This past weekend some friends and I headed to Acoustic Café for a relaxing Saturday night filled with chai tea and the musical stylings of Vanessa Bray. Afterwards, I was able to chat with Vanessa via email and ask about her experience at UW-Stout and her music.
It’s always inspiring to see UW-Stout alumni find their way back to UW-Stout because they enjoyed their time on campus so much.
Here’s my interview with Vanessa:
Q: What attracted you to UW-Stout?
After my sophomore year of college I felt deeply called to move away from home. My mom had suggested I check out Stout. I applied and, as a leap of faith, I went. One of the best decisions I ever made.
Q: What did you major in?
HDFS [human development and family studies].
Q: What was your favorite memory here at UW-Stout?
There are so many. But when I think back on my time at Stout, I remember driving around in my car or parking for hours at a time and singing Brandi Carlile’s music as loud as I could. I was so darn passionate. I loved that time in my life. It is so close to my soul.
Q: What has your journey been like after you left college?
It’s been discovering who I am and what I want, one day at a time. And I am still figuring that out. I am slow when it comes to discovery, but it is great as I come into my own. I have worked at a music store, continued on with my journey with music and I am currently an activities director at a care center in the Twin Cities.
Q: Describe your time at UW-Stout in one sentence.
Best thing that happened to me.
I am singer and guitarist. I mostly do folk style music. I started singing while at Stout. My first performance was at a Blue Devil Open Mic at the old student center. I was terrified! Since then I have continued performing mostly solo. I have explored blues and rock a little, but I always seem to come back to my roots – Brandi Carlile and folk.
Q: How long have you been playing music?
I started playing piano when I was about five. I picked up the guitar at about 20 years old and started singing a little while after that.
Q: If you had a super power what would it be and why?
Ha! Not really sure. Is living without fear/holding back a super power? I feel like that should be. If so, that’s the power I would possess.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, thank you for asking me to share these things with you. I feel very honored.
Vanessa also mentioned that she incorporates her music into her work at the care center as a form of therapy for the residents.
Check out Vanessa’s website at www.vanessabray.com.