Ahoy and Happy New Year!
I have a new song for you to kick off 2021. It’s an unreleased b-side called Starving Artists Unite! It channels a bit of my angsty punk rock influence.
Download Starving Artists Unite: Vandarth-Starving-Artists-Unite.mp3
About the song Starving Artists Unite:
Influenced by: Sum 41, Foo Fighters
The Story Behind The Song:
I was in my early 20’s wrestling with what to do with my life. I’m sure you know what it’s like to wrestle the tension between finding a financially secure job and pursuing your dream job. Often, our passion projects don’t pay well, if at all.
I dreamed of being a full-time original musician, which is one of the most difficult goals I can think of. At the age of 23, I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t exactly have the best plan, but I had guts. Without having established a steady income stream from music, I quit my job to dedicate all of my time to making original music.
The world seemed to tell me that my dream was impossible. It felt strange to be blessed with skills that sometimes the world didn’t seem to value. This song is about developing the determination to power through the discouragement we sometimes hear from others (even people we respect). I had to believe in myself when very few people believed in me. People would often tell me I might as well try to join the NBA. And so, to deal with all of the discouragement I heard, I had to develop a gritty mentality, which comes through in this song.
It was pretty rough to be honest. I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and Ramen noodles. I would often walk to McDonalds and buy two $1 McChicken sandwiches. Ever seen that movie where a guy ate McDonald’s for 30 days straight?? Dating during this phase of my life was pretty rough too, as women were often terrified that we’d end up living in a dumpster. I was smart enough to always be able to pay my bills, but they certainly didn’t enjoy the roller coaster.
In hindsight, I certainly wish I had developed a smarter strategy. I could have set myself up better for success. I made it one year before I had to find a job again. After that, I actually saved up for a year and tried again with the same results. Today though, I work part-time as a musician at a church while recording original music on the side. Even though it didn’t work out how I had originally planned, I’m pretty happy with my work and find it meaningful.
If I had any advice to give someone standing in my old shoes, I’d say find a way to strategically scale into your dream job. I could have continued to work outside of music and tried to slowly scale into full-time music. I wouldn’t have had to go through the pain of going broke twice, and I’d probably have more guitars in my house! 🙂
Bottom line? Keep your determination and grit. Don’t let the world tell you that your dreams are unreachable. Somebody knows how to get there. Just make a good plan. A good strategy + heart can take you a long way. It’s like having both brains and brawn!
Starving Artists Unite is a b-side that was cut from the final version of my album Space Coffin. I’ve always liked the energy of this song, but I had to choose between this track and Is Anybody Else Still Standing. The two songs had a similar vibe and I didn’t want to put both on the same album, but it’ll bring some great energy to Get Loud.
I’m looking forward to interacting with you all more this year. Happy New Year!
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