I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about my journey to Nashville, and how I knew I was ready to move here, and how someone else might know that they are ready to move here. The easy answer is that there really is no easy answer; timing is different for everyone. I had dreamed of moving to Nashville since I was young, and always had the idea that once I graduated, off I would go!
In reality, it took a little more planning than that. I spent the summer before my senior year of college in Nashville with an internship, so I got a feel for the city. Like I had predicted, I fell in love with it and decided that I would definitely be back after graduation.
My senior year, I finished all my classes, and really focused on writing, recording, and practicing to get myself in the best vocal shape I could. I also kept working at my part-time job, which turned out to be a big stepping stone for my move to Music City.
As graduation drew nearer, I really started to plan the big move. I apartment-hunted with my soon-to-be roommate, researched different ways to get your foot in the door in Nashville, and looked for the oh so elusive big-girl job that I knew I needed in order to pay the bills that were sure to come. The part-time job I held throughout college was with a national company, and I was lucky to land a position at a local office in Nashville before graduation.
So there I was, cap and gown on, diploma in hand, and car packed. I thought I had everything I would need to start my fabulous adventures in my new home!
Let’s fast forward 2 and a half years, which takes us right up to today. I feel like it was just during the last year that I really centered in on a sound and style that I can call my own, and I have a very clear vision of where I want to take that sound. I have specific goals, much more focused than “I want to be a singer and songwriter,” which is what I was saying as I pulled into the parking lot of my very first Nashville apartment. I know I am at a spot now where I am finally ready to conquer the music industry… or at least a small corner of it!
Does that mean I wish I had waited longer to make my move to Music city? Definitely not! The experiences I had and lessons I learned my first couple years here are what brought me to the point where I am today, and have made me a better writer, musician, and business-woman. Whatever I was lacking when I started my journey, I believe was made up for with passion, drive, and curiosity. I knew that making music was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I was willing to work hard and persevere through whatever unknown challenges were lying ahead of me to realize my dream. I also couldn’t wait (and still can’t, for that matter) to learn more about singing and writing music, and fine tuning the craft of songwriting, and figuring out how to navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of this industry.
I know earlier I said that the time to move, or start your career, was different for everyone- which is true. But I think that no matter what your goals, anyone that wants to make the pilgrimage to Nashville to try their hand in this industry needs to have at least those 3 things if they want to succeed. Talent is everywhere in this town, and knowledge can be gleaned from experience, but a love for your art, desire to keep improving your craft, and the spirit to keep pushing forward despite setbacks can’t really be learned or replaced, and will set you on a path for long term success… that’s my hope anyway!