Why I’m here

Written by hootenannie on February 21st, 2008

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this whole Nashville thing.

I’ve been here for 7 weeks now, and they have been challenging, hard weeks. The questioning and stress that happens during transition is unsettling, and in no way have I been immune from this rough passage. I have wondered if I made the right decision in moving here, or if I have anything to offer musically. And even then, I wonder if I even want to be a part of the music that’s happening here?

Nashville is weird – I knew this before I moved here. Everyone is a musician, and it seems like you’re either “in” or “trying to get in,” which essentially translates to “cool” or “trying to be cool.” There’s a whole lot of name dropping going on, and a ridiculous amount of schmoozing. And largely, the people who succeed in this business are the people with a hot image and a tone tweaker. That’s not what I want.

I have been sorting through a lot of this stuff on my own. I do not need people like Mr. West Virginia WTF, who I met yesterday, to shove this information down my throat.

It was clear that this was a man who had desperately wanted to be a part of the music business at one point, but had been burned by the system, and had never “made it” in the way that he wanted to. His reaction: hate Nashville, despise the music business, and take it upon himself to discourage every young person who moves to town for music. And I’m sorry, but that just rubs me the wrong way.

I am fully aware of so much that is disturbing and cheap about what happens on Music Row, which is why it’s a good thing that I’m not trying to be the next American Idol or Nashville Star. I simply love music, and especially a specific brand of country music – the singer/songwriter stuff along the lines of Lori McKenna, Matraca Berg, Gretchen Peters, and Patty Griffin. I am here because I want to learn.

And I believe in the beauty of having dreams, and pursuing them regardless of money or convenience or assurance.

Even if nothing “happens.”

Following through on something that you believe in is always worth it, always.

I don’t know how long I’ll live here, and I don’t have any illusions that I am going to have a career making music. I just want to be involved with the music that I love in any way that I can, even if it’s just as a listener. I am clinging to the hope and joy that has miraculously been instilled in my heart, and continue to press on through all of the negative, dissenting voices.

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