Hold on tight. Your team is as important as anything else. Dedicate a window of time to your dream every single day. Even if you can only find 15 minutes. Make music with your friends. Challenge yourself.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Demi Ramos.
Demi Ramos started her first rock band at age eleven. A Puerto Rican Bronx native, she studied Opera at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, quickly becoming a favorite in the New York underground scene where she sold out DIY and basement shows. It wasn’t long before she was filling rooms such as Mercury Lounge, SOBs, Webster Hall and Brooklyn Bazaar. Currently signed with Elite Model Management, Demi is ready to release her newest single. She co-hosts a popular music podcast “It’s Real with Jordan and Demi” presented by Popdust, and can be seen hosting events at New York Fashion Week.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I went to middle school in the Bronx until I got into Laguardia High School for Performing Arts. I started my first band at age 11 when VH1 Save the Music Foundation donated instruments to my middle school. When I was 17, I was scouted and moved to Europe to model. I carried my acoustic guitar everywhere and picked up a lot of jamming with other artists from Europe and the UK.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I grew up with my parents playing bands like The Police, Paul Simon, Sublime, Tracy Chapman and The Rolling Stones.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I used to have the worst stage fright when I would play every Friday at this bar downtown. I’d get so nervous that I would go into the bathroom and put my head in between my legs to get the blood rushing back to it before going on stage to perform… It was usually around 5 people in the crowd then.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I refused to play electric guitar, I only wanted to play acoustic. Until one day my drummer lent me his electric guitar and once I felt the rumble of the electricity on my body, I never went back to acoustic again. I’ve learned to always be open to exploring new sounds.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’ve been experimenting with a solo project and am continuing to work with the band. Aside from my music, I co-host a podcast where I get to interview some of my favorite artists… stay tuned 😉
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I think it’s important because growing up in the Bronx around so many backgrounds, I’ve learned that everyone has their story to tell. It’s important to advocate for diversity because different backgrounds have their special point of view to share and contribute. I want people to feel more connected to the artists they see in the media. When it comes to people in the entertainment industry, it’d be nice to see more representation of diversity in the business and management side as well.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1- Hold on tight.
2- Your team is as important as anything else.
3- Dedicate a window of time to your dream every single day. Even if you can only find 15 minutes.
4- Make music with your friends.
5- Challenge yourself.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Oof that’s rough. Your ‘no’ can be just as powerful as your ‘yes’. Also having a great support system is so vital to any success story.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Making sure that kids have access to the arts. I’m a big advocate for creative programs and budgets in public schools- if VH1 didn’t donate instruments to my middle school, I’m not sure where I’d be. I always dreamed of opening up a center in New York City where kids are able to go in and have access to music, instruments, and lessons.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am grateful for the mentors I had growing up, Suzanne Vega or My guitar teacher Mr. G. For this specific project I chose to work with some of my closest friends in the world. From producing, mixing, styling, cover album shoots, creative direction, business management, those who come to my shows, shoutout to my mom for letting me use her motorcycle for the cover shoot!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Fear is the only thing standing in between you and the things you want- no risk, no reward 🙂
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Oprah Winfrey, please!
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!