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Cheers To Changes: From Full Time Geologist to Full Time Artist

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

Raquel Cepeda | Houston Jazz Singer. Geologist. Photo by Lindy Pollard.

Photo Credit: Lindy Pollard

"Some gifts we share and benefit a few. Some gifts have the power of benefiting many."

Dear friends,

I hope this note find you all healthy and happy! The past few months have been of interesting changes and opportunities.

Most of you know me a as a singer, but a lot of you also know me as a Geologist, and then, a singer. Since year 1996 I have been working in the oil industry non stop, only breaking to do my Masters in Science at the University of Colorado in year 2002 to 2005. But along with Science and Geology, Singing is a passion that has always been part of my life, and that in the past years, day by day it has been taking more and more of me. For a couple of years now I have been wishing to have more time to catch up with the various music related projects that I have pending and that I am dying to execute, but didn’t have the time to because of the demands of my job, which I have always enjoyed thoroughly, but required a tremendous amount of attention and commitment, leaving very little to music.

Still in these circumstances, I was able to participate in a recording project with guitarist Gonzalo Mico for the CD “Juegos de Playa” in year 2000 in Venezuela; to do my first solo CD “I’m Confessin’” in 2013 in Houston; to participate in Kenneth Easton’s recording project “The Fountainhead” in 2014; to be featured in different important events, including “Salsa y Salud” at the Miller Theater in year 2013 and “The Latin Side of Jazz” at the Moores Opera House the last month of April; and to sing at different public venues and private events on a continuous basis. To all the ones that are trying to do the same, I’ll say, yes it can be done! Just be ready to be busy!

The day has only so many hours, and I have so many more things and projects that I want to do… I knew that if I wanted to take this to the next level I was going to need dedicated time. But once one grows accustomed to a steady salary, the fear of not having that steadiness anymore can be frightening.

Yes, there was fear. All along. For many months I wondered what would be life like if I took the time to work only in music and arts? What if? How would it look like? How would it feel like? How would my days look like if… What if…

I talked to many close friends about this. My sensible solution came to the decision of making as much as I could in preparation for a possible jump. When? I did not know. But I knew that when it came, I would feel as it was the natural move, and more than anything, I would be ready. Ready in my craft. Ready with my tools.

The thing is, I feel blessed with having this gift of singing. I owe it to having the luck of coming to birth from the parents that I did, and to personal industriousness. It is a gift that did not come the way it is right now just by once. I had to work it over time. Cultivate it. This voice is a muscle that I had to learn how to use, and how to take care of. But more than anything I owe it to God’s grace, who allows me to keep it and to use it. And like with all of God’s gifts, I feel the the joy of using it, the responsibility of sharing it, and feel that it would be a crime and a bad gesture to the Giver not to use it in this earthy life. How many times have I been at a concert, listening to one of my friends or favorite artists sing, or perform an instrument, and feel overtaken by joy, while thinking: what a waste to humanity if this person instead of using and sharing this gift and giving this moment of joy, would have decided to be an engineer? Nothing against engineers, I am one of them! But you get my point. Some gifts we share and benefit a few. Some gifts have the power of benefiting many.

With the Oil industry passing through rough times and companies wanting to reduce their personnel due to price crashes, this year has brought the amazing opportunity to me of getting a severance package that allows me to have the right economic support to go from the “what if’s” to the “this is how it looks like”, and I am taking that opportunity.

So I am planning to dedicate to Music full time.

Many people are happy for me; many people I can feel that are silently in shock. Many of them have the same fear that I have had for all these months. I can’t blame them. But I think that there is something about the mechanics of our realities, how our thoughts and desires are manifested though some sort of Universal conspiracy, and I feel that I am in the very eye of that energetic hurricane right now.

Therefore, I am not frightened anymore. I am actually, ecstatic. And thankful.

Others would call it just luck. In any case, the signals an synchronicities keep on coming, and I am letting this wonderful wind guide me as I embark this new stage of my life.

Cheers to changes.

Raquel Cepeda | Houston Jazz Singer. Geologist

Raquel Cepeda | Houston Jazz Singer. Geologist.

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