I have been given an opportunity to write a monthly column at Skope magazine. This is a chance of a life time for an artist like me. It is an open forum to reach out to our readers. You are a mixed demographic of people; some who may not know a lot about the music industry but have a deep passion for it. However, it also includes many of those who work in it everyday.
As a writer I have to make myself available for new ideas every waking moment. There are many times when inspiration has even come to me in my sleep. I never squander a thought or an emotion. I document each one and tuck it away in a shoe box full of index cards with scribbles of ideas written on them. I call this collection, “My Thought Box”. This is where I go whenever the muse has run dry. I have an infinite amount of scribbles I have collected over the years.
I decided to take my scribbles and share them with you in this column. Welcome to, “The Thought Box”. I want you to get to know me. But I also want to share with our readers and introduce them to those who are actively working in the creative world. You are not alone. We are all in this journey together and we need each other to make it work.
I have been a songwriter, freelance writer, performer and artist; pretty much my whole life. I have walked steadily in the creative world. With creativity, come many rewards, but maybe not the rewards that the people on the outside looking in may expect.
No matter who you talk to or what level the artist is at, you ask them why they do it and they will say, because it is who I am. Pretty consistently a creative person creates because they know no other way to be.
However, with these rewards come many sacrifices too. We wear our emotions on our sleeves for the world to see. The deeper we get into our careers the deeper into our souls we have to delve in order to reach our audience. We have to also open our minds to things we might not have noticed otherwise. When we love, we do it with out strings. When we hurt we do it openly. When we are tired, we put on a smile and keep trudging forward. Why? Because the creative world is also a business and if you want to be actively accepted you have to be working at all times.
Compensation in this business does not always have a monetary value attached to it. Our gifts come in the smallest packages that have the greatest rewards. I have been blessed to be able to make a moderate living doing what I love. I have released two independently recorded CD’s. My first CD, Love and Other Disasters received world wide recognition that prompted my second release of My Mother’s Child. I have worked as a publisher, independent song plugger, songwriter, performer, freelance writer and served on the board of directors for The Tennessee Songwriters Assoc. International for numerous years. I have had my songs heard on TV and independent films, as well as having other Independent artists perform my music. I market and promote this body of work all on my own. I have support from a small team I have put together of people who love and believe in me.
I was told once when starting out I had to be willing to make sacrifices in order to find success. Those who make it are the ones who never give up. With all the enthusiasm I could muster I demanded I was ready and willing to do what it took; even though I never really understood what he meant by “sacrifices”, until those sacrifices were made.
I have had to work jobs that had nothing to do with my goals in order to make ends meet and fund my musical pursuits. This is a part of what it takes in order to stay a float when you are making your dreams come true.
I have been blessed with solid friendships that have helped me along the way. I have had the pleasure and honor to work and learn from some of the greats in the industry. These are the people who have made the sacrifices and understand the work behind the music. They made it and they paved the way for people like me.
It is amazing to me when I talk to others in the business and find their stories so similar to my own. At times we can all feel so alone in the world and it is a relief to know that we are more united than one might realize.
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a fellow artist named, Jennifer Logue. She is a singer/songwriter out of New York City. She is an independent artist as well. She recently won a contest that put her at the Virgin Mobile Freefest. There she shared a stage with legendary artist like Cee Lo Green, Patti Smith, The Black Keys and many more. We recently sat down and had a conversation about the very thing I am sharing with you now.
She said to me, “You have to sacrifice for the life. Ultimately no one cares about you or your career the way you do. So get in there, roll your sleeves up and put in the work.”
I asked her how long she has been a singer/songwriter and she told me, “I’m an artist. I cannot remember a time in my life when music was not a part of it. Some times it is easy to get discouraged. But this contest opened my eyes. I had a lot more fans than I thought I did. These realizations are the benefits that keep me moving forward.”
She felt like in order to make an impact in the creative world she needed to find her own voice. She believes that as an artist she had to write what she knew and you can not do that with out living. She packed her bags and toured in Europe in 9 different countries, with nothing more than a back pack, her guitar and her songs. She left her friends, family and comfort zone to pursue a life that held mystery around every corner.
Jennifer says, “A song is like a conversation. When I’m on stage singing to an audience I am telling them about my experiences. I am sharing how that felt. I am connecting with them on a level as I would if we were talking face to face.”
Like so many artist I have talked to she explained to me that once she almost gave up. I assure you we have all been there before. Frustrated, tired and questioning what is it all for? The work was overwhelming and consuming her life. She was starting to feel the pressures that come with those sacrifices. She went back to school and decided to pour her heart into becoming a lawyer. She felt different rewards through her work in becoming a lawyer. She worked hard, got good grades and realized even with good grades she still may not make it as a lawyer either. Every thing is a sacrifice and nothing worth working for is easy. She began to feel she was losing her true self. She soon went back to pursuing her music career.
She said, “Anything in life takes effort so you need to be passionate about it. The rewards can be great as long as you are true to yourself. It takes your whole heart and soul in order to find success. If your heart and soul isn’t in it, you are not going to get very far.”
She went on to share with me something that I found to be simple but yet so profound at the same time.
She said, “Every artist has an audience. You may only reach a small number of people. It is a lot of work with little compensation. At the end of the day, I have my guitar and some cool chords and when I write about something that happened to me that experience is written in history and will live on forever. That is the reward and that is power and this is what my music is all about. This is my voice.”
I could not have said it better myself. Jennifer Logue is a perfect example of what to do to make it happen. She reaches out to her fans daily. She puts herself out there with out fear. She wants to know you as much as you want to know her; because ultimately an artist is no one with out an audience.
Jennifer says, “Artists need to band together. There is strength in numbers. It is about the community. We need to stop competing and start working as one. We need to all understand music is a noble mission because it brings people together.”
I myself feel honored to have her in this journey with me. It is comforting knowing some one has your back.
For tour dates and more information about Jennifer Logue please visit her official website at: http://www.jenniferloguemusic.com/. You can also read more about her recent release, The Split Sessions here at Skope magazine: http://skopemag.com/index.php?s=jennifer+logue
Please tune in monthly at Skope Magazine. Coming soon, I have interviews with Sophie B Hawkins, Van Hunt, Tori Sparks and many other signed artists or independents sharing their stories here at The Thought Box.
By: Rebecca Hosking – firstname.lastname@example.org