Welcome back to the Musiq Scene, a platform for celebrating the process, development, and success of queer womyn artists around the world. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Terra Lopez of Rituals of Mine, an electronic music group hailing from Sacramento, California. Originally entering the music world through singing, Terra has since started creating her own electronic compositions. She tells me about her inspirations, dreams, and music’s power of bringing people together.
When did you first become involved in music?
I’ve been singing ever since I can remember. Music has always been an outlet that I’ve clung to honestly but Dani and I have been creating music together for many years now. We started playing house shows and then the fan base just continued to build over the years. But I remember singing as a little kid and secretly wanting to perform. I taught myself how to sing when I was in college – I would sit for hours in my bedroom, studying Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Fiona Apple, Jeff Buckley and eventually learned how to hit certain notes. From there, I began finding my own voice and honing in on the craft of singing and discovering what they meant for me. I’ve been performing ever since.
What is your inspiration and why?
When it comes to music, there are so many inspirations. Life, it’s hardships, it’s joy all inspire me on a consistent basis. My friendships and my family also inspire and motivate me to keep going. Musically, Bjork, Jeff Buckley, Portishead – they all inspire me and have for over a decade. Literature also really inspires me – probably more than anything. Literature has always prompted me to write.
Why is music important to the queer community?
Music is so crucial to the queer community because like with any community, it really brings people together; but I think that in regards specifically to the queer community, it has helped bring so many people in this community together. It’s so beautiful to see the queer community in our own fan base; it’s so loving and welcoming at our shows and it is really special to see our queer family in the audience.
What do you hope to achieve as an artist?
We just want to create genuine music that moves people and we want to continue growing and improving as much as we can.
Did music play an integral role in your coming out? If yes, how so?
I think music was essential for me because I was able to channel all of my feelings – whether I was feeling confused, intrigued, scared, etc – I was able to focus on music and put those feelings somewhere tangible. I was able to express those feelings and that helped me immensely. I was also able to identify with something. I was a singer, and that helped carve out a space for me in my own community. It was so important to me.
Given the challenges facing our country and community, in your opinion, what is most needed for the queer community now? How can the music scene further that goal?
I think people just need to be there for the queer community – we need to continue rallying together and show all the love we can to crush this strange time that we are in. It’s really beautiful to see people come together and music undeniably provides the space for that so I think we just need to keep showing up for our queer community and use our voices for those who may not be able to and use any platform that we can to show love.