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When you have a goal or a pursuit in life, some choices seem easy and apparent. Some, on the other hand, seem difficult, unnecessary and unclear.
When I moved to the US wanting to become a country artist, it seemed pretty apparent that I would need to record some music. I would need to choose a name and obviously play a few (or a hundred) live shows.
But where to record? And what? What should I call myself? Where should (or even can) I play? Should I stay in the Northwest or move on to Nashville, like everyone else?
It even seems once you've made a choice in the direction of your dreams, it's done and you shouldn't have to think about it anymore. You move on to the next crossroads.
But the truth of the matter is, the same obstacles come up again and again. I'm hanging out with some friends in Nashville, meeting people and having a good time. There is no doubt that my music belongs here in Nashville, which is also why I come here to record and make an effort to spend time here. Most of the time I feel like I fit in and I'm doing some legitimate business here. But sometimes I feel like an alien because I didn't choose to move here in the first place. There seems to be an unsaid thing that if you haven't moved here, you're not really serious about your career. Yet, when I tell people I am a full-time musician, they are either thoroughly impressed or don't believe me and assume I drive Lyft on the side at the very least.
Most musicians I've met who are living in Nashville don't actually make ends meet with "just" music stuff. They have "day jobs" or do a plethora of different odd jobs. They barter with other musicians to make their own music or pour all their money back into their music careers.
So was my choice to not become a full-time Nashvillian a good one or a bad one? I don't know. But I do know that if I was living in Nashville right now, I would not be able to spend all of my time on my own music career the way I am while living in the Pacific NW. But then the question arises: would my career have gotten further than it is right now at this moment had I moved to Nashville in the first place?
Those are the unknowns, that we will never know. All I know is I never felt called to actually move to Nashville full time. I have felt called to spend more time in Nashville, and maybe one day I will have a second home here. But I always felt that in this day and age it doesn't matter where you live. You can pursue your music from anywhere. If I'm traveling 9 months out of the year playing shows, what does it matter where I actually live?
I also have the blessing of coming home and having my sanctuary with my family far away from the tumultuous music city. Where I can come home and unplug and not be pulled in every direction. Where I have a network of friends who support and encourage me. And that is probably my biggest reason for staying in the Pacific NW. And I have never regretted that decision.