Some time ago, I started writing for RIFF Magazine – a local music publication that focuses primarily on album and concert reviews, and other music related news. A former colleague and good acquaintance of mine had started casually writing for them, so I got inspired to try my hand at it, too, having recently come to the realization that I am passionate about this line of work, and I hope to continue doing it in whatever capacity I can in the future.
I had gone through a bit of a probation period to see if I was a good fit for my first article, and after getting approved, it ran the next week – it was on the iconic Louise Post of 90’s band, Veruca Salt. She had recently released a solo album, and I was here for it. After it went up, Louise responded to me personally thanking me for covering her album, and inviting me to her show at Cafe Du Nord during the summer, which I gleefully accepted and attended.
I had started off with a bang, and I was in for the ride. Not all of the assignments I took on were easy or ones that went as smoothly as the first, but regardless, I loved the challenge of listening to both music I was familiar with, as well as artists I had not listened to previously. The tight deadlines and specific aspects of music journalistic specific writing had come with many learning curves, but also with an immense amount of support.
I love all sorts of music, but I gravitate a lot between 90’s grunge/rock and bubblegum pop. Those who have followed me online for a bit know I incessantly post about my love for artists such as pop stars Charli XCX and Kim Petras, to name a few – the reason being, I have strong attachments and memories with this underground pop scene and have had my own small involvement along the way.
The EIC of Riff was made aware from the get-go that I am a fan of Kim, and that she follows me on Twitter. So, when news broke that Kim was to release a new album in June, that meant not only an opportunity to cover the album, but the show as well.
We reached out to Kim’s PR folks, and sadly ended up not being able to get an advanced stream (which is necessary, oftentimes involving embargos as well), so that fell through – so, my editor pushed a bit to try to see if we could potentially do an interview as a feature. The response we were given was essentially a nice way of saying, “thanks, but no thanks” (in PR speak that is “Kim’s schedule is very busy with the album release, she is on vocal rest, etc.”). I still signed up to cover the show, and left it at that. I had learned throughout this process to not get too attached to certain potential assignments, as sometimes as in the above scenario, they can fall through and it can be disappointing.
However, when we again reached out to Kim’s PR regarding the show coverage the following month, we once again inquired about an interview, the response this time started off similarly as before, but then quickly after the surprise drop of Kim’s shelved album Problematique, it altered to asking if we would be okay with an exclusive quote. My editor responded that we would not really be able to do anything with that for an advanced feature, and so a compromise was finally (and on my end, unexpectedly) reached to do an email interview.
I was having a particularly hectic Monday morning, working since 5:30 a.m., dealing with call outs and scheduling and making sure things were running smoothly, all while trying to catch up on a novel I had to read for a seminar that evening, and then also prepping for my zoom call interview with SFSU’s Women’s Center at 11 a.m. that day.
Doing a quick check of all of my inboxes that morning, I saw that I had gotten an email saying my class for the evening got canceled, and then upon my other inbox, I gasped when I got a new email in the thread with Kim’s PR adn my editor, that we had come to an agreement to do the Q&A via email. Though Kim and I have interacted in the past, this made my heart swell, not only out of gratitude, but also because I knew this sort of opportunity would be a game changer for me as a writer. What better way to break into the industry than being able to have an exclusive Q&A with one of my favorite artists?
We set deadlines and terms, and I hastily came up with 15 questions that were to be unique, couldn’t elicit a simple yes or no answer, and were not covered elsewhere. A little over a week later, I got the questions back, and it was everything I had hoped and more. They say not to meet your idols because you’ll end up disappointed, but in a situation like this, where a dream no matter how small can come true, I say – go for it.
You can read my interview with Kim Petras here: