Last July I took the plunge into the heart of one of the most overwhelming and revered cities in the entire world with my best friend and love, Scott. I had set incredibly high expectations, painting beautiful images of our new life in my head. Of course there would be moments of uncertainty and struggle, but it would be perfect. How could it not be? This is New York City! A magical, magnetic force attracting millions of creative souls desperately searching to carve out a name for themselves. I was so sure we could achieve this and shine in the completely oversaturated market of indie musicians. This was our time to make it. However, my idealized fictions were quickly pulled right out from under me. My unshakeable confidence withered as we sat rocking unconsolably in the corner of our tiny room. What had I done? My burning need to escape from home was so strong that I threw all rational thinking to the wind, packed up our lives, and dragged Scott behind me. What was I trying to prove?
The musicians that really shine in New York are the ones who absolutely live for it. They don’t care about having a savings account or planning for the future. They don’t worry about what their resume looks like. They live completely and utterly for their craft. Playing all morning in the muggy, overcrowded subway stations hoping to scrape up enough money to pay for lunch. Waiting for hours each night to play 2 songs at an open mic. Videos, writing, social media, appearances, merchandise, touring…making rent money during the time in between. Late nights accompanied by late mornings, networking, collaborating. This idea of the New York musician is not so much an occupation, but a lifestyle. Living moment to moment. I was never programmed to live in that way, like a rough-around-the-edges, wild, night owl. I am quite the opposite in fact and I’m sure my love of cooking, sitting in quiet cafes, and space (as in living space) probably holds little to no merit among these fast-paced creatives.
I used to believe that not having acquired these personality traits was a flaw in my design and would therefore make it impossible for me to be a successful musician. I also used to believe that there was one clear path in order to be a successful musician. A calculated series of events that would inevitably lead musicians to achieve success. So where did that leave me? What kind of musician am I? And what does having success as a musician mean? What does it look like?
This blog is an opportunity for me to share my insights about living in New York and how I’ve used my experiences here to ultimately become a better songwriter and musician in my own right. I am writing my own definition for what it means to be a musician and it’s on my terms. I don’t need to be famous or a rock star, I just want to show the best version of myself through my music. Living here has allowed me to dust off many skeletons I had hiding in the pad-locked closets of my brain. My growing ability to eloquently write my realizations into songs has preserved my sanity..on many occasions. I want to share my songs and the secret stories hidden in the walls behind them. This blog is meant to act as a therapeutic outlet for me while simultaneously acting as a source of inspiration and insight to songwriting for you.