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State of the Art: An Interview with Reginald Mobley

By Neil Horsky for Boston Compass (#124)

June 26, 2020

Stating the State of the State of The Art Arts:


“I’m a classical musician (singer - countertenor)... I do it to pay rent and for scotch, but I really do it because it’s what I am: a human....Bach, Handel, and Schutz...understood that music... relates us to each other regardless of time period, and the human experience is one that transcends time, race, sex, and social class. I do it because it’s an inoculation against social rot.”

“100% of my money comes from performing and directing. Music is my only source of income, and has been for nearly a decade.”

“Art as a career can’t exist within the confines of a 9 to 5. It is always and all-encompassing.”

“I live life without a net....I have to often take any gigs that come my way, which results me in being on the road for months at a time (domestically and internationally).”

“I would contest voices are as distinct and unique as fingerprints....I have a voice that is just unique enough to be a draw in its own right. In addition to that, as a large Black guy, my size and race are also distinct enough in this industry to help me stand out. This is certainly a double-edged I’m often the only Black person in a room, I’m a lightning rod for microaggressions and more overt expressions of racism that one wouldn’t think exists in the Arts.”

“Keep at it, and realize the only ‘no’ that can actually halt your progress is your own. I mean that. I forged a career that shouldn’t exist... You get to define what qualifies as ‘success’ as an artist. No one gets to tell you otherwise.”

Check out all the art and columns of June's Boston Compass at



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