Watching the Grammys the other week, you had to notice the Nashville flavor. The coolest thing was that we’re finally talking 31 flavors–not just country, but music and artists of every variety .
I’m proud to be living here in this community and it got me thinking about some of the writers and artists I’ve coached over the past few years, and the inevitable question: Should I Move to Nashville?
Black Keys, Jack White, Civil Wars…even Kelly Clarkson call it home these days. It really is a melting pot. But is it the place to be if you’re just getting started? If you write Americana, Pop, Rock or R&B?
Now some of the folks I talk with are based in Europe, The UK, West Coast, East Coast. In the past Nashville might not have been the best fit. Have to think it is right now.
I still think it’s a great idea to homeschool your skills wherever you live. Make your mistakes on the small stage and get encouragement from the people who love you! Push yourself, get a fanbase, foothold, footprint and then take the giant step. Show the world whatcha got in the biggest town that’s open to you.
When I was starting out I couldn’t wait to test myself as a writer and artist and was impatient to “get out there”. First to explore NYC from my hometown of Binghamton whenever someone had a car. Moving on; to playing in Boston, joining a band in Indiana with a record deal, moving to L.A., London, and finally…Nashville, about 16 years ago.
I have to say no other city offered what this one does right now: diversity. Has to be the last stand for the pure songwriter who’s looking to be heard and get cuts based on a song, and not just the incestuous nature of “the business”. Still long odds…but you can get a song cut that wasn’t written with the producers team or having to give up your firstborn to get on a record.
Back to my point. Should you move to Nashville (or London, L.A., or N.Y.C.)?
Do your homework. Do a gut check, reality check, be willing to deliver the check, (as in waiter gigs!) and the goods . Give it a shot! Maybe that looks more like a few trips a year from whenever you live. Make it a couple of weeks each trip, since appointments are gonna fall through and people are gonna wanna know you’re serious about this. Come as often as you can and make some connections.
When it comes to coaching clients, I’m beginning to not think twice and just say yes…to Nashville.
P.S. I came across this interview with Nashville writer Randy Houser after I had published this blog so.. adding on!
What are your impressions of Nashville these days?
Adding this update on 9/3/13. Check out the best place to live and work in music!