One's dream of making it in the entertainment industry has become a cliché over the years, and in many respects, it has gradually started to lose its "mystery" factor and has become so much more accessible through the internet and reality TV. People are more likely to respond with a certain degree of cynicism or at least skepticism when you tell them that you really are doing this for the love of music and not for the shine and glitter of fame and fortune.
Perhaps somewhat to my disadvantage, I was born and raised far from where it all happens and where, as the guidebook of industry states "dreams come true" - the former Soviet Republic of Georgia (country, not the state!) There was very little, if any, showbiz action back in the USSR in the 80's, but having had the luck of growing up in a very artistic family (my dad is an architect and a painter and my mother is a classical pianist), I was exposed to music and painting very early on. Eventually, my love for painting and drawing was conquered over by my passion for music.
When foreign music was forbidden in the Soviet Union, my father always managed to get hold of the very latest hit records from abroad and I was introduced to the likes of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross - you name it! - from day one.
The day I saw the making of "We Are the World: USA for Africa", I must have been 2 years old or so, I was instantly hooked on it and my parents knew that was it - nurturing my love for music was worth a shot, they thought.
Years later, when I started traveling around the world and working with the people whose names and records I could only admire on the back covers of some of my most favorite artists' albums, I finally found myself amidst that very crowd of musicians I had only heard and read about back home.
We often admire big stars and their fame and fortune, but rarely stop to think how much effort, hard work and rejection they must have gone through to get to this stage. I think those in the industry often ignore the fact that people really must and in fact do want to know the creative process of making those dreams come true - the journey from A to B. It is far from 1, 2, 3 and you're a star. Luck being one of the strongest components, I often wonder why talent has become so much less of a winning factor...
When I started taking my very first steps in the music business, I was surprised to find out that my love for making music had to be often substituted with a certain degree of the knowledge of "ins and outs" of the showbiz and how it all works. Recording music and performing it in front of an audience is in many ways the moment of payoff. Selling the music and going with the flow of the bureaucratic "behind the scenes" process is the tougher nut to crack, but it's pointless complaining about it - there is a degree of creativity and fun in some of that, too!
I often hear people complain about the ever-changing music business, and yes, perhaps it is not what it used to be (and probably never will be), but we can't ignore the evolution period and have to try and make it work for us. People will never stop craving for music - demand for new music will always be there, I strongly believe in this, but the tough part is trying to make it in this evolving business of music.
The digital world is an exciting one, but at times I lament the gradually disappearing "old-school" way of the traditional format. I remember buying records and opening the sealed the package on the go, desperate to flip through the album sleeve and read the songwriting/production credits, the long "thank you's", etc. Getting my favorite artist's new CD was a sheer thrill in itself, yet nowadays, with a click of a button, you can get just about anything on the internet. Convenient - of course it is - but the adrenaline is not the same, or is it?
The one thing that hasn't changed - and probably never will, at least for those craving to create - is the excitement you experience while writing new material and seeing something new and fresh unfold right in front of you from literally NOTHING. Leaving the studio with a great new song under your belt that nobody else has heard outside of the control room - it's such a joy! That's one of those moments when you know it's so worth doing what you do. And when you share that offspring with your audience and they actually respond to it, all the politics and business issues become so meaningless and so much more trivial than the end result.
Reading generic press releases and recounting biographical facts has its advantages, of course, but sometimes we just want to read a personal journal of building one's career at an undoubtedly interesting time in the world of music and the digital revolution. So, to make a long story short, this is one artist's account of the journey - first hand, in real time... You've read the bio, so I can't surprise you with a straight-forward "I was born in 1984 in Tbilisi, Georgia" - you can read all of that on myspace, but instead, here's a more personal side of the story so far.....
Stick around, see how it all unfolds, ask questions of you've got specific ones, and let's just have some fun... Freedom of speech is a wonderful phenomenon - not something I'm too used to coming from Russia...with love!