I am Rich Genoval Aveo; Musician. Singer-Songwriter. Empowerer and Entertainer. I hail from the good ol’ NJ/NYC area...blissfully living a creative and passionate life on my terms, and making people smile along the way. I feel the world operates at its best when people are elevated, and I think music and quality entertainment elevates like nothing else. So my mission is to positively impact as many people as humanly possible through my artistic expression. I want to make people feel inspired to live their best lives, and be the best versions of themselves. If I can do it...anyone can. It’s not easy. But it’s super simple.
See, one day back in 2012, I quit my lucrative day job to pursue this passion full time, and never looked back. I believe if we all decided to follow our hearts and passions and just understood how to apply the necessary focus it takes to make that a reality, the world would be an amazing place. This is what being ‘weightless’ means to me.
Wait. Let me rewind a little more.
When I was a boy, I wanted to fly. I remember a literal burning in my body for the desire to one day leap from the ground, and not land. Like Superman. I would try and try in our concrete backyard, and in our linoleum apartment with a bath towel tied around my neck like a cape. Maybe a running start? Maybe if I jump off these couple of steps. No. It’s in my mind. Think harder. Focus. No, no. DON’T think at all. Just let it happen. Ugh, no put your hands out in front of you. I'd obsess.
See, I always felt that if I could fly, I could literally rise above anything. And look down on whatever was wrong from an elevated perspective and know exactly how to fix it because I was no longer IN it. I could help; I could help my family. I could help myself. I never did think like the other kids. Life was pretty good as an obsessive dreamer. I’d go on to accomplish quite a bit. Received a huge scholarship to a prestigious Connecticut high school, and then went on to another huge scholarship to a prestigious New York university. I listened hard. I worked hard. “Go to school. Study hard Get a great job. That’s the key.” So I did. I went to school for Music Education, because hey, there will always be work in teaching, right?
But it just felt wrong. I was doing everything right, it seemed. But who was it right for? Why does this feel so numbing? This didn’t feel much like flying at all. It barely felt like walking. It felt more like dragging some kind of weight around. It felt...normal.
One day in my senior year of college, I dropped out. I received an opportunity to travel abroad to pursue my first recording contract. And I took it. And mid-way through the semester, and just decided to never go back. Naturally, stereotypically, the contract didn’t pan out, and was dropped from the deal. But my fire was stronger than ever. “I’m gonna make it.”
After searching for most of my late teens and early 20’s for the next ‘big deal’, and burning through band after band, showcase after showcase...and coming up dry, I thought “maybe they were right all along...” and decided to get that great job everyone raves about. And so I did. I became a stock trader in NYC. (Go big or go home, right?) Naturally, that didn’t pan out either and was laid off not long after 9-11.
Bouncing around a bit more from one crap job to the next, I finally landed a job for the Department of Defense. It was a great job. I can’t tell you details about it, or I’d have to kill you. I met some great people there; all of whom I am still friends with to this day. I did that job for 8 years, and excelled greatly, and was finally making a good living and doing music in the evenings and weekends. It was just what I needed at that point in my life, when everything else seemed to be leaking through a sewer grate. My spirits were fairly high. “Hey it’s not perfect...but maybe life isn’t meant to be perfect” I told myself. “Not everyone is meant to fly, and maybe that’s ok.”
But. There I was again. Left with nothing more than that hollow feeling. And that nauseating self-cutting question: “What the HELL are you doing, Genoval? Is this how our story goes?” The answer of “hell no, this isn’t our story” pounded through my head over and over. It scared me, mostly because of what everyone else has told me in the past. “Shoot for normal. Everyone seems to think that’s just fine!” But I knew from when I was a boy...I didn’t think like everyone else. This caused quite a depression within me. And after studying the ideas of some amazing leaders online and becoming obsessed with their podcasts and audiobooks...I realized one thing to be true. Depression is your own avatar telling you it’s sick of you playing some character you are not.
Now, to be clear, I never stopped pursuing big things in music. I somehow managed to score more musical accomplishments throughout this whole time like recording an album with multi-platinum producer Anthony J. Resta. And touring with my band. As well as being invited to sing the National Anthem at MSG and Prudential Center sports events. But...it still felt like a ‘side hustle’. And I felt like my focus was all wrong. My scale was lopsided on the wrong end. Music was NOT my side-hustle, dammit. Music is my soul. It’s who I’ve been since I was 7. I’ve been lying to myself this whole time.
So one morning in 2012 - on what was probably my 400th morning in bumper to bumper traffic on the Garden State Parkway - I decided. My real story starts today. And I went into the office that morning and gave my two week notice. Felt like college all over again.
And here I am today. A full time musician making a full-time living doing NOTHING but performing, and creating art. The impossible dream. And I’m living it. I am grateful for my whole story, by the way. There has been no time wasted. I needed to go through everything I went through in order to learn what I needed to learn to be exactly who I am.
Who am I? Well....start from the beginning and read on.