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Musician profile: Ronnie Macias

Jackson Sawa

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Ronnie Macias is a full-time father and a full-time local musician here in Chico. Moreover, he is the proud supporter and loving companion to Jodi Foster who organizes and puts on weekly open mic nights at Down Lo every Friday night.

Ronnie was born in the Santa Cruz area and moved to Chico as a child. Here, he lived with his grandmother, which he described as being a less than luxurious upbringing. But it shaped him into the person he is today.

At the age of 10, his best friend had two guitars and was kind enough to let Ronnie borrow one. He notes that “Over the three months that I had the guitar, I became pretty decent at it.”

During those months, he developed a deep passion for guitar and singing. He became so inspired by music that when he was twelve years old, he saved money for a year to buy his own guitar that he still owns. In his early days of music, he recalls listening to his grandmother’s old records, which introduced him to a plethora of various musical genres that has stuck with him throughout his life.

Since then, music has consumed Ronnie’s life. He has now been playing guitar for 26 years and has been involved in five bands.

Ronnie Macias

As a teenager, Ronnie was introduced to funk music, which he considers to be a turning point in his musical career. “When everyone was listening and covering ACDC, I was infatuated with funk,” he said.

Ronnie credits the Red Hot Chili Peppers as being his main source of musical influence. During this time, grunge became a prominent music style, which Ronnie emphasizes, “Changed everything.” He then took key aspects of the grunge movement and incorporated them into his music, creating a funky grunge blend.

Now, Ronnie frequently plays at local Chico establishments such as Has Beans, and Jodi’s open mic nights at Down Lo. He attributes his sound and lyrics to the various musical phases he underwent throughout his life, as well as personal experiences. He comments, “I have songs about my daughters, losing friends, addiction, betrayal and even telemarketing. In the end, my guitar is my best friend.”

At his home studio, Ronnie is currently in the process of recording an album, unlike many others. He describes this new album as being separated into four themes. They are funk/grunge, hard rock, ballads and instrumentals, essentially a tribute to his entire musical journey.

If you want an opportunity to see Ronnie perform, stop by Down Lo every Friday and every other Saturday night. If he’s not performing, he’s there enjoying the music and helping Jodi with all the behind the scenes work and ensuring the progression of the local Chico music community.

Jackson Sawa can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.

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Musician profile: Ronnie Macias