BREATHE - DANI EL-RASSI
On 28 June 2019, I released my debut single 'Breathe'. For those of you who don't know me, I have an eclectic mix of passions, but music has been my greatest drive for 20+ years (can't believe I'm old enough to say that, wow).
(Click here to listen) - let me know what you think!
We did the official launch to a SOLD OUT Sydney crowd who SOLD OUT my merch and you could have heard a penny drop in that venue, it was so silent and every ear was listening to every word I was singing and every note I/ WE played. I saw audience members with their hands on their heart as they SHED TEARS in front of me as I sang my original works to them! WOW. It was the most magical night - exactly what I envisioned and I made it happen, together with my incredible team. The perfect intersection of hard work and passion.
For years I've dreamed of what it would be like to release music and take on this journey (for real).
And now, I'm doing it. Full time, full speed ahead. A musician gaining traction and speed and success is often viewed as a busy, popular, always-energised-about-everything person. But this is definitely not the case. Instagram is now part of my JOB! Watching Spotify streams go up (or not go up!) Playing shows is exhausting and everything is banking on what you do during that half hour set! Planning shows, marketing the whole process, designing the merch, updating the website, writing the music, teaching the band, meeting with the manager, AND having the money to pay everyone! (work?? what??) But I have to say, if I'm going to have to be tired in ANY career, it's going to be this one. And I ain't gonna stop until I can't move forward any longer.
Like any job, there are ups, and there are downs. Except in this industry, the ups are far more UP, and the downs are far more DOWN than any other career I've pursued (I did a few. I couldn't choose. Then I chose music lol!)
It's definitely been an interesting, unexpected, joyful, stressful, mixed process. Some days are filled with success, movement, ideas, results, positivity, support, and friends and family. However, there's definitely a side to this industry that most people don't talk about. Which is, for a start, that as a full time musician, it is REALLY hard/in some cases IMPOSSIBLE to work full time whilst also pursuing music full time. And I mean truly full time. The side which is seldom spoken about is the part where you are working MORE than full time, in a form that is almost unrecognisable as work, to most people in society.
Pursuing any art with all of your heart and soul is all-consuming, and exhausting, (and it also doesn't provide for many $$ options unless you work part time as well - either in paid cover gigs/weddings or an unrelated part time job - until ya make it big time, of course ;)).
Other parts that aren't spoken about are the literal "come downs" (not in the illicit drugs sense). The "come down" I'm speaking of is the feeling of banking all of your heart, soul, time, money and energy into an event, at which you need to sing your little heart out, with songs that you wrote with all of your heart and soul. It took your whole heart and soul to sell that many tickets, to have a fan base, to have people leave their routine to go to (for most) an unknown venue. All of your energy is drained, and you farewell everyone and thank them for coming out (sometimes on a week night) and for buying your merch and tickets and streaming your song on Spotify, at which point you go home and sleep for hours and hours. And when you wake up, you have a sadness, depletion and exhaustion. A come-down from all the adrenaline, dopamine, endorphins, and other brain chemicals which make us feel so damn good when things turn out well. AND THEN you go to work. Gotta pay the rent, right?
BUT, at the end of that day, when things balance out again, you remember exactly why you do what you do.
WHAT ELSE I COULD HAVE DONE
October this year will mark one year since I quit my full time job to pursue the dream. (!)
The terrifying, seemingly impossible, huge, crazy dream. And almost a year later, I can honestly say that I wouldn't even recognise the person I am now, compared to a year ago. And I say that in the BEST way possible. For years, I studied to become a lawyer. And then I did it, and I took on the grad job and the paycheck and the 8-5 and everything that comes with it. And leaving that profession for the dream that gives me purpose to be alive on this planet, was the best decision I could have made. What have I learnt? That having an "impossible dream" is ESSENTIAL to success.
If I may leave you with one piece of advice before I depart, it is this:
I used to think being exhausted and drained and hating my job was normal but it just ISN'T. Listen to the gut instinct and the voice in your head. Go after the dream and give it all you've got because we have ONE chance in this life and I'm telling you from the other side of the equation that despite all the sacrifices, I know why I'm doing what I'm doing and I know that I am now living in line with my purpose.
It's not easy. But if it were, EVERYONE WOULD DO IT.
GO AFTER YOUR LIFE!
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO COME SOON - thanks for reading and thank you, as always, for your support.