Since recording his first album, "Knowing," in 2011, Jason Ropp has been digging for thoughtful and accessible imagery to help people navigate the complexities of being human. The songs themselves flow from the harder edges of life, so expect a story or two. Jason's music can offer a place of calm or shake listeners by the collar, but it won't be ignored. Above all, whether through lyrics, music, or conversation, Jason's aim in every moment to create a space that allows listeners to, even if for a moment, find purpose and focus.

Q&A with Jason Ropp

Where were you born?
Albany, Oregon

What is your earliest musical memory? 
I sang with my brothers at church a lot when I was pretty young, maybe two or three. Those are all kind of blobbed together into one memory but I still remember getting in front of everyone and harmonizing.

When did you start identifying as a musician?
Probably when I formed a band in high school. I remember another student calling me a rock star and telling me I needed to keep playing.

What instruments do you play?
Guitar, Keys, Drums, Harmonica to varying degrees

What has been your two favorite gigs so far and why?
Both of my favorite gigs were probably while on the road with Jonathan Reuel. They were small and unimpressive but they had what Jonathan calls 'ghetto magic.' For example, while playing at a friends house along an inlet of Baltimore harbor on a makeshift plywood stage so we wouldn't have to stand on the side of a slope; the moon was out and bouncing off the water and a great singer songwriter was there so we invited her to play a few, including the most moving version of Moon River I've ever heard. I love the sorts of shows you could never recreate no matter how much time and money you threw at them. 

What are your musical goals?
Spend the next 20 years creating spaces for people to experience and appreciate beauty, and to process the tougher edges of life.

Who are your musical comrades?
Musicians in the Dandelion Seed Company: Jonathan Reuel, Nate and Amber Butler, Ben Metz. Also Michelle Oyer, Tyler Mounsithiraj, anna p.s.

Who are your musical inspirations?
Jack White, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Güngor.

Who is your main musical mentor?
Jonathan Reuel

What quote would you say is your mantra?
Grow like trees.

What's your favorite song that you've written?
Fool's Gold (not yet recorded)

What's your favorite lyric that you've written?
"And all things new / I'd rather keep what's broken / Imagination too weak to get me home"

What's the most meaningful thing anyone has said to you about your music?
A home show host asked me to play a song at his funeral. 

What are your other non-musical hobbies?
Writing. Gardening. Drawing.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Making the best music of my life. Hopefully three albums more under my belt and spending most of my time making music.

 

Photographer: Grant Beachy Photography

Musician: Jason Ropp