I started looping five or six years ago and have experienced my own list of peaks and valleys of being a musician, artist, educator and any other title that comes with devoting yourself to a life onstage. What started as a passion project and many, many nights of “I wonder what this button does?” when I picked up my initial rig, has developed over the years into a career and brand that I devout time, blood, sweat and tears to every day. The spotlight hurts most when it is shut off and your back to the emails, phone calls and meetings that serve as efforts to rise above the noise and have your music heard and a living made.
So what happens when the phone isn’t ringing? What happens when the emails aren’t returned from venues? From vendors? From bands you want to share a bill with? I don’t have the only answer to that. “All I offer," as Kerouac would say, “Is my own chaos.”
It is easy to believe that our problems define us. I wish I was skinnier, fatter, taller, stronger, faster, etc…. But I’ve always thought that how we deal with adversity is just as definitive. Today I offer not only my experiences with adversity, but how I have chosen to deal with it.
Recently, I called a company and the voice at the other end asked me what do I do. The conversation went pretty close to this:
Me: I am a vocal loop artist.
Company: *Dead quiet*
The individual then got very short and just about hung after saying “I don’t know what that is.” (Despite my explanation and videos)
In the end, I never heard back and I ended up chalking it up to experience rather than a future working relationship. The story could have ended there and I could have let this person define my music, my art, my worth…but instead I found the next company on my list and contacted them. I am now in the works to do a high profile corporate event with them here in Las Vegas.
I’ve met musicians that are arguably the best or luminaries in their field and I’ve been around those just starting out. The ones that last aren’t always the best, aren’t always the most celebrated….it is those that persevere. It is those that keep at it. Success doesn’t come over night.
As a vocal looper the disadvantage I have is that there is a very small number of “us” out there and many aren’t familiar with this platform to deliver music. Inversely, as a vocal looper the advantage I have is that there is a very small number of “us” out there and many aren’t familiar with this platform to deliver music. Keep at it. Reach out to other musicians like yourself and see what works for them. The breaks and opportunities they have been presented with may not come to you…..but you will have your own breaks and opportunities presented…be ready when it happens.
The most important quality to have to be a musician, above stage presence, above ability, above image, is passion. If you have passion for your music, then your going to respect it. If you respect it you will want to be better at it. If you’re better at it, then you will keep at it. Passion is what made a Trumpet player raised in East st. Louis reinvent his instrument repeatedly, passion is what made three guys start a ad-hoc computer company in a garage. If you don’t love it, then don’t do it.
Just Alliance's Blog
Thoughts, ideas and musical musings from this Silver State Loop Artist.