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An Interview with Songstress Tania Rivas


by Betsy Lewis 18 Feb 2009

Tania Rivas claims to write songs in an effort to understand the inner workings of the male mind. While lesser songstresses would have deserted this futile effort after about 10 minutes, Tania has graced the Wicked Wednesday night playbill of Jack’s Backyard for the full month of February and performs tonight. Sharing the stage with her pal […]

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Tania Rivas claims to write songs in an effort to understand the inner workings of the male mind. While lesser songstresses would have deserted this futile effort after about 10 minutes, Tania has graced the Wicked Wednesday night playbill of Jack’s Backyard for the full month of February and performs tonight. Sharing the stage with her pal Cricket Taylor, Tania’s music might help ease us over the pre- and post-Valentine’s Day emo bridge.

Hear “Raw Sugar Elements” by Tania Rivas:


Who is in the audience at your concerts?

Generally the people that attend my concerts are ones that walk in off the street, or they’re from out of town and don’t know where they are, and I invite them to come in and hang out. Also if I happen to be dating a dude at the time, I try to get him to come to at least a couple of shows. So there’s one. And then significant others … lovers and girlfriends … and what not … they come and hang out.

Do you feel like you’ve made any sacrifices to be a musician?

The only thing that you sacrifice is maybe a little sanity. Your life is a soundtrack. You wake up with a song. Your whole head is filled with music – all the time.

Is there a sense of competition among musicians in Dallas?

The higher up on the totem pole you get with creativity, the less competition there is, because those artists are so self-aware of what they’re creating that when they talk with you, it is all about music and learning and progressing and creating. The people that I’ve met that are competitive tend not to be that talented. They may put their image over the art. I am not interested in talking to people about image. I’m more interested in talking to all musicians about how they create.

Why have you chosen to build a career in North Texas?

I host people from South By Southwest all the time. Whenever they come to town they call me and crash on my couch. So I get to talk to people from L.A. or Chicago or Minneapolis or New York, Boston or whatever, and I ask them about their scene. There’s really not a lot that they like about Dallas, coming from other places, but what we have compared to all these other cities is – I like to say – that we’re an incubator. You come here and you take care of your talent. You grow yourself. And then once you’re ready for exposure, you travel. This is the perfect incubator for an amazing amount of talent. Dallas is a hotbed of original music. You can come here and be as weird as you want to be and afford the cost of living.

Image by Michael Fiddleman.

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