Music City For Real

by Ali Sperry

First of all I just have to say I am terribly embarrassed that it has been so long since my last blog post. I know you'll believe it when you see it, but I'm ready to bring the blog back! So be prepared to hear from me...and often.

Okay, glad we got that out of the way.

Today I'd like to talk about living in Nashville. Real talk: there are times where it can feel hard to live in this town where you are surrounded by people that are ferociously going after their dreams, which are pretty much the exact same dreams you have. And we all know it's not a direct competition, but yes, sometimes it feels competitive. I hate it when it happens, but in my lowest moments, when I am feeling bummed about something that I am unsatisfied with in myself or my career, hearing about somebody else's latest victory (so-and-so's headlining this show, she booked this festival, she got this incredible write up in the Scene, blah blah blah) can feel...just crappy. And then of course I get mad at myself for reacting in a begrudging way to someone's triumph, someone that is probably even a friend on some level. So then I try to take a step back, take a breath, and remind myself that we're all just here trying to make some good music and really let's just chill out and have a sense of humor about it, Ali.

BUT the majority of my days in this town don't feel disheartening and competitive in that way at all and they do feel a little bit like a magical music summer camp where no one has real jobs and everyone writes songs, plays instruments and records music all day and then goes to shows to support and play with their friends at night. I mean, it's kind of ridiculous and it doesn't escape me how fortunate we all are to be here doing what we're doing, what we love, struggles and all. Just take yesterday for example, a random Sunday, this was my day: Have coffee with two best girlfriends while rehearsing harmony vocals for show that night, dress up and sit outside drinking a mint julep while "acting" in a friend's music video, babysit for a couple hours for the cute kiddos of two dear buddies (one of which I also get to sing in a band with) so they could go see some music, , go to 3rd and Lindsley for previously mentioned show and perform with people I love. Go home, watch Netflix, sleep. Not a bad Sunday. Not a bad life.

I turned 32 last week and I feel great about that. When I turned 30 I had this "uh-oh, I have to grow up and get my shit together" kind of anxiety hit me all of a sudden. And 31 felt a little bit like "oh boy, I'm a year deep and my shit is not yet even remotely together." For some reason, so far at least, 32 has a kind of calm to it. I was thinking about this in the shower yesterday (where lots of powerful thoughts occur) and thought, "Ohhh...this is all part of it. Everything I've done so far, all my experiences, everything I've put energy and effort into, it's all part of who I am. It's setting me up for what the rest of my life is going to be like. It's not just wasting time before my real having-shit-together portion of life suddenly and miraculously begins. What I'm doing now and what I've been doing is all part of a greater whole that I am slowly molding." The choice to go for making a living as a musician is a scary one sometimes. It's choosing a life without a ton of security or stability, without a clear path to success or ladder to climb. But I'm learning to gauge it by the small victories, and above all, by the continued quest to make art--to make music that I believe in and that moves me and represents my perception of life. If I can make something, and it makes me feel alive and joyful, and might make someone else feel alive and joyful, that is the job I seek to do.