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Meet Hunter Gromala

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hunter Gromala.

Hi Hunter, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am a queer artist and singer that was born and raised in Wichita and have always loved using art as a way to express my feelings that seemed too big to fully say, make people rethink the way they view things, and hopefully add some joy and light here and there.

I have been painting and drawing since I could hold a crayon, and growing up in a conservative family- been singing in bands (church-related) or on stage since I was at least 10 years old. To think back to my younger self and imagine how excited and totally in awe they would be of my life so far, makes me happy.

My murals and artwork can be found in various spaces and businesses around town. I kind of accidentally fell into large-scale art like murals, art markets/prints, galleries, etc, but it seems the universe keeps telling me to “dream bigger” with every opportunity that comes my way. I love the way a person’s face lights up after looking at my piece or when they genuinely want to know what the piece means to me.

I recently decided to go back to my singing roots as my main career and passion focus because I realized the only reason I hadn’t up to this point was fear or the people of the past in my brain telling me I couldn’t. Plus I really missed having painting and physical art as a natural healing medium for me rather than something my brain was assigning a price tag to before I finished.

Performing and being on stage has always felt like a breath of life going back into my body, and I don’t know how else to describe it. Even if I’m messing up or forgetting lyrics or not doing my best- it still feels like I’m meant to be on that stage for some reason.

I love what music can do for others, and it has saved my life time and time again. Singing and performing and being surrounded by people who appreciate music the way that I do is a rush I never want to get rid of.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’m not going to lie and say being queer (non-binary and bisexual) in the Bible Belt is easy. Even with the immense privilege I have, it still feels like a daily battle- whether with myself or others- on my validity. My right to take up space, create queer and uncensored art, enforce my pronouns, and so much more.

Thankfully as I get older, I’m slowly learning who to surround myself with and finding a wonderfully supportive community around me. Whether through social media or local shows, I’m reminded that I’m not alone, I’m valid, and queer people are not only allowed to exist- but thrive.

If in the end, that’s what everyone walks away with, then I’m doing something right. If I make one more person feel safe or help them find art as a healthy outlet, then I can get to the next day.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
A year ago, last week, I took the jump and put my first produced/recorded cover on streaming platforms. Growing up, I didn’t think even one person would want to listen to me sing let alone regularly.

Of course, kids and grown-ups can be mean when they see someone genuinely excited and proud of their art or talents, and for a long time, I let their voices decide for me that I should stick to painting. That’s what I was “naturally” good at, it came easy, etc.

But now I have 3+ songs on streaming platforms, music videos, a small following of people who enjoy my music, and over 1000 streams across all of it. That may seem like a small number, but for that little kid that failed during talent show after talent show it seemed, I’m blown away.

I’ve always loved singing and music and how genuinely vulnerable you can be through it.

I recently was diagnosed as neurodivergent, and that comes with the struggle of putting emotions into words sometimes. Music and singing open up the world of emotions for me and helps me show people exactly what I’m feeling with just a tone, inflection, and lyric, and that is beautiful to me.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
When finding a mentor, I think my best advice or the best way to do so is to 1. Forget your pride. Forget your ego. There are always going to be people around you that have been doing it longer, seem to be further along or more put together, and have knowledge in areas you couldn’t dream of.

Don’t stop yourself from learning because you can’t admit to yourself that you might not know everything or because you don’t want to admit you might need help. I promise asking for help and or being in a community even though vulnerable and possibly momentarily embarrassing at times, is so so worth it.

And 2. Be genuine. You may think, “oh they probably hear compliments or get hyped up all the time. They don’t need to hear it from me”, and that’s not true at all. The number of times I’ve gone up to someone I looked up to after a show or gig just to genuinely tell them how much their talent, set, etc.

Means to me and ended up in not only a new friendship but also in a beautiful conversation or core memory is amazing. You’re allowed to genuinely exist, enjoy things, create, etc, and when you can have little moments sharing that with others- it’s electric. And no one wants to mentor or have a hater around. Lol.

Pricing:

  • Booking for a 2-hour show (with band)- $250
  • Booking for a speaking event (up to 2 hours)- $100
  • Booking for a 2-hour show (acoustic)- $150

Contact Info:

Image Credits
James Nyland/combatxCarl, Vertigo232, Free State Flora, Chismosa Company, and Rudy Love Jr.

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