Quit Your Day Job - Marion Write [DJBooth Interview Exclusive]
Whether you're an aspiring artist or simply a daydreamer, you've likely fantasized about what it would be like to leave your nine-to-five grind behind and try your luck in the music game. But what is the life of an artist on the come-up really like? To answer that very question, we have launched a new, DJBooth-exclusive interview series titled Quit Your Day Job, in which a variety of emerging artists will offer their real, true-to-life insights into the independent grind.
For the latest entry in our series, we link up with Marion Write, a Las Vegas-based rhymesayer (and freestyle series alumnus) whose resumé of DJBooth-approved cuts stretches all the way back to summer of 2009. Employed as a customer service representative for clothing retailer Zappos.com, Write currently splits his free time between a variety of forthcoming projects, including a new solo album entitled Illustrated Example (due out in January of 2012) and a yet-unscheduled full-length with DJ Finyl (as The Greater Good).
In the exclusive interview below, Marion Write discusses what it would take for him to leave his steady job behind, the constant challenge of time management and why Sin City is a great place for an independent artist looking to network.
What is your current day job?
I currently work for Zappos.com, in their customer service department. 40 hours a week, Mon-Fri.
What would it take for you to leave your day job in favor of a full-time career in music?
Honestly, to pursue a full-time career in music would be having income through music. I understand this would be done through shows and a solid buzz nationally to sell my music independently. I have a lot of bills to pay, living is tough if you can't "afford" to make it by. So at the moment, I have to keep a job if I want to keep making music.
What steps are you taking to reach that point?
I spend a lot of nights in the lab just trying to make something new. Living in Vegas gives me an advantage, as the night life is a great time to network, especially when events are always poppin' off on weekdays just as much as the weekends. I try to book most of my shows during the weekend, as it's usually my only two free days out of the week. At this point, networking and marketing my music are my main focuses, as well as releasing more music to stay relevant to our listeners. The power of social networking online and the use of the internet period has somewhat made it easier to connect to as many people as possible, I try to use that to my advantage.
What has been the biggest roadblock/challenge in this pursuit?
I think the largest challenge for me is time. Managing time in your day, with 9 hours of it spent at work I try to at least put another 8 hours into music. Which most of the time doesn't pan out, might have some family issues to take care of or other "life" issues. I cut a lot of sleep out and I nap a lot on breaks. Sleepin' is cool and all that, but we can all sleep when we die, at this point I just try to get as much rest needed to keep my mind going. It's not really that bad tho.
What is the greatest misconception that you've discovered on your own about starting a career in music?
I don't think I really had a misconception. I did a lot of self research in college on the business of music, often skipped every class on my schedule. I educated myself on every aspect of building your own career. The music business is like any other business. You need funding, product, marketing, publicity and a following. What I've learned, and what I can tell somebody in the same quest, is that you really need to have drive and passion to pursue music. It's easy to quit something that doesn't pay you right off hand. So you have to do it because you love to do it, pay your dues, there's enough money in the world for us all to dip into it. You just have to work hard and be patient.
The irony, I believe, is some people may have a misconception of artists like myself. A lot of fans who I've spoken too are kind of baffled when they find out I have a job. They always seem to think I'm making it well off in music, but I'm just like most of you all working to live. At the end of the day, they seem to respect you a little more as they can relate to it. It's pretty humbling.
What are you working on now that readers/prospective fans should be on the lookout for over the next few weeks/months?
I'm working on a solo album called Illustrated Example. It will be released in January, something fresh to start the new year off. Definitely a new sound coming from me. Also working on a full length LP with DJ Finyl, as some may know us together as The Greater Good. Again, that should be released sometime next year. Ultimately, watch out for some floater singles and my solo project, got some great production from Best Kept Secret, SB, DJ Finyl and features from Mr. Music, SB, N'Dambi, Skyzoo and more.
What is the best way for readers/prospective fans to find out more about you and your music?
Definitely follow me on twitter @MarionWrite. To check out my music simply hit up www.flodeep.com/home or www.marionwrite.com.