As I sat in my childhood bedroom this weekend, I was reminded of how far I’ve come. Home in Jersey for the Fourth of July, my room is full of hints at my future career as a journalist, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought all this would have come to fruition. My walls are surrounded by posters, photos with bands and quotes from my favorite musicians. One that I live by is from Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman: “Be honest, and never let anyone else define success for you — money ain’t it.”
On the wall behind my bed is a framed copy of my very first front page article from the Rutgers school paper from October 2003. Nearly 10 years later I have two more articles to frame — my first concert review on Luke Bryan and band review on Mike Mangione & the Union for Billboard magazine. It took 10 years, but I finally feel like I’m exactly where I belong. I love that I can write about bands I believe in for a reputable publication like Billboard. That’s why I first began my blog: to write about artists I believe in and bring their music to those who might not stumble upon it themselves. Nearly six years later, not much has changed.
This past month I’ve interviewed some of the artists I grew up listening to. Chatting with Jack Johnson was a dream come true as much of my college years were spent listening to his music. Earlier last month, I sat down with Robin Thicke and he gave me a ton of relationship advice. A week later his single “Blurred Lines” went to No. 1.
It’s no secret that country music has become a passion of mine so when I had the opportunity to talk with Toby Keith on the phone I was floored. (He rarely does interviews). I learned the story behind his monster hit “Red Solo Cup” and he told me how his benefit concert for tornado victims in Oklahoma came together. Later in the month, I witnessed Hunter Hayes live for the first time. Verdict: go see him! (His album is my most listened to so far of 2013).
That same week, I sat VIP while watching Hanson perform for their 21st anniversary. Yes, they played “MMMBop.” And of course I sang along word for word.
I’m a strong advocate of the saying, “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” While getting to this place was by no means easy, there is nothing else I’d rather do. There have been many times this past month that I said to myself, “Remember this moment forever.” I still feel like a kid when I get to a show only to realize my seats are better than I thought. Granted, I’m covering these shows, but the excitement never wears off. The moment it does I’ll have a major problem. But, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.