I was asked today why I do my music journalism stuff if I am not writing for a big site/magazine or getting paid well enough to do it full time. My answer was simple. Passion. I may not make a lot of money doing what I do, I may not always get the level of exposure that I would like. But I truly enjoy doing it.
I have been doing music journalism for about 5 years now. It was a choice that I made on my way home from a show one night. I thought to myself how good music makes me feel, how much it can improve any situation. I decided that night that I wanted to pursue writing show reviews, album reviews, taking pictures, and telling people about some artists that they may not have heard of before. I also decided that I wanted to try to talk to these artists that I was seeing, I wanted to know their stories. I wanted to be someone that could inform fans of any new news with artists.
When I first started, and even to this day, I have faced rejection but also a lot of successes. I have had artists, pr firms, labels and management teams not reply to emails or phone calls, or even point blank telling me that I didn't have enough background to do anything with their artists. I've also had some take chances on me and allow me the opportunity to cover them, almost always with great success. And over the years some of those same people that had rejected me in the beginning have contacted me to work with them now.
In my time as a music journalist I have gotten to work with some of the artists that I grew up listening to. Over the years I have worked with smaller unknown artists all the way up to national headliners, and everything in between. I've gotten to work with some artists before they got their break, I did an email interview with Charlotte Sometimes 2 years before she appeared on NBC's The Voice where she had all 4 coaches press their button for her. I also interviewed Juliet Simms at Warped Tour a year before she appeared on NBC's The Voice and took 2nd place. I have been able to interview several people multiple times. I have formed friendships with some of the artists I have worked with on multiple occasions.
At one of my biggest opportunities I was in attendance for a terrible tragedy. I was in attendance for Sara Bareilles and Sugarland at the Indiana State Fair in 2011 when the weather turned bad between sets and the stage collapsed claiming several lives and injuring many more. We noticed the weather getting bad and I decided that we should go to keep our cameras out of the rain. No sooner than we got up is when the stage began to give way and collapse. Had we stayed there we would have been sitting about 2 feet from where the stage impacted the ground. That night is forever etched in my memory. I was contacted once news broke about the collapse by Sara's PR team to make sure that I was ok.
I have attended events such as The Warped Tour, Take Action Tour, and I was even able to attend The Bacardi Bash the night before the Super Bowl in 2012. I have been able to interview artists such as Yellowcard, Datsik, Juliet Simms, MC Lars, The Used, Carolina Liar, LIGHTS, Tonight Alive, and many more.
I honestly love going to shows, taking pictures and talking with artists. I have met some of the most incredible people through my music journalism. I have met people with similar backgrounds to me, I've met people with open and pure hearts. I have met people that have both saved and changed my life.
When I look back on the last few years I can't help but smile and be proud of some of the stuff I have done. With any luck one day my passion will pay the bills, but until then I still enjoy it.