In September it'll be just a little over 3 years of living in Nashville, and I've been incredibly grateful to be here. Looking back at the last three years of working, living, and experiencing Nashville, I put together a list of 5 things I wish I'd known when I first moved to Nashville looking for work in the music industry.
1. It's going to take longer than you think to get where you want to go.
Nashville's music scene is arguably one of the most friendly in the world, but it's going to take time to earn the trust of the people that you want to ultimately work with in the industry. Be patient, and don't get discouraged. Keep doing your thing, making connections, and you'll find your place.
2. Build/find community.
Don't wait for the community to come to you. Go out, find people who you connect with, and start hanging out with as many of them as possible. If you can't find a good music community of people around you, build one yourself. Throw parties. Go to concerts with new friends. This is as important as honing your craft to your long term success.
3. Treat everyone as if they're a rock star (because they probably are)
In a town so densely populated with musicians, artists, and industry folks odds are pretty good that every person you're talking with is/was/will be very successful in the music industry. Treat everyone with respect, kindness, and good southern manners. It'll go so far in building a good reputation in town.
4. Don't be flaky/dramatic.
Consistency is the name of the game in Nashville. With huge amounts of talent around town, odds are pretty good that your barista could replace you if you break a promise or start bad mouthing someone.
5. Enjoy the first few years.
I know it's hard, but if you can try to savor the first few years in town. There's so many new experiences that you'll never get to experience for the first time again. It goes fast.