I live in Los Angeles. So I drive a lot. And when someone tells you they drive a lot, it’s pretty safe to assume two things.
1. That I sing a lot. I mean, come on… who doesn’t sing in their car? (This is shocking, I know.)
2. That I have a lot of time to ponder life’s deep mysteries whilst sitting in traffic. It’s either that or succumbing to the enviable Los Angeles Road Rage. I choose the former. It’s better for my neck. And also contoured pillows, but I digress.
Returning to the point: so, I was in my car. Driving. And singing, of course. And Justin Bieber’s smash hit “As Long As You Love Me” came on the radio, and I just…couldn’t…change…the station. That song is good! But I still felt shameful listening to it with such joy. Enter Driving-in-Los-Angeles-Point-Number-Two: Ponder Life’s Deep Mysteries. So I started thinking, why do people hate on Justin so? The kid is actually talented. Seriously! YouTube it! He can sing, he can play drums, guitar, and piano. And it’s really good! But you don’t see that stuff. You just see him driving around in the Batmobile with leather pants on. Okay, you also see him serenading millions of tween girls, but it’s not a big deal. The Biebs magically appears center stage in a puff of glittery smoke, crosses to stage right…sing-sing-sing…crosses to stage left…sing-sing-sing…aaaaaaand encore. Simple, right? (Justin, if you’re reading this, I’m just kidding. You can still be my platinum.)
Honestly, I think people like to hate on Justin because he makes it look so effortless. Oh, I could do that! We think that all the time. But the truth is, we aren’t. If it’s so easy, why aren’t we all making BILLIONS of dollars as a teen-pop sensation? Or whatever your dream is? I think, sometimes, we just don’t want to put in the work. We want our hopes and dreams to arrive at our doorstep in an easy-to-open package, pre-assembled of course, with a big red bow on it like every car commercial ever made.
It’s not sexy to hear that blood, sweat, and tears equal success. We like the stories about big-name actors who never took a class in their life, about models who were discovered in a Wal-Mart, about singers who got signed to a major label because they were humming on the subway. Now that’s news!
But it’s so not reality. Did you know that Michael Jackson invested in regular voice lessons for 30 years? That Lady Gaga put in years of work before becoming an “overnight sensation”? That Beyoncé started singing and performing when she was seven? It’s all about endurance and hard work. Not happenstance. But this isn’t what we want to read about. So we singers keep dreaming that Clive Davis will one day come to his senses, realize he’s underestimated our raw talent, beg for our forgiveness, and open up his home studio for our personal use. Not gonna happen…
Let’s not confuse ease with laziness. Put in the work. Then it will actually be easy. Because you’ll be good at what you do.
And if you’re reading this wondering who made me Queen of the Hard Work Tirade, I did 🙂 I can’t wait for people to think I could do that! when they listen to my music because I’ll be the one actually doing it.