Seeking Inspiration from Internet Strangers: Who is Richienough?
We met only briefly at a housewares show in Chicago and I knew he was cool. While I was standing at my booth waiting for someone to ask me about my company’s exhibit I saw Richie and his colleague. They were talking to buyers and interested shoppers about their sustainable canvas tote bags. Richie was wearing a bowler hat and long coat while standing behind his booth at the edge of the exhibition hall.
I thought to myself, “I wish I was that cool”. Who is this person and was the idea that you can wear whatever you feel good in, his own or was it thrust upon him?
As we, along with our booth neighbours, were all packing up the booths and considering our evening plans for the last night in Chicago, we got to talking and swapping Instagram names. Richie said he is ‘@Richienough’ to remind himself that no matter what, he is enough.
Since that expo in the sub-zero Chicago, what you said has really stuck with me. In fact, several months later I find myself thinking about your confidence, your style, and complete self-acceptance. No, it’s more than that. Your self-love.
Thank you so much for agreeing to share your thoughts here.
Question: Where were you when you came up with the name ‘Richienough’? Tell me about the room you were in, your day, and what lead up to you wanting to have this label?
“Richienough” was actually my Twitter handle circa 2013. I honestly don’t even remember the exact moment I chose that name. The only thing I can recall is how I was trying to will myself out of this toxic mindset of self-worth. I figured that if I told myself I was “rich enough” then one day I would truly believe it. At the time I was referring only to money and how I didn’t want to become a gear in some corporate machine after college… which I inevitably did for a bit… BUT I eventually was able to pull myself out of that environment. When I left the company, I saw it fit that I pursue my passion of music under the mantra that had kept me alive. Thus, “Richienough”.
Question: How do you describe yourself and does that ever change?
For the longest time, I didn’t have a voice so I would attach myself to whatever brought me recognition from people around me. I would describe myself as “helpful” and “supportive” which still hold to be true to this day but my worth was only in tangent to others, which isn’t sustainable. That doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable or important but it doesn’t fulfill the many dimensions that I am and the ones I am still discovering. I now describe myself as a healer and creator. I am a healer because of my connection to people and myself will never be compromised. So in order to be the best person I can be at all times, I must commit to healing myself. In turn, I inspire and encourage people to heal themselves. I am a creator because my voice is necessary. My ability to perceive, critically analyze and to communicate my ideas is as innate as my breath– all of which I am extremely grateful for. Creating reminds me of my place in the world and helps me to share that with others. I am constantly evolving, but I believe “healer” and “creator” are two descriptors that will always ground me.
Question: You always seem to be going to a cool event, where were you last weekend?
I was in Chinatown eating hand-pulled noodles with one of my good friends. You have to go omg.
Question: Why do you think it’s important to love yourself and how can you bring yourself to think that?
Have you ever been to Trader Joe’s without a grocery list, on an empty stomach? It’s [very] dangerous; You start grabbing things you don’t need, making impulse purchases and risk going over your budget all because your mind– and stomach– are being clouded by hunger. What’s even more dangerous is that you may be skipping over things you need or replacing them with things that are not going to be sustainable. I’m not saying we don’t sometimes slip up and buy that bags of chips we didn’t need (because it feels good), but knowing exactly what we came into the store for will help to keep us focused and grounded if we ever stray. There is nobody stopping you from buying the entire store except you. Now imagine going into the world without that list to come back to. With no center, how will you know your relativity to yourself and the world? We all need a home base full of healthy boundaries, empathy, compassion and positive affirmations. That loves starts with self because when you know the love that you deserve you won’t allow it to be compromised no matter how hungry you may get.
Question: You’ve described yourself, in part as a ‘healer’. What do you mean by that and who are you healing? Do you have any stories of people you’ve helped on your journey?
I jumped the gun and answered this question earlier, but I’ll elaborate a bit more! I’ve grown to accept the responsibility of being a person who has a very healing energy. People feel extremely comfortable approaching me because I have a very calming, supportive, non-biased presence. I describe this as a “responsibility” because I have to be aware of this gift and use it when necessary, even when I don’t “want” to. My healing is for me first and foremost because I have to be able to be centered in order to share my healing with others. This doesn’t make me a martyr but more of a vessel to be able to spread more light and love into the world. I am here to encourage people to shine their own light and more or less act as charcoal to remove any impurities/negativity in the world. My healing is for anyone but not necessarily everyone.
I don’t have any specific accounts of healing people because I am more of a catalyst to peoples’ reception of self-love. I move through the world in my most genuine form and people see/feel that around me and use it as inspiration to move in their own genuine way. I am very grateful and overwhelmed when people share how I inspire them to be their best self. It keeps me grounded and full of love.
Question: Who is your hero?
In a lot of ways, I am my own hero. Of course there are countless people who I admire, and I use them as guides to become the person I need to be. When I was growing up, I didn’t have one person to look to as my “hero” because I didn’t necessarily identify wholey with a singular person. There were so many sides of me that never fit into a single human/character/whatever. As I got older I realized that I was using my perception of the world to shape myself into the hero I always needed, and I’m still doing that to this day. I think we all deserve to see ourselves as heroes in our own eyes.
Question: What motivates you to keep updating your style, to create new music?
Constantly being invited into peoples’ lives keeps me inspired. I see so many sides of so many people and I realize that those sides also are in me, no matter how different we may all seem. Whether I’m listening to people speak, listening to an old album, watching a new film, or etc, there are so many new opportunities to discover the world all the time. I put that reminder into my creative process and into my sound every time I breathe something new. In a way, my music is my thank you to myself and others.
Question: What makes you laugh?
What do you call a fly with no wings? A walk
That’s my favorite joke ever and it gets me every time.
Question: Do you think you’re being true to yourself? Have you ever felt like you’re losing direction or are you on your own path?
Being true to myself has a lot to do with listening to myself in the present moment at all times. Nothing else matters except for how I choose to move forward from wherever I am at any time. A lot goes into being present and being aware of yourself. I check in with myself very often because there are so many things happening all the time, and I am very sensitive to my surroundings. I talk to myself out loud a lot in order to process my feelings. When I don’t check-in, I feel like I’m on auto-pilot mode or like I have no control over the trajectory of my life. That can be a very vapid* place to be. This has a huge effect on how I interact with people and myself. So, I make sure that I always know how I’m thinking so that I don’t carry anything unnecessary. People will try to project their own insecurities onto you- most of the time subconsciously- and you can’t allow people to put you in a hamster wheel of their own expectations. That’s why I stress self-awareness so much when I speak to anyone because nobody knows what you need more than you. You need to be able to have a clear mind to be able to distinguish what that is because the answers are often always closer than you realize. I am only concerned with sharing my truth and being open to people who are open to that truth. Anything else is too expensive.
* I just learned the word ‘vapid’ and really wanted to use it in a sentence… anyway….
Question: Who are your most played artists right now? Are you reading any good books?
I’ve actually been listening to this podcast called “Dissect” by Cole Cuchna. It’s a podcast about long-term analysis of music albums broken up into short digestible episodes. I recently finished the analysis of Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange”. I’m now listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly”. It’s such a refreshing change of pace from the insatiable consumption of music that seems to be normalized behavior. It’s forcing me to slow down and listen to the genius behind the production of some of my favorite artists’ music that I highly respect. It also encourages me to sit with my own music and give it more intentional thought. I am learning to adopt a more delayed gratification approach when it comes to making and releasing my own music, which feels indescribably peaceful.