Is It Too Late To Release Your Music?
In an industry where everything's always new, it's difficult to not feel old.
Today, I’m announcing “Death Only Comes When I’m Awake,” the first single from my upcoming E.P., Fever Dreams at Ruger Place. I also want to talk about the complicated feelings that inevitably come with releasing music.
Hey, all. I’m so, so very excited to announce the release of “Death Only Comes When I’m Awake,” the first single from Fever Dreams at Ruger Place, my upcoming E.P. Fever Dreams at Ruger Place is a collection of songs dealing with dreams, desire, and the liminal space between wakefulness and sleeping.
The single, along with an accompanying music video, will release on June 2nd 2023. Fever Dreams at Ruger Place will release one month later on July 7th, 2023.
Here’s a short announcement clip where you can hear (and see!) a snippet of the song:
This project has been a year in the making. It represents the culmination of so many things for me. A new sense of comfortability with and understanding of who I want to be as an artist. The growth I’ve experienced in my skills as a composer and a producer. A willingness and resolve to take full ownership over the daunting task of properly releasing a piece of music.
I’m telling myself — and now you as well so that you can keep my accountable — that this is the beginning of my prolific era. I plan on releasing new music often. There is so much that I want to make and share and, after spending nearly a decade wasting time out of fear, I’m eager to take action.
Fever Dreams at Ruger Place represents more than the sum total of its track list. It represents a beginning. The beginning of me, releasing exactly the music I want to be releasing, without fear and without compromise.
But, there’s one question that still remains in my mind. Now that I’m in my 30s, is it too late to be the artist I want to be and have the career that I want?
The answer for me, intellectually, is no. If you find yourself in a similar position, I hope it is for you, too. However, emotionally it can be a different conversation. It’s easy to know that something is true while not necessarily feeling like it is.
When I was a teen and in my early 20s, I used to think the music industry so heavily pushed younger artists because it’s a season of life in which you feel emotions so much more deeply than later in life. However, as my late 20s moved into my 30s (to be fair I am only 30) and as I’ve gained more life experience, I don’t think that’s true any longer. To be quite honest, as I’ve learned more about the music industry, I tend to think that the industry focuses on younger artists because they’re impressionable and far easier to mold into something that might have the chance of making money.
Regardless of why younger artists dominate our cultural landscape, the fact that they do can create this sentiment that older artists are, at best, not cool and, at worst, shouldn’t be taken seriously. And, it’s a sentiment that, at this point, is baked into our cultural perception of what it means to be a successful music maker. The video linked above went viral a little while back and, while wilt absolutely made this as a joke, there are people who absolutely believe this. It also nicely sums up the point that I’m trying to make so that’s helpful, too.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t insecurity as well.
I knew that I wanted to make music for a living from the exact moment I turned 13. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that all I wanted to do was to make music. As time and my general sense of how the world’s workings progressed, it became clear that devoting as much time as possible to making music meant that I needed to make a career out of it.
As a result, I became a devout student of popular music, as my highest aspiration at the time was to be in a band. I didn’t have consistent internet access then so my studies consisted of devouring music magazines such Rolling Stone, Blender (RIP), and Spin. On the weekends, I’d go to my dad’s and use Limewire (also RIP) to download the artists I read about.
If I constantly change what’s on the other side of that window, then I constantly set myself up for failure.
I can remember the excitement I felt in those early days. I felt like I had time to figure a music career out and the stubbornness to see it through. But as the years progressed and my teenage years gave way to my early 20s, I felt like I was already too late. With each passing year, that feeling grew.
Writing that now, it seems absurd that I could have thought that way in my early 20s. It’s also not lost on me that somebody reading this would say the same thing about me now at 30. And, while I do earn my living today through music, I still struggle with this unshakeable feeling of having somehow missed my window. I’m writing about that feeling and unpacking it here in part because I know I’m not alone in feeling this way but also because leaving that “window” undefined does nothing to help me. If I constantly change what’s on the other side of that window, then I constantly set myself up for failure.
Deciding what’s on the other side
For me, exactly as I am in the present moment, the other side of that window is releasing Fever Dreams at Ruger Place. What I’ve come to realize over the past few years is that if I am the one to set the goal, then I’m the only one who can decide if it’s too late to achieve it.
If my goal is to release music right now, then how can I possibly be too old?
Until next time.
Want to be the first to hear “Death Only Comes When I’m Awake?” Follow this page to be notified when it’s released.
Do you need help with your music production or composition skills? I offer private one on one lessons over Zoom. You can sign up for lessons here.
My RM-10 sample pack has gotten a ton of downloads recently. If you want to check out this under the radar vintage drum machine, snag it here. I’ve got more sample packs on the way.