I CRIED ON A PLANE
I moved out to Los Angeles last August after spending four years in NYC grindin, learning, and paving my way as a songwriter. I wasn’t overly timid about the situation because as a musician, you’re rolling forward no matter the consequence. Also, the West Coast and Hollywood weren’t completely new to me. A few years ago I was a participant on NBC’s The Voice and it’s ironic that all these hours of experience later, I find myself going on exploration of music and video, seeking the voices and musicians that might not cut it for network TV.
Early on in New York I worked a number of odd jobs and eventually I fell into some steady work as a Production Assistant. At the University of Miami, I studied Broadcast Journalism and so I was prepared for production environments, accustomed to the lights, camera, and action.
In March 2013, a college friend who lived in LA hit me up. He was at dinner with a TV producer and wanted to pass along my music. I said yes of course, expecting nothing but hoping for the best. Zoom ahead to July and I’m in NYC preparing for a private audition for The Voice. I was pretty nervous but very comfortable. By the grace of God they liked me and I booked an executive audition the following month.
So I come to LA, stay in a hotel for a few days with hundreds of other musicians, to audition once more for the executive producers of the show. The talent was immense, some of the greatest voices I’ve ever heard. I was surely nervous for that audition. I even met Mark Burnett, thee king of reality competition TV right before I was called in. I blacked out for the performance but somehow, it went well. Although still no guaranteed audition for the celebrity judges, I was selected to be on the show!
Boom, back to NY, then right back to the valley. We spent a month preparing for the grand audition! However, my audition date kept getting pushed back…and it never happened. Initially, I wasn’t bummed for not making it on the show. After all, I received some solid vocal coaching and met so many wonderful and talented musicians who I’ve remained friends with to this day. Saying goodbye to that was easy. But as soon as I set foot on the plane back to the east coast, I cried like a baby. I’m talking snot n all.
I never imagined getting famous from a TV show like that and couldn’t deny how awesome it would have been to be a part of a talent search that gathers some of the greatest voices in America. It wasn’t going so far and coming up short that hurt, instead it was the weight of validation. They thought this Jahaitian-American kid from Tampa was good enough to feature on their show.
Well, I’ve found myself back in Los Angeles as a fully rounded artist and performer, preparing for another talent search. The catch is that this time, we’re the producers. This time, we’re searching for artists like me who just want their original voices to be heard. Unlike a TV show, we don’t know exactly what we’re getting into or who we will meet. We’re not going to be able to rehearse a hundred times to get it right, and that’s ok. Everyting ire mon.