It’s the weekend and I am deliberately staying away from the studio today. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and my passion for music and music creation knows no bounds. However, the hours can get long, sometimes pushing 16 hour work days and deadlines can be demanding as my typical clients are becoming bigger (not complaining…). With that being said, you got to do something to fuel your passion otherwise…it just burns out.
At 13, I knew I wanted to be a musician. I don’t believe I was groomed for it; my parents were more of the nurturing type. I know that at that age, I had made up in my mind that playing the piano was more than just going to piano lessons and playing at church. It had started to become an expression of myself and an extension of my identity. So, I made it my goal to be the best and I would train like I was an athlete because…Lebron James (more to add about that later).
As I got older, I started to get involved in bands, which fueled my passion (more like EXPLODED it!). At that I point, I started to wonder about the technical side such as, how does all the PA equipment sound and more importantly, how do you make it sound better. Around that same time, there was a radio show that would come on late on Saturday nights called Lightforce Radio…and it BLEW MY MIND! I didn’t know that music could be so aggressive and I feel in love with bands like Further Seems Forever, Anberlin, Underoath, etc.
Fast forward a little bit, I went to college and studied music production mainly because I couldn’t afford a studio to record in and I wanted to learn how to record myself and market my own music. I had purchased an Mbox and my parents got me my first MacBook Pro (at that time they were called PowerBook G4) and got to work recording my music. My with less than stellar demos, I believed I was heading in the right direction. An interesting thing started happening. As more and more of my friends found out I had a little recording setup in my room, the more requests I got to record other people. In fact, I was the only person in my program that had a recording setup outside of the on campus studio and labs.
As a result, the little dorm recording setup snowballed into a home studio and then a professional one. I never thought that the dreams that I had would actually be anywhere outside of my head. Maybe it’s because I felt that no one actually took me seriously. I always knew that this was going to happen overnight and that’s probably why this has been the most rewarding part of my career journey.
I have been producing and owning a studio full time for 6 years now. It has been one of the most exhilarating experience I have ever gown through. there have been many highs and equally many lows, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not many people can say that their passion is their career. As a result, to keep that passion burning and growing, you have to find other things you are passionate about. For me, there are 2 things that help me to continue to have a fiery passion for music.
BASKETBALL and BARBECUE. Those of you who know me personally, know that my 5’6” body is not a prototypical body for basketball, however, I feel like I can hold my own with anyone on the court and I actually train with that mentality (I can hear you laughing…). There is something about pushing my body and conditioning my body to perform a task in basketball that helps me to stay focused on any task in the studio.
I have always been into cooking and I have always felt that if I wasn’t so passionate about music, I would have become a chef. Now, when it comes to barbecue I’m not talking about propane and barbecue sauce. I’m talking about the low and slow, smoke, meat, and time. If you follow any of my social media, there are 4 things you will definitely find: My kids, music, basketball, and cooking food with fire. The last one was born out of a trip that I took to Spain and feel in love with the fact cooking with fire is more than just typical American barbecue. It is that low and slow time consuming method that I believe has helped me to be extremely detailed in how I approach producing and mixing.
The point I am trying to get across is that when you finally reach the point where your passion is your career (notice…I didn’t say if…I said WHEN), you got to find other things you can be passionate about so that your passion doesn’t dangerously burn out. I also believe that doing so, can definitely create some opportunities to continue to grow in your passion and we can all stand to get better and be better.