I just completed my second exploratory trip to Nashville. My long term plan is to become a professional songwriter and Nashville is going to play into this.
Nashville, L.A. and New York are the three major music centers in the US. L.A. seems too artificial, NY seems to inaccessible, but Nashville seems just right, for me.
As much as I love New Orleans (and I do LOVE NOLA), there is a pretty rigid ceiling, for music business, in the city. If one is interested in making a great living performing music, being part of a great cadre of musicians, New Orleans is your city.
I think the music of New Orleans has just as much depth of any of the major music cities, aforementioned. The only problem is, the music business platform is lacking. To get your songs placed in film, tv and with other artists is nigh to impossible. There are a few who’ve done it, and I salute them, but there are even more languishing in obscurity and will never get discovered.
There are legions of jaw dropping talented folks who have to work twice as hard as someone in Nashville, LA or New York to be noticed on a national level.
Why? Is it because they are less talented? Hellz no. The infrastructure is not there, that’s why.
I recently went to a songwriting clinic with local songwriter Jim McCormick, amongst others. He said something really brilliant, if you want to climb mountains you must go to the mountains. To truly put your name in the cowboy hat, you gotta get where the cowboys are.
Please do not misunderstand what I’m saying as I don’t want any of my wonderful local musician friends to be hurt. Staying in New Orleans, for life, can put a boundary on the heights that one’s career might reach, however, many would argue that one’s quality of life is awesome compared to other places.
This is true and not true. Life is a fucking struggle in New Orleans, peppered with moments of great fun, excitement and culture deeper than the Mariana Trench. But it is a struggle, and I even have it way easy!
I have a great job, doing what I love with people that I love, in a city that I love. But there is still something missing.
I wanna be a full time songwriter.
Notice I said songwriter and not singer-songwriter. I have little desire to push myself as hard as I would need to to be a successful artist, but I have a very strong desire to write songs for other people. To me, that’s where the fascination lies.
As an artist, with a very notable exceptions, you are tied to your genre, image and track record. As a songwriter you get to wear different hats. I think of it as an actor in different roles.
This is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while and I’m pretty sure I’m going to take the plunge within 1 to 2 years. Until then, I plan to go on songwriting missions every quarter to Nashville.
One never knows what the future holds, but this is my current plan. I hope you will all support me in this adventure! I love you all!