A look into what it takes to make it as a Singer/Songwriter here in Music City.
What brought you to Nashville?
So many people have asked me why I would move from my hometown of Ottawa, ON Canada - a place where so many people know who I am and what I do, to Nashville, TN - a city where there are thousands of “me”s walking down every street and singing at every bar you pass. I don’t really see it that way, though.
First off, for many months of the year in Ottawa it’s so cold that it physically hurts to breathe, so I definitely dig the sunshine and flip-flop weather down here. But the main reason why I decided to pick up my life and move away from all my friends and family was to push myself to the limit. Sure, there are so many people who can sing, write and play better than I can and maybe I won’t stand out as much as I did back home; but what better way to learn and improve than to surround myself with the best of the best? That’s why I’m here, and that’s why I love this city.
Tell us about what it takes to be a singer/songwriter in Music City?
Oh man, we would be here for a while if I listed everything out! But, I think my #1 is that you better have some pretty thick skin. I’ve heard “no” so many times it’s not even funny, and I know the same thing goes for most singer/songwriters in this town. From “you're too much like Carrie Underwood”, “we just signed someone like you”, “you’re not pop enough for country radio” to “you just don’t have a chance”-- I’ve honestly heard it all, and I know I’m going to hear it many more times in my life. The people who last in this town are the ones who listen to those critiques and either forget about them or find a way to use that as fuel to push themselves to become a better musician/writer/performer.
Who/what inspired you to take this path?
I honestly can’t see myself doing anything besides music and I’ve always been that way. I went to university to have a “back-up plan” (even though they say you’re never supposed to have those down here) but throughout school and working other jobs, I always went back to music and made it my priority. I am also very lucky to have a family who loves music and has always been supportive of my dream. I think that’s a huge part of why I am the way I am and why it’s such a no-brainer to be doing what I’m doing.
Describe some of the roadblocks you’ve faced so far in your musical journey in Nashville.
I am a very proud Canadian, even though I see myself living in the US for a long time (and most likely forever). However, being a Canadian down here has definitely made things more difficult at times. Besides missing my favorite chocolate bars and some good quality maple syrup, figuring out the world of working in a foreign country, especially as a musician, is not easy. I am on what’s called a “P2 Visa” which is a visa for performers. This means I HAVE to make my living through music. I can’t go flip burgers on the side to help pay rent, I can’t bartend or babysit. I have to play gigs. I play downtown on Broadway for tips which is hard on my voice--and hard on my bank account sometimes haha. On the other side of that though, I play music for a living so I can’t complain too much!
Biggest misconception the public has about the music industry?
That things happen overnight. NOTHING happens quickly down here. Even if someone pops up on the radio and nobody has heard of them and their song goes straight to #1, nobody is an overnight success. I promise that years and years of hard work and dedication went into that success before anyone knew their name. Tons of time is spent getting into good writing circles, networking with other artists and people in the industry, and a lot of time is spent practicing.
Things you are most excited about right now?
I have a whole bunch of music that I am working really hard to get released out to you guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve put anything out and my sound has definitely changed in the two years I have been in Music City. I cannot wait to see what people think! If you head on over to my Instagram or Facebook page and give them a follow, I’ll keep you updated with release dates!