When the Music Stops - Rebel Union
A look into what it takes to make it as a Singer/Songwriter here in Music City.
Our name is who we are. A band of misfits, or rebels if you will. A Star Wars nerd, a former baseball player, a shoe hoarder, and a cat lady. We are all unique and different in our own ways, and that’s what brought us together. Our music is a blend of our personalities and backgrounds. The beauty of that? You get to decide what genre that puts us in.
If you want to know more about us as individuals, check out our bios here: https://www.rebelunionmusic.com/bio/
What brought you to Nashville?
Besides the hot chicken…
Rebel Union moved to town as two separate duets. As those duets, we realized that the saying is true: “you must be present to win.” We knew, from our knowledge of the industry, that to be taken seriously and meet the right people to put us on the track to success, we needed to be in Music City!
The four of us met for the first time at a show in Georgia the week before both duets were supposed to move. It was perfect timing as we would all be new to town and wanted to get plugged into the writing scene. We started writing together, eventually singing those songs together, and decided we could do more as four people than we ever could as duets (plus, singing together just felt right and was where we wanted to go creatively). We came up with a name, created an Instagram to make it official, and BAM. The rest is history.
Tell us about what it takes to be a singer/songwriter in Music City?
Persistence! Singers/songwriters are some of the hardest-working people that I know. All of us have full-time jobs in addition to music, and we invest everything we make from music back into our craft. We are just working for what we know will be the eventual payoff: getting to do what we love full-time.
The ones who arelucky enough to do it full-time are constantly stuck in vans on the highway playing for drunk crowds or even empty rooms. That can get discouraging. To be an artist, you must develop thick skin, persistence, and a good work ethic. You must be open to criticism to get better, and try not to let the haters get you down 😊
Who/What inspired you to take this path?
I know we all have different influences and inspirations (again, it’s what makes our sound unique). But mutually, we all grew up singing and playing instruments. I’m not even sure we could pin it down on one specific person or thing that put us on this path. At the end of the day, none of us see ourselves doing anything else. It’s all we have ever wanted to do. And you should do what you love, damnit.
Describe some of the roadblocks you’ve faced so far in your musical journey in Nashville?
Well there was that time Blake got our van stuck in the sand at the beach and didn’t make it back for our show in time…. but I won’t get into that. That was quite literally a roadblock.
On a more serious note: being in a band with your best friends and spouse is not as easy as it sounds. Or maybe it’s as hard as it sounds. I still don’t even know.
Thankfully, we all have always had amazing chemistry, that’s why we decided to do this thing in the first place. But it doesn’t come without its fair share of disagreements/tension/creative differences. We always find we grow the most when we get through disagreements, find compromises, and get to the heart of whatever the issue is. We have learned to communicate so well, we really pride ourselves on it. We have realized we are stronger and better together, and it’s what makes this thing so great and so insanely rewarding. We make an amazing team and it helps us overcome any roadblocks that do come our way. (We eventually got out of the sand, by the way).
Biggest misconception the public has about the music industry?
I think the biggest misconception, even to artists themselves, is that you just kind of “get lucky” and “get discovered.” We hear all this all the time from fans who believe this is going to happen for us, and it’s very encouraging and kind! But, what we have learned since being in Nashville is that you very rarely just go play a normal writer’s round or show in town and an A&R rep happens to show up. Most of these things are very calculated and it takes a lot of networking, a ton of touring (or social media likes) and a lot of reading/knowledge about how the industry works to even set something up like a showcase or a label meeting.
That’s another misconception people have: that there are no resources or guides out there for musicians on how to get started, put a team together, tour, etc etc. Yes, it’s not as cut and dry as some other careers. There is no one right way of “making it.” But there ARE steps in the process. And there are actually a TON of books, blogs, podcasts, and mentors in the music industry who are willing to help you put together a strategy and team to get you success. But, you must be just as diligent in learning the business side of music as you are in exploring the creative side of music.
Thing you are most excited about right now?
Other than Denizen featuring us in this article and that fact that you are now reading it, whoever you are (HEYY!) we actually do have some big news. We just spent our first day of pre-production in the studio with our incredibly talented producer, Dan Hannon. We will be releasing 4 brand new songs, and we can’t wait to share them.
Follow us on Insta and we will keep you posted on the release dates!