Encouragement to the Underground

This is an open letter to all the artists who just moved to Nashville or are just getting their foot in the door of the music scene here. I know this time can be discouraging. Maybe you just moved here last Fall. You’ve been networking, grinding, looking for any and all opportunities to be heard and it’s gone. Maybe you were getting ready to email all those publishers for pitch meetings and finally meet with that rep you’ve been reaching out to for months and now it’s postponed or cancelled. Maybe you were just about to have your first paid gig here in town and now that bar or club is closed. You may feel like all that momentum, even if it wasn’t much, is gone.

You may feel like the bridge you were about to cross to reach your dream has crumbled and you’re on the other side with no idea how to get there. You’re waiting. You’re annoyed. It’s definitely not ideal. This whole situation is not ideal for anyone right now. Touring musicians now have no income. Broadway is closed, so people who live off those tips and running that circuit are broke. What’s next? How will any of us pick back up where we left off? What if they forget about us? We’re not superstars or legends who have a fan base as loyal as a bloodhound. We’ve been releasing music every month praying to get on a Spotify playlist like New Boots…or anything! What if everything we’ve worked for is over?

Let me tell you, it’s not. The reason it’s not over is because of you. Because of me. Because of people like Raised Rowdy. WE REFUSE TO BE FORGOTTEN. Music is in our souls. It’s what brings us peace, meaning, and belonging. And you do belong. You belong in this city. You belong in this community of musicians. You belong as much as the next person. This is a time to enhance your craft and come back stronger. Sculpt your craft, your songs, your voice, your instrument. Learn new things. This is a mandated artist/songwriter retreat!

We can’t control what happens around us. We can’t control the future. However, what we can control is how we use this time. So, what will you do? Are you just going to quit, or will you be the one on Jimmy Fallon saying how you went to work and that this was the best time for your career because it forced you to get better? This is a make or break moment. What will you choose?

John Pate


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