By Joseph Garcia —
Plug in your headphones or turn on your Airpods because a student recently launched her podcast CLOSESOUND.
Sophomore Grace Rogers said the project was in part due to the issues she saw when journalists covered musicians and her passion for the arts.
“I feel that they rarely go into enough depth and almost never feature the artists that matter to me,” Rogers said.
“I want to know what musicians that I admire get out their practice and why it feels so important to them.”
Growing up in rural north-eastern Kentucky, Rogers was surrounded by musicians and artists all her life.
“My sibling and I would spend our evenings learning to sing harmony to Gram Parson’s songs in the music room. We fell asleep every night to our parents practicing beneath our bedrooms. It was constant,” Rogers said.
As a musician herself, Rogers noted how her cultural connection to Appalachia is at the core of her own art.
“Being surrounded by rural musicians and artists is an incredibly powerful and privileged experience, especially in a place that is so fraught with issues of financial and cultural oppression,” she said.
“The music scene in Louisville has allowed me to pursue music in ways that are unavailable in eastern Kentucky.”
For Rogers, while her art has become a sort of therapy, she says it comes with a weight to burden.
“Being a Kentucky artist requires me to work in the context of deep-seated stereotypes and false-narratives about our state. It means that every public piece of work that I create should offer a counter-point to the narrative of victimization and barbarism around our state.”
However, this has not stopped Rogers from posting original music to her Youtube channel and Soundcloud.
“I think the incessant exposure to artists throughout my childhood has inspired me to pursue art. I learned from passionate lesser-known artists that creativity is a practice to be pursued regardless of its outcome,” she said.
“Art builds community and allows people to interact with one another through higher channels of communication.”
This passion and love for music and Kentucky artists as a collective, has bled into Rogers’ podcast.
“I want to elevate the voices of musicians that I love and talk about the issues that are difficult to talk about like race, gender, and class,” Rogers said.
Episodes of CLOSESOUND release on the first of each month, and past episodes of CLOSESOUND can be found on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple podcast, or Instagram @close_sound. The latest episode features U of L band, Quality Cable.
Photo Courtesy / Grace Ann Rogers