Esmé Patterson is songwriter, gambler, singer, lover, thinker and explorer. She began as a member of the Denver folk pop septet, Paper Bird, and has written two records as a solo act including “All Princes, I” and her second and most recent release, “Woman to Woman,” a concept album of responses from female characters in a broad range of well-known love songs. Esmé is a magnetic performer in multiple incarnations. She adds members to raise the volume and cadence of her tunes but remains powerful alone. Her recent co-writing with Shakey Graves led to sold out shows nationwide and millions of downloads of their collaborations. We talked with Esmé to learn a little more about her and the journey she has had as a musician so far: Tell us a little about how you became a musician and your journey. Some of my earliest memories are of singing, I’ve been opening my lungs and my heart as long as I can remember. Learning to play guitar at age 16 gave me a tool to begin writing my own songs, and I’ve been singing and writing and playing in various incarnations ever since. What is the biggest challenge you face in your profession? Sadly, sexism. Women have to work twice as hard to be respected as artists in this industry and people on all levels still often respond first to one’s gender rather than the content of one’s work. What was the first song you wrote? What was it about? I put a Pablo Neruda poem to music. What is the most important part/piece of a song to you? It’s all important, the forest for the trees, but my favorite part of songs to play with is the bridge. I often hide “the point” in the bridge. What is something that few people know about you (or wouldn’t expect)? I am a real scaredy-cat: heights, snakes, roller coasters, ghosts, crowds, the ocean… to name a few… Who inspires you, in your industry and outside of it? I am inspired by people who believe in ART, who believe in the power and importance of expression and reflection. Not all artists fit that bill, and I’ve met stock brokers and gardeners and janitors who do. I am inspired by passionate people who believe in the search for wonder and the many faces of truth. How does music impact a community like Denver? Music heals us, music brings us together to experience a feeling as a group, we are no longer parts, we are a whole: that is community. It builds and strengthens community. I think music is vital and can be central to community. How does it impact Denver? Denver is changing so quickly these days, I hope that the city and people of it continue to nurture and cherish the art being created here and the people who pour their lives and hearts into making it. What does “Ideas Unbridled” mean to you and your work?  I interpret “ideas unbridled” as having the courage to let one’s imagination run wild, outside of convention and expectation. I strive to reflect that in my work.