Everybody going to school there was from somewhere other than Atlanta, and they had the same dream of getting into the music business. I was meeting people from all over the world.
One thing I still remember was the first day orientation. The speaker said, look to your left and look to your right, everybody is not going to make it to graduation. He was right; it only took a week or so before people started dropping out. My boys who moved to Atlanta with me, they even left.
So I went through all the ups and downs, struggles, and continued to study and meet people. I made some great lifelong friends during this period of my life. Then I finally started making my way into the Atlanta music scene.
This was during the time Atlanta was blowing up and becoming a major music market. I was right there at the start of it all, going to school in Buckhead, playing in a band with this group who moved to Atlanta from Berklee music school in Boston, and doing an intern with a major entertainment attorney. I was broke as hell but at the same time, living a dream.
I was living in the heart of midtown Atlanta, walking distance from Piedmont Park, where I could see all the free concerts in the park. Trust me; I didn’t miss any of them, and they featured the best musicians in the world.
In addition to having the time of my life, I was at the top of my class. Don’t want to brag, but I had the best grades in the school, which brings me to the point I am trying to make.
It was close to time to graduate and everybody was trying to figure out their next move. We all wanted a job in the glamorous music industry. Some people went back to their hometowns, some got internships and others just got a job to pay the bills.
Going back home was not an option for me. I came to Atlanta to get in the music business, and I was on a mission.
I was sitting in class one day and one of the administrators came and got me to meet with him in his office. There was one other student there, and this guy I had never seen before around the school. I had no idea what was going on.
Turns out this guy was from Arista Records and he came to the school to find a couple of interns. During this time, Arista Records was one of the biggest record labels in the world. They made it clear that this internship would not be offered to anybody else and we were handpicked for the position.
With all of that said, the only thing I heard was I would be working for free. With the job I had, I was damn near working for free already, but I was able to pay some bills. I couldn’t imagine going home and telling my girl I was taking a fulltime position without pay.
Well, when I look back on it; that was my BIG BREAK into the music industry. After all the hard work and sacrifice, I blew it because it didn’t come with a big salary attached to the front end. This was the same way P Diddy and many others got started. I had achieved exactly what I set out to do, but I did not recognize a life changing opportunity when it counted.
It is so important to surround yourself with likeminded people. If you want to rise above that 97% who will settle for mediocre because it’s easy, find that 3% who are going for broke to live a dream.
Never listen to people tell you what you strive for is too hard. No one can tell you what you are capable of when you don’t even know yourself. Don’t miss your BIG BREAK; it probably won’t be what you think.