to getting back out there.

What is the best advice someone has given you?
My parents always told me to work hard.

What is the best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Work harder.

How do you remain hopeful in this strange and unique time?
I believe the human race is more resilient when faced with oppression. This moment in time is a speed bump but it will ultimately bring us together. Fingers crossed.

Where can new fans get more info and stay updated?

David Ramirez


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