I think from time to time we all need something to keep our feet on the ground, or as I like to think something to “ground us”. This is especially true for musicians. It takes guts to expose your art, it’s like exposing a part of your soul, that you have kept hidden from the world. And you need to have a bit of an ego, for a lack of a better world. We need to believe in our selves and this can be a hard thing to do. There is always someone ready to point out how we are not good enough, or how someone else is doing the same thing better than we do. And you got to believe in your self to stand above that noise.
But that “ego” can come with a price. It is one thing to believe you are great, than to think you are better than everyone else. Or even worse, think you are better than your audience… So I think we all need something in our lives, that bring us back to the ground. Something that remind us of our roots. We all need family, friends and loved ones that see us just as we are. Just as that person we are when you take all the music and confident persona away.
We spend hours, days and weeks talking about our selves while promoting our music, so sometimes all we need is a cup of coffee with a loved one and talk about nothing to do with our music.
A great artist knows how to present themselves. They know how to choose the right shows, with the right audience. They know how to set them selves to succeed, rather than fail. But from time to time it is a great to do a show where you need to work hard. That’s why I still like playing in bars after all these years. Sure the festivals are great, the purpose-built venues are lovely, but it’s those noisy, beer stinking bars where you remember the meaning of hard work as a musician.
It’s these “grounding” things that keep us working hard, respect what we have and not turn in to that annoying rock star stereotype. Be humble, be kind to the people you work with and most of all respect your audience. They are the people who give you permission to do what you do. Without them, you are nothing.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE