Tag Archives: Gerard Longo

Control Your Controllables: Remaining Focused on Your Musical Journey

Over the past several weeks, we’ve generously acknowledged the up and down nature of the creative journey. There will be triumphant highs alongside disheartening lows and, as we well know, the key to enduring is to ride the waves, stay level-headed and focused, and keep pushing forward with patience and persistence.

Today, I’m here to throw another variable into the equation: the notion of control.

Along your journey, you are virtually guaranteed to encounter circumstances beyond your control, and they just might throw a wrench into your plan.

  • Playing an outdoor gig? That gig – and many times, the number of people in attendance – is at the mercy of the weather.
  • Have a co-write scheduled? Sometimes, life happens, and people need to reschedule. You might even run into an unavoidable conflict once in a while.
  • Did you put your best foot forward when submitting to an opportunity? Well… it’s still up to somebody else to decide if you will receive that opportunity, and the music industry — much like life itself — offers us no guarantees.
  • Even if you’re the kindest person on Earth, you will encounter people who are not kind in return. You will have conflicts, and you will run into criticism from time to time.
  • Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the early 2020s have presented industry-wide challenges that were, in many ways, completely out of our hands. (Lookin’ at you, ‘rona…)

Even despite our best efforts and wishes, the fact is that countless factors exist outside of our own influence, and some of them can lead to disappointment. However, the more we focus on that disappointment, the more powerful it becomes.

What’s an emerging musician to do, then? Simple.

Control your controllables.

No matter what the world throws your way, you still have an opportunity every day to re-center and focus on what is within your own individual sphere of influence. As you’ll see in this article, the list of your controllables is not especially long. Nonetheless, it’s important to know where to direct your attention when everything around you seems to be going haywire.

What are these “controllables,” you ask?

Sunday Replay: What is ‘Good’ Selfish? Giving Ourselves Flexibility and a Chance to Recharge

Before the weekend is through, kick back and enjoy some thoughtful clips from our Official Podcast, The Quinn Spinn.

These conversations highlight the creative process, as well as ways to show up better for ourselves, so that we have more to give. If you want more where this came from, make sure you hit the links below and subscribe!

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Sunday Replay: Originality, Purpose, and Small Victories

Our recent guests to The Quinn Spinn have spent years refining their creative processes, and the time spent has put them in a position where they can share the lessons they’ve learned.

Today’s Sunday Replay presents a few of those lessons, front and center. Watch the clips below! And, if you want more insights just like these, check out these links…

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4 Ways Your ‘Day Job’ Can Help Your Music Career

If you’ve been reading along at the Muze blog over the past several weeks, you may be noticing a pattern: we’ve been talking a lot about the creative process, and how success in the music industry is not a destination, but a journey.

We’ve covered ways to find joy in the process itself, and we’ve shared tips on how to keep yourself functioning at an optimal level as you move, step by step, toward greater artistic fulfillment. These ideas are great to keep in mind, no matter where you are on your road to success.

For many of us – especially those starting out – continuing down that road and keeping all aspects of our lives in balance can feel easier said than done. This is compounded by the fact that the vast majority of us who embark on a creative path do so without industry connections, and with finite resources (i.e. the cash necessary to feed the beast) to help us along the way. At one point or another, most of us will be employed outside of our passions in order to keep them going.

Although it can feel daunting to get up and go to a job – especially one you don’t like – when you’d rather be working on your vision, the good news is that there are still many positives to take forward from this leg of the journey. In fact, your seemingly unrelated “day job” might hold the keys to your success down the road.

Finding Freedom in Self-Expression with 0-brien

We first featured 0-brien at Underground Music Collective in March 2020, just as COVID shutdowns were setting in all over the world. Much has changed — in the world, in our careers, and in our lives.

The Nashville-based alternative artist discusses his creative process, the importance he places on self-expression, and how his personal evolution has informed his art.

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Sunday Replay: Accountability, Lessons Learned, and Attraction vs. The Chase

Hey, while you’re here: did you know that Underground Music Collective is a fiscally-sponsored project of The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville? That means you have the opportunity to make a charitable donation to UMC, which is tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Click here and help us Keep the Music Playing!

Anyway, onto this week’s Sunday Replay…

Our Official Podcast, The Quinn Spinn, covers so much more than music. We take on the life lessons that shape our journeys, creatively and otherwise.

Here are a few examples of what I mean. If you want more, peep the links below!

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Finding New Life and Using Art to Heal and Connect with DaChri

It’s DaChri Season! The self-proclaimed Boy They Left Behind returns to The Quinn Spinn to chat about his new EP, DaChri Season, and the life’s journey that led him to a place of healing, stronger community, and new perspectives.

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How To Get Involved in Your Local Music Scene, Pt. 3: Getting Ready to Make Your Pitch

Every musician has a story to tell, and the opportunity to communicate that story to the masses in the digital age. There are countless media outlets – from independent blogs and podcasts, all the way up to nationally- and globally-recognized publications – that could serve as a launching pad to build awareness for your artistry. Even so, most artists – especially those toward the beginning of their creative journeys – don’t know where to begin.

That’s where I come in! As the founder of UMC and the architect of our Perfect Your Pitch course, I have received thousands upon thousands of music submissions over the years. With that, I have teamed up with Music on the Move Studios, compiling my near-decade of experience as an independent media creator to offer you some tips on how to make sure your pitch stands out above the rest.

Sunday Replay: Self-Respect, Exposing the Hustle, Making Things Happen

We’re all about keeping things in balance these days, and that reflects in some of the recent conversations on our Official Podcast, The Quinn Spinn.

There’s a time to turn on the jets and go full-force toward your vision. There’s also a time to take a step back to rest, reflect, and refill your cup. Both modes are a part of the creative journey, and you can’t sustainably have one without the other.

Hear some insights from recent guests as they’ve navigated their journeys, and don’t forget to follow to the show using the methods below!

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