We had the good fortune of connecting with Angie Goeke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angie, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I honestly could not imagine doing anything else. Creating is core to who I am. Whether it is figuring out what to make for dinner or how to express a certain emotion or storyline through song, making something out of nothing is what motivates me. I don’t know that I would last long in a career field with strict boundaries and fill-in-the blank structures.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Primarily, I consider myself a storyteller through music and visual art. I am finding my own unique Americana/folk sound that is influenced by jazz, old country, and even old church hymns. I also paint. I love when I can combine these two to tell a story, whether personal or handed over to me. What makes my songwriting unique is that while some may write the details of the place or the people, I write the details of the hearts involved. I want to get beyond the facts of the story and find the deep emotional current that runs beneath. It is in those waters that listeners can connect and relate to the story. In every tale, I believe there are emotions we can share, even if the details of our own personal lives are different. I seek to reveal those through music and lyric so that others can connect and not feel alone.
I try to do the same through my paintings. The magic of the colors, brush strokes, and piercing eyes of a portrait can somehow connect to a deeply buried emotion of the viewer. I enjoy taking a photograph and translating it to canvas with paint, every brush stroke adding a layer of expression. When I am able to combine a song and a painting around the same story, I feel that my unique abilities shine.
Professionally, I have recorded my debut full-length album in Nashville, TN “If I Were Honest”. It was just released in April and is available on all streaming platforms. I also teach Middle School Art and Theatre. So I continue to use my creativity throughout the day, as well as finding opportunities to pursue being a full-time creative. I hope to do more bringing my painting and songwriting together over the next year.
Careers in the arts are not for the thin-skinned or faint-hearted. I have so much further I want to go and more I want to do, but even getting to this point has not been easy. Art of any kind is subjective, and yet, created with the intent to be seen or heard, and hopefully enjoyed! But the reality is that not everyone will love what I create. Seeking feedback is the way to grow and improve, yet receiving it can sometimes be very hard to hear. Learning to humbly receive critique while also staying true to your art is a challenging thin line to walk. Being an artist of any kind also requires financial risk and sacrifice. “It takes money to make money” has never seemed to be as true of a statement then in the music industry. And often getting to the “make money” half of the statement is an oddity. But we don’t do it for the money or fame. We create because we don’t know how NOT to.
Finding a community of other artists and creatives, songwriters and storytellers is key to facing those challenges. Not only are creatives some of the most supportive and encouraging people, but we love to share the lessons we have learned and the tips and tricks of the trade. The most successful people I know in the industry gladly and freely share their experiences, failures, and contacts. They genuinely want to see others succeed. I have learned that 1) showing up is as important as running the show; 2) when you show up, always be ready to serve and be helpful; 3) whether you feel it or not, you always have something to contribute; and 4) keep creating…no one ever arrives and hits their epitome of success. A true creative is always looking for the next idea or next form of expression.
I hope that my songs and my art bring people together. In a world of so much divisiveness and emotionally charged debates, I hope that my creations give others a healthy way to find commonality, to process their hurt, anger, and sorrow, to allow them space for a deep breath so they can connect in meaningful and helpful ways to those around them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For a week in the Houston/Katy area, I’d have to spend most of the week in the museum district. There are always fantastic art collections to be seen, plus the beauty of nature around and in The Houston Zoo. I’d make sure they tried a Papa Gyro’s gyro, a Joy Love hamburger, and many of the authentic taco trucks around town. Of course, we’d try and see as many live music shows that the week would allow. Some of my favorite venues are Anderson Fair, Mucky Duck, JP Hops, because they are quaint listening rooms where I can hear every lyric and take in the entirety of the song and intentions of the songwriter.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband and four children have been incredibly supportive of my creative endeavors. They see firsthand the risks involved with pursuing success in an industry whose product is subjective and and talent pool overly saturated. Even so, my husband encourages me to step out in faith and dream big. And my children have told me as they get older that they are inspired to see me go after what I want. It means the world to me that they aren’t resentful for evenings away or less family spending because of my personal pursuits.