RYAN MCDONALD | MAY 31, 2023
In the darkest days of the coronavirus pandemic, Kevin Sousa would take the short walk from his Hermosa Beach home to the Hermosa Music Company, the recording and performance space he co-founded in the city’s light industrial district. Sousa opened the Hermosa Music Company around the time COVID-19 made crowded club shows impossible. He used the space alone, accompanied by just a guitar and his thoughts.
Hermosa resident Mike Collins, a close friend of Sousa’s, owns ShockBoxx, the art gallery next door. Behind the gallery is a space Collins uses as his personal studio for painting. Like Sousa he took the enforced solitude of the pandemic as an opportunity to create.
“I would be in there painting and he’d come in [to the Hermosa Music Company], and he’d be by himself because we’re all social distancing. And I sat in there and I could hear him writing those songs, working out different phrasings, and I would just be … bawling. And not just in a sad way, because I knew what he was going through, but that guy just humbled me in the way he was digging through feelings,” Collins said.
Kevin Sousa performing at BeachLife in Redondo Beach, three weeks prior to his death. Photo by JP Cordero/BeachLife