I recently caught up with Lumineers cellist and Denver resident Neyla Pekarek, who took a less than traditional road to fame: answering a Craigslist ad.
Neyla swears she doesn’t visit the website – which has a reputation for sketchiness – often, but she had just moved back in with her parents after finishing music school was desperate for any job that would get her out of the house and launch her career.
Fast forward to today, and things have taken quite a turn for the better. Pekarek now spends six and half weeks on the road at a time, playing sold out shows with the band and is still getting used to the fame and fast pace of her new life.
“It’s been a crazy year,” she said.
But despite her travels, Pekarek still calls Denver home. Not only is the city convenient to both coasts, which makes touring easier, she prefers the local scene over bigger cities.
“It’s an amazing scene that we have here and I hope it continues to grow,” she said. “In Denver everybody kind of helps each other out. I’ve been to other cities and it seems a little more cutthroat. People are working against each other instead of with each other.”
So what’s it like to play a sold out show in your own hometown? According to Neyla, it’s pretty amazing. She especially loves playing at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which she referred to as a “magical place.” And she’s even spotted people she knows in the crowd while on stage.
But it’s not all business for Neyla when she’s home. When she’s not practicing or on stage, you’ll find her eating comfort food at Steuben’s, hanging out at Vine Street, or visiting her old workplace, Duo Restaurant.
So what’s next for Neyla and the Lumineers? Neyla says she’s planning to keep having fun with her career, not taking it for granted, and continuing to remember why she does it.
“We just want to continue making music together and enjoying each other’s company.”