OUT OF THE
"There is something mystical about Ree Boado - whether it is her angelic physical presence walking through life or commanding an audience's attention on stage, the open and honest way she talks about how she wrestles with her life's demons each day, or the way the sky splits as rays of heaven pour through her music..." - Java Magazine
With a versatile sound that has been described as emotive, theatrical, surprising, forceful with ease, comforting, and genre bending, Ree Boado’s sophomore solo release, Out of the Mouth of Caves, highlights a softer, more melancholy side, with acoustic instruments and haunting, layered vocals as the musical base. Produced by Grammy Award winner Brian Whitman and already receiving great reviews from local and national industry leaders, Out of the Mouth of Caves is proving to be a strong step in the right direction for Ree.
Named by Phoenix New Times music editor as "the most radio ready, local act going right now", the Phoenix native, who has been known to fearlessly dive into topics such as spiritual abuse, the sex trade industry, or schizophrenic delusions, is now taking a turn to more personal matters such as love and the conflict it can bring. This album is a collection of songs in search of the wisdom that can only come from our darkest moments of distress.
Over several years of performing, writing, recording, and touring locally and nationally with three different rock bands, Ree has had the opportunity to share the stage with a wide range of musicians including Billboard Artists Taking Back Sunday, JJ Heller, and Audrey Assad, Dove Award winner Chris August, Grammy nominees Katie Herzig and Sophie B. Hawkins, American Idol's Brooke White, and Stephen Egerton of the punk band Descendents. The pursuit of a solo project began when she released the well received LP, Pretty Little Flies. In 2011, Ree donated several songs from this album towards a compilation album designed to help survivors of sex trafficking recover. In 2012, this album was featured in a documentary called Volviendo that won the MTV Exit and UNICEF International award for best documentary on human sex trafficking. More recently, Ree Boado was chosen to travel to Mexico City and be the featured artist in an upcoming documentary, Children of This Light, named after a song that she wrote. The film tells the tale of many street kids living in desperate environments and how the rest of us can care for them. It is scheduled for release in 2016.
No stranger to adventure and risk, Ree is currently living, teaching, and performing in Shunde, China with her husband, and plans to return to the U.S. in July 2016. China has already welcomed her with open arms, and Ree has been invited to perform in many larger venues and festivals in southern China. She recently won 3rd Place in The Voice of Shunde singing competition, as the only foreigner, and got to travel to the beautiful island of Sanya, often referred to as "China's Hawaii". The slow pace of life and low cost of living in Shunde has provided incredible opportunities for travel escapades around SE Asia. It has also given Ree more time for writing songs, and pursuing a career in songwriting, as well as continuing to share her music, voice, and heart at every opening.
Associated Bands: Dearspeak, Art For Starters
DARE TO MOVE OUTSIDE THE LINES / 5.30.16
Recently I filmed a music video for my upcoming song "Outside the Lines". The song is all about finding the freedom to live outside of the perfect lines we sometimes feel imposed upon us by society or even by ourselves. I don't think we can truly thrive if we don't challenge ourselves to try new things. This whole video and song style feel kind of new for me, and that is vulnerable. I can tend to write mainly chill, introspective songs, but out pops this upbeat, empowering, even danceable pop song. What?! The video cast and crew had the best time with all the fun and interesting scenes in the storyline (I want to tell you about it, but my lips are sealed!). AND there's this totally free for all dancing scene, where I actually danced by butt off! Me dancing in a music video? Now we're making history! And then a few days later came the ever present doubt that follows when you take a risk and dare to try something new, in front of people. Your mind tries to say "What are you doing? This isn't you. You're a fraud!" Those lies actually got me down a bit for a few days, trying to sift through those stupid old negative thoughts, but I'm a fighter, so I don't stay down. I'm back up and fighting off old lies and telling myself the truth. You are brave. You are full of life. You are trying new things, and that is vulnerable. But you are unique and making your small mark of spreading love, joy and freedom in this big world. You are enough. And sometimes you just gotta be free and let the sillies out!
#musicvideo #outsidethelines #reeboado #dancingisgoodforthesoul
LIVING HONESTLY / 4.27.16
I took a character strengths test and my #1 Strength is: HONESTY/ AUTHENTICITY. Man, I sure do value getting to the truth and sharing my true self with people. If I was in the Divergent books/movies, I'd definitely be in with Candor. And I can usually spot inauthenticity, dishonesty and denial a mile away. Pretty sure my past life experiences have shaped this trait. I grew up surrounded by so much denial and misinformation, manipulation, control and abuse. People spinning conversations to meet their needs instead of genuinely searching for truth. So much confusion, but I always fought to know the truth. Truth is of utmost importance to me. Not my version of the truth, but finding the actual truths in life and situations. Pushing myself outside of myself, in efforts to see my own blind spots and see the truth about myself... A.K.A. Self awareness.
Being a lover of words, a songwriter, and a person with my past experiences, I've also learned to listen intently to words that people choose to communicate in conversations. I definitely don't think I'm always right in life, but when it comes to first impressions, my instincts have proven to be pretty accurate. If I pick up on something, there is probably something there, even if I don't necessarily understand what it is. I try to overlook my gut, but I'm learning more and more to really trust it. Be open to people proving me wrong, but trust my instincts, set healthy boundaries in relationships, don't trust people who haven't earned it, and try my best to be authentic with people.
But sometimes along the way, you find there are relationships that cannot be reconciled, no matter how hard you try. And this is difficult for me to accept, being a fighter and believer in all people, but I'm learning. Talking through some of these things with my best friend of 23 years yesterday and she tells me "if anyone is an ambassador of reconciliation, it's gotta be you. I've seen you fight for it with countless difficult relationships in your life, and with me." Well that was encouraging. In recent times, I've had to let go of some people and it's not been easy. But I know I tried, and I'm a human in progress, like we all are. All I can do is try my best to live honestly and share whatever light and truth I have to offer the world. Some will receive it and others won't.
Time to let go and move forward for now. Life, friendships and adventures await. Here's to the future!
#chinalife #boadosinchina #reconciliationishard #relationshipsarehard #lessonlearned #nashvillebound
BIG NEWS / 4.20.16
We're moving back to the U.S. in July, but NOT to Phoenix.. WE'RE MOVING TO NASHVILLE. Yep. Been planning this for a while. Gotta follow the music/ songwriting/ vocal coaching opportunities that are there for me! Things are already lining up. So excited. China living has been an amazing experience. One that I will never forget and will always be in my heart. But Music City has been calling my name and I gotta take that call!
#usacountdown #movingtonashville #songwriterlife #vocalcoachRee #takerisks #yolo
BE RESPONSIBLE FOLKS / 3.2.16
Responsibility seems to be a dirty word these days. I notice more and more that so many people cannot seem to utter the words “I’m truly sorry” (without a justification) or simply “I was wrong”. Why have we become so hard in our hearts as to think our actions never affect others around us and that we are not responsible for those actions, or our words and attitudes? How can anyone have loving relationships with this mindset?
I am saddened. And reminded of a time where I also refused to fully own up to my actions and attitudes that were hurtful and how it really tarnished a close relationship. It was pride. And where there is pride you are always one step closer to a fall.
Been writing a song about this subject over the last couple weeks... it's an awesome collaboration with my AZ friends Richard Lam and Justan Jesse. Can't wait to share it soon.
#CloserToAFall #musiccollaboration #newsinglecoming #indierock #pridedestroysrelationships
FIGHT BACK / 2.17.16
I was so afraid of everything when I was growing up. I put on a good front and tried to act tough, and I even used to get in fights every couple years at school if someone pushed my buttons enough. But inside I was just a scared kid and didn’t know what I should I be fighting. That fear I had held me back from multiple things... going to track meets in elementary school (I'd make it almost every year), singing in plays or trying out for choir solos, trying out for volleyball in high school (even though I was on the junior high team and probably would’ve made it). Fear even kept me from getting a vocal scholarship for college (I choked at the audition.. and again at the 2nd audition that they asked me back for!) I had such limiting beliefs about myself for so long. And like many people, I didn't have the most encouraging family who understood my sensitive, artsy, big-dreaming self. I’m sure my parents honestly didn’t know how to parent me.
So I figured out a lot on my own, with the encouraging voice of God being the one to keep me pushing on, with the big dreams in my heart, that I was too afraid to tell anyone about, other than my best friend.
Fast forward to the present. What part does fear play in my life now? Well it still tries to pay me a visit now and then in the form of the “critic voice", which all of us deal with from time to time. But instead of him dominating me, while I cower in the corner on the verge of tears over my lowly self, I now fight back. And I fight back harder than ever before. In fact, I pre-empt his verbal attacks by saying a list of specific truths every night that I need to hear to fight those specific lies. Some people call these affirmations or goals. Whatever you wanna call them, I just need to tell you that they ACTUALLY DO WORK. If you say them every single night before bed (so they really sink into your subconscious), you will begin to reprogram your brain from repeating it’s daily, subconscious negative chatter, to actual positive belief that you matter and can make a huge contribution to the world in some way.
I hope you will try this affirmation challenge and start to fight those fears in your own heart. We all have them. But we don’t have to have them forever. I am proof of that.
- #fightfearuntilyouwin #reprogramyourbrain #dailyaffirmations #nofear #perfectlovecastsoutallfear
All you artists out there, working hard & sharing your gifts: You are strong & unique & I have much respect for your fight. It's easy to see the exterior & say "wow, what a creative & exciting life they have!" But what most will never really know is all the internal battles with self doubt that you have fought & won to even be where you are at all. The rejections you've learned not to take personally. The strength you've gained by continuously having the courage to put your creation out in the public to be loved, hated or ignored. You are a warrior in many ways.
Being a performing singer songwriter has been one of the hardest & most beautiful aspects of my life. Singing called out to me from a young age & songs poured out later when my heart was ready to feel. It has toughened me up to being critiqued, yet softened me to my own feelings & those around me. It's taught me perseverance, self-expression, and the power of connection. And though I have wanted to quit on myself many times out of self doubt, it is not something I could truly ever quit. And neither can any of us artists. You were made to create music/ art and that part of your DNA will never change. Don't give up on yourself. Somebody out there just may need to hear that song or see that masterpiece today. And it could just be for you, and YOU ARE ENOUGH of a reason to keep going.
HAPPY 2016!! 1.2.15
Hope you all had a fun Christmas and New Years with family and friends. Thinking back, 2015 was a CRAZY year of change, risk, and adventure for me. In January I auditioned for America’s Got Talent in L.A., in March I moved to China with my husband, leaving my dog, loved ones and my vocal coaching business behind. I started a new chapter of my life in a foreign country where many don’t speak English, I played some big and awesome concerts, experienced some minor celebrity moments, traveled around SE Asia, made it into a BIG singing competition, went on a cool trip to "China's Hawaii" and finally won 3rd place. I’d say it was a life changing and productive year of conquering fears and having adventures! And I feel proud of that. I really do.
Lately, however, I've noticed some dormant fears trying to resurface. Seems once I tackle some, there are always others lurking in the shadows. I suppose this is just life and it's a good thing they are surfacing so I can deal with them and grow. But somedays you just say "come on! really?! still?!" Dangit, one more affirmation I need to create and add to my daily mental battle, to fight these lies that swim in my head. And then you finally accept it, that you're still more broken than you hoped you were and you figure out how to move forward, encourage yourself, and get over that perceived hill in your life. After you scarf down some chocolate, numb out to a movie, or whatever it is you do to temporarily avoid internal, never-ending, junk that comes up inside you. Ok, well that's what I do anyways. Maybe your life is smooth sailing. Maybe you're one of those crazy superhuman robots... that don't really exist. :)
So in light of my lengthy internal battle I just shared, I should probably come up with some inspiring New Year's Resolutions or something. Can't say that I have a new one this year. I'm still working on the ones from last year: Take Risks, Fight Fear, Believe in Myself, Pray More, Trust God, and Go For My Dreams. Looking forward to pursuing more music opportunities and growth in 2016. I also plan on being more consistent in staying in touch with you all. I'll be posting blogs here every week or two, and some video clips. Also, make sure you're on my email list (go to contact). Let's do this 2016!
CHRISTMAS IN CHINA! 12.23.15
The lack of Christmas commercialism in China is soooo refreshing! I can't lie. For a person who often gets holiday blues since I didn't celebrate Christmas as a kid, this is so perfect. There have been just enough big Christmas trees at malls and shopping centers, and Christmas music in stores, to remind me that it's Christmas time. But there are NO people bustling around everywhere, buying things! The Chinese people who do celebrate it, don't do the gift exchange part. I gotta be honest, I kinda think this is great. We even have a local Christian friend here who just goes to church and has a dinner with her family, but they don't exchange gifts. How on earth did we turn Jesus's birthday into us giving butt loads of gifts anyways??
My friend told me about a family she knows who has a 3 gifts per person rule. She said "If it was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for us!" Ha, I love it. We’re doing funny 2 Yuan store (dollar store) gifts this year with our friend who is visiting from the U.S. We're also eating Christmas Quesadillas with red and green peppers and gracamole and salsa while watching Christmas movies. Can’t wait to see the stupid gifts I get, haha!!
But seriously, Jesus came to this earth in extreme humble circumstances... as a baby, needing help from others. In a poor environment, surrounded by staanky animals. In a family where he would grow up with the stigma of being thought to be an illegitimate child. I gotta say, as I think over this, I am always amazed at the ways of God and how much they are not like ours. If people had come up with a story of God saving the world, I'm pretty sure the bad ass savior of the story would have arrived in a little more elegance or at least decency. But no. God chose to bring us his son in a way we could relate with. Many people in the world grew up with humble beginnings or in poverty and perhaps some of us weren’t a part of an ideal family in society. You may feel like an outsider around the holidays, with everyone having a good ol’ time with their families. I know I did for a LOT of years. But I’m glad that Jesus has always related to the outsiders. He could immediately relate, ever since his birth. Not to mention all the further suffering he would go on to endure throughout his life and especially around his torturous, humiliating, and drawn out death.
I pray we can remember that this is the true origin of Christmas. God sent to Earth to be WITH us and restore all the broken things of our lives. Now that’s a real gift and we don’t have to buy anything in return to accept it.
Merry Christmas friends! I hope this season will bring you joy.
3RD PLACE WINNER, VOICE OF SHUNDE! 12.10.15
I am pretty proud to be the 3rd place winner for the entire Voice of Shunde competition! Wow, this was a long and crazy journey and I am partially glad it is over. Many of you know, I got sick for several weeks and lost my voice. It was not coming back properly until right before the show. The day of the show, I had a cough attack that brought tears out of me. I was nervous my voice would not work for me. Over the years, I've really gotten better at surrenduring things that I cannot control. So I said to myself, if I am not meant to sing at this thing, than that's ok. I will accept that. Well I decided to take Ibuprofen to reduce my vocal cord swelling the day of, with the ok from my vocal coach, and it helped! Well that and the prayers/ thoughts of so many friends, and apparently I was meant to finish this thing strong. Take that Fear!
3rd Place is actually quite good, since 1st place needed to be a Chinese speaking person, so they could be an MC for city events. And the 2nd place winner was a phenomenal opera singer who gave a stunning performance with ballerinas. Wow. I was completely satisfied coming in 3rd. I was the only non-Chinese person in the entire competition and I felt very loved by the audience and all involved. I was treated very kindly throughout this whole insane experience.
Add that one to the books of conquering fears, taking risks, and having adventures!
Till the next adventure....
FIGHT FEAR AND WIN!! 12.2.15
December 9th will be the final performance for The Voice of Shunde competition. I've put together a band of talented Chinese musicians, who speak just enough English for us to halfway communicate, but it's still funny, a lot of the time!
The song I chose is a song I wrote with my band Dearspeak but have never recorded on an album. It's called "Vulture By Nature" and I chose it for a reason. The truth is, I actually kinda hate being in competitions. I have avoided them for most of my life. Could it be memories of choking at the audition for a vocal scholarship in college.. not once, but twice? Probably related somewhere in the recesses of my complicated brain. And that is exactly why I'm in this competition. Because I'm not a person that settles with running away from things. At least I can't do it forever. I want to be a person who fights through my challenges, instead of expecting an easy and comfortable life, free from fear or pain. I want to find out why things scare me and I want to fight that fear and win!! So this song is very appropriate, since it's a bold statement about fighting fear until you beat it!
*"I won't let you win, you sly little vulture. Hiding in the wind, waiting to torture me. But I won't go silently, nobody's gonna silence me, no no no!" *
Feels like I've been fighting fear my whole life, but lately I am definitely winning and I don't wanna stop. Never stop fighting your fears my friends! The world is waiting on you to show up and use your gifts to better this world around us! #FightFearUntilYouWin
Voice of Shunde Finals & FAN ART! 11.25.15
Thank you Michel for the kind words and photo montage! (See the Media Gallery)
"Couldn't be more proud of this beautiful lady right here! @reespeak Ree Boado, my friend & at one time my vocal coach made it to the Top 12 for the Voice of Shunde. 🎤 She is in China making her mark! So happy to see you shining Ree...the world is getting to see the star we know you are! 🌟 Love you! 💜
The Sanya trip with the Top 12 was UH-mazing! I've got tons of pics all over Instagram, so you can see them there. And The Voice of Shunde final performance is at the Shunde Performing Arts Center on December 9th and I'll be playing with a band. Yes! Wish me luck/ say a prayer! :) Thanks for following me on this amazing journey in China!
Does Art Really Matter? / 11.10.15
As artists, we sometimes wrestle with this question. Does what I'm doing matter? Can my art/music really do something beautiful in the world?
When I first arrived in China, I was an English teacher M-F at a prestigious Chinese private school, with 50 kids in a classroom. I really didn't take to that environment and actually traded jobs with my husband after 2 weeks. It was either leave China, or get out of that job. That's how strongly I felt about it being the wrong fit. My husband David was teaching very small classes (5-10 kids) a few hours a week at a tutoring center. This decision to leave that school is one of the best things I've done here in China!
I share this because during my time there, I met a sweet fellow teacher, who upon hearing my latest album said to me "you should be singing on a stage, not teaching here at our school". Little did she know, that comment was the final straw in getting me to take action to change my situation and open up my time to once again pursue my music dreams.
I've had many moments as artist where I've wanted to quit. Quit playing shows, quit pursuing music, quit telling people about my music. Why? Because it can be exhausting, disheartening, and eventually lead you to wonder if it even matters at all. So why do artists keep moving forward with all this frustration? Well for me, I can't seem to escape it or run from it, even when I try. I can't stop writing songs, or dreaming about songs, and that has got to mean I'm supposed to keep doing it! And I have a hard time believing that I'm just writing them only for myself. Music has always been meant to be shared with others.
So the answer is yes. YOUR ART MATTERS. YOUR MUSIC MATTERS. Maybe it won't connect with millions of people, but it will matter for someone out there. And therefore, you must press on and keep sharing it if it is flowing out of you like a river. Like the Chinese people say... "KEEP FIGHTING!!!"
Round 3 - The Voice of Shunde competition / 11.1.15
This coming Saturday will be the 3rd round of The Voice of Shunde competition that I'm a part of here in Shunde, China. They will cut the Top 24 contestants down to the Top 12. I've decided I'm going to bring my guitar and sing an original song because that's who I am. A singer songwriter. I am not just a voice, so I gotta be true to who I am. And that's that, win or lose. Hope you all had a great Halloween! Check out my pumpkin painting party pics.. that was a tongue twister.
// ONLINE SKYPE VOICE LESSONS //
I'm teaching Skype Voice Lessons to some U.S. students while I'm here in China, so if you're interested you can click on the "Vocal Coach" tab to find out more. It's been great to work with some of my old students!
To Dream or Not to Dream? / 10.20.15
Allowing yourself to keep pursuing your dreams can be so empowering but also terrifying. Especially as the years roll by and you have more societal pressures saying you shouldn't be doing this or that... you should settle down and just get a stable job. But watch some TED Talks and you will see the plethora of people who made major life changes at later times in life, in search of living out their life purpose and passion, and then you will feel inspired to go with your gut, get out of that dead end job you hate, learn as much as you can, and get out there in pursuit of the thing that makes you come alive!
This past round of The Voice of Shunde was a debate in which we were asked various questions. One question was "Do you think that people over 30 should still be pursuing their dreams, or should they settle down with a stable job?" I, of course, said they should most definitely pursue their dreams! If I had thought that, I would still be in America, living a good life, but wondering what could've happened if I would've challenged myself more, and regretting not taking more risks with my musical passions and desires. I told the panel that of course if a person has a family, they need to do what they have to do as far as feeding them and providing, but they should still try to find a way to do something in a field that brings them energy and life. Kids need to see parents who are happy and fulfilled in life, setting goals and achieving them, so they know that their dreams can become a reality too!
#boadosinchina #TheVoiceofShunde #GoForYourDreams #itsnevertoolatetochangeyourlife #youareincontrol #reespeak
Alive in China / 10.02.15
Hello friends, I'm still alive and kicking here in Shunde, China. Sorry I haven't written in quite some time. I've definitely been keeping busy teaching English and Voice, writing TONS of new songs, and playing some fun shows. I even sang a song in Chinese, along with some of my originals, at a really legit concert that my Chinese singer-songwriter friend Anki hosted. This was a huge event with over 20 performers, video crew, and it even got news coverage in town. I WAS ON THE NEWS IN CHINA.... whaaat?! So strange... I have now made the news twice, the radio once, and I'm currently waiting to find out if I made it to the next round in The Voice of Shunde competition that I tried out for recently. I guess you could say I'm a minor celebrity in some circles. Hilarious!
(Click on the "PICS" tab to see some great photos from the concert)
Got some new pics up, thanks to the talented Alex Ventrone. I think it's about time I match my new red-headed self with my website! I'm actually trying hard to grow out my roots and it appears that my natural color is now some sort of dishwater blonde.. we'll see how long I can tolerate it. You know I love color!
In the last few months, I've made a decision to buckle down and work harder on honing my songwriting skills and increase my pursuit of becoming a songwriter for a living. This scares me to death in some ways, and a lot of self doubt creeps in. But I have to say I have been quite proud of myself at sticking to my daily schedule I created, including all tasks along with disciplined space for songwriting. I've always leaned more to the side of inspiration over discipline, but I am learning that you absolutely have to schedule disciplined time to make room for inspiration or you will never become a more prolific writer. It is truly working and I've been cranking out more songs than ever before. And they're better and better I think! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I work harder than ever to make connections and pursue songwriting as a career. My heart is more alive now than ever before!
Adios for now!