When the Music Stops - Matt Rogers
A look into what it takes to make it as a Singer/Songwriter here in Music City.
What brought you to Nashville?
-It really just seemed to be the natural progression. I have played guitar and performed most of my life. I started, like most do, in church. Then had a high school garage band. In college, it progressed to more writing songs and performing singer/songwriter events. Eventually, after moving back home I started playing weekends at local bars. Things changed when I moved to Macon, GA and put a band together and we began playing band shows. After a couple of releases of music and visiting Nashville more and more frequently, whether to write or for meetings, I saved some money, left a full-time job, and made music my full-time career.
Tell us about what it takes to be a singer/songwriter in Music City?
-There's so much that goes into making this a career you can live off of. You have to spend equal amounts of time on branding, marketing, and learning how the business works as you do on being creative, being a better performer, player, and singer. It is most certainly a grind. It has to be something you're willing to put in whatever time is necessary. I am very goal oriented, so setting goals and putting a plan of action into place to achieve those has been something that's really helped me afford to still be chasing the dream and growing the career. In short, "If it were easy, everyone would do it." But when it’s something you honestly feel like you were put on earth to do, you pursue it.
Who/What inspired you to take this path?
-It hit me one day when I was spending more time writing, practicing, booking, working on my website, that I was basically operating as a fulltime business. I released a song called "I Was Raised" that was received very well, and opened quite a few doors for me. It gave me the confidence to believe in what I was doing. In hindsight, looking at all the things that at the time I thought were catastrophic to my future were only there to ensure me on the path I am on. Things so specific you can only call it divine intervention. That's what keeps my fire lit.
Describe some of the roadblocks you’ve faced so far in your musical journey in Nashville?
-No matter what you do there will be roadblocks. Things don't always work out the way you want, or more often, the way you expect them too. There have been deals that we had spent months negotiating that fell through. There have been songs on hold that never got cut. The thing about roadblocks is there are always different routes to the same destination. So you remind yourself there aren't enough NO's in this town, you dust yourself off, and get back to work.
Biggest misconception the public has about the music industry?
-Most people, including people who are chasing music as a career, do not have a clue how business driven it has become. To the point it’s almost not even about music anymore. So many numbers go into effect. Ticket sales, downloads, spins, merch sales, and the list goes on and on. It is something that simply can not be ignored. You cannot be naive to that fact. This is why it is so important to learn the business and treat it as such when trying to put your music into the world.
Thing you are most excited about right now?
-I have also been writing a ton of new songs and getting ready to release some new stuff, hopefully this summer! CMA Fest is coming up and I am very excited about playing the CMA Spotlight Stage this year, as well as, the Hard Rock stage, and WildHorse Saloon. I love getting to meet all the country music fans at Fan Fair X also. It’s just a cool time to be in Nashville and be a part of country music.
What should people be looking forward to from you?
-A great songwriter in town named Hugh Moffatt once told me, "Dare to be ordinary." When he explained a little more, he said that so many people in this town try to be what they think is cool, or be something they aren't, because being themselves is too boring, or ordinary. The funny thing is, when we are being a pure version of ourselves, by design, that’s the only time we are truely unique. That's stuck with me for a number of years now. I try to make sure of that in everything I do involving my music, my brand, and what I am all about.