Elizabeth Pope… ON LIFE AS A MUSICIAN

Folk/Soul singer-songwriter Elizabeth Pope, on her life as a Musician…

My life as a Musician has been a wild ride. Like riding a roller-coaster. There have been so many twists and turns. At the end of the day, I have survived it all. I played shows in January, February and March. All of them were in Sacramento [California]. Playing local shows is a good way to meet other musicians. What I’ve learned in the past two years, is to have a solid work ethic. People have seen my growth and are impressed with the progress. I stay humble and strong. The music industry; as some have said, is blue-collar. That’s true. Make sure to have your goals developed and continue to build your brand (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) I am a business and have to promote myself all the time; wherever I go. Always be professional when talking to people. Who you know is important. That will allow more doors to open for you. Nothing happens overnight. Keep working on perfecting your craft: guitar/songwriting and vocals. Play at open mics and jam with other bands. Never give up, and believe in yourself. Do your best.

When I am not on stage performing, I am always in constant communication with my manager/management [team], working on the business end of things that involve marketing/promoting, public appearances, travelling and touring. I also take time to reach out to fans on social media. Plan your day and time for songwriting and at home studio sessions or book studio time. Have a person handle your bookings (which is very important.) I have not had too much trouble booking some of my own local shows. Now as things are taking off, it’s getting harder.

Right now, the weekends are more focused on relaxation and re-structuring songs, and building the guitar or piano chords. What helps with all the chaos, is I do a lot of trail running that involves hill/interval workouts or a long hike and yoga. Exercise is the best way to take a mental break and regain focus. I also take day trips every two weeks. My family keeps me grounded. I don’t talk about them too much. The reason is now I tend to keep my music career and personal life separate. I prefer it that way.

There are not enough female musicians getting credit in the music industry. I feel that needs to change. We work just as hard.

— A DAY IN THE LIFE —

6:30 a.m. // Get up and grab some coffee and have breakfast.

8:00 – 10:00 a.m. // Check in with my manager.

10:00 a.m. // Go for a run or hike, then back to work.

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. // Grab a light snack.

12:30 p.m. // Check in with my manager, head out for a break.

Elizabeth on her way to run errands…

2:30 – 4:30 p.m. // Vocal warm up (if preparing for a show) or Songwriting/Guitar in my home studio.

5:00 p.m. // Dinner (if it’s not a show night.) or 6:30 p.m. // On show nights, I arrive an hour early for sound check (if playing live on stage and going on first.)

7:00 – 10:00 p.m. // Free time to unwind (if I don’t have a show.)

10:00 p.m. // (show night schedule) I head home after a show and get back around 12 a.m. or 12:30 a.m.

 

 Follow Elizabeth Pope on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

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TONI TALKS: small talk 2.0

You can keep your Small Talk 2.0. I’d rather have, good ol’ real talk. While I acknowledge the fact that traditional small talk — the humble, genuine kind; precedes a more in-depth conversation. Drawn-out Small Talk 2.0, is almost soul-crushing. It’s been my experience that what happens more often than not, within modern social settings — is a stagnation of meaningless inflated chatter aka “Small Talk 2.0.”

Yikes! Why don’t we lead the way and get back to the traditional small talk, tonistas?!

I’m always slightly amused, when I find myself labelled as a “shy” person. Likely, as a result of my refusal to use Small Talk 2.0, as my social weapon of choice. Quiet, perhaps. Shy, no. There is so much that can be said about the misleading labels that are attached to individuals who are quiet or more introverted. I’ll touch on it all, in a future post.  I don’t know if you can relate, but when I find myself surrounded by disingenuous fluff; my desire to connect is almost non-existent.

Truth is, I love people and talking to people. However I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a conversation snob; I love all things real, true — authentic. I despise Small Talk 2.0, pretentious talk, crude talk as a cover for the inability to be witty — and the like. Now, I’ve been guilty of Small Talk 2.0 more than once and I’m always left feeling like a fraud. I’m not that person.

I love getting to the core of the real individual. I love the transparency; the beautiful vulnerability, that comes with shedding, the well-maintained image, often fuelled by liquid courage.

Real talk, if you can find it, is almost always an unforgettable experience. At the end of the conversation, you feel a sense of accomplishment. You’ve truly connected with another human being on an authentic level.

If Small Talk 2.0 were a person, his/her name would be? 

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THE NEXT CHAPTER: Checking in with Ms. Melody Monroe

Ms. Melody Monroe is a super talent! She is truly a light and uses her gift to honour God and inspire others. Melody spreads positive vibes and keeps it real. Remarkable yet humble, she is a talent to watch, as she continues to work hard towards realizing her dreams. Rhythm & Ruffle is thrilled to have her as one of our Featured Artists!

 HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?

A former high school teacher caught me playing piano and singing songs after school (Hey Mr. Florance! lol.) He had a home studio and was determined, to help me get in to record. After a few horrible recordings, we finally got the hang of it. He helped me record my first single “FUTCHA!”. We sent it off to one of the radio stations in my hometown and it just grew from there. I’m still on the way to actualizing all of my dreams and I’m learning as I go.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON CONTEMPORARY VS. TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN MUSIC?

I think God gifts everyone differently and what is most important, is for people to honor and remain true to the gift that God has given them. I think it would be pretty boring if we all did the same thing! I believe there is beauty and glorification in diversity and there is room for all of us.

WHICH FEMALE ARTIST HAS INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST AND WHY?

This is a very hard one for me to answer, because I have been influenced by so many phenomenal women! There are two women that I have to mention: Lauryn Hill and Janelle Monae. As a child, Lauryn Hill influenced me the most by far. Her representation in music and media played a large role in my early development as a rapper and female musician. Seeing her break records as an African-American female artist, taught me that there were no limits to what I could achieve. Now, as a grown woman, I’d have to say Janelle Monae. Her underdog story is very similar to mine and I see a lot of myself in her journey. She has influenced me personally, artistically, and as a businesswoman. I am very thankful for both of their lives.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR FELLOW, EMERGING FEMALE MUSICIANS?

Always be yourself. Always believe in yourself. Know your “why” (your reason for doing what you’re doing.) Cling to your “why” and give your best at all times.

WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE MUSIC GOALS?

I’m currently writing for my first official (self-produced) album! I’m very, very excited about the world finally getting to hear my original ideas and sounds. My goal is to get that finished and distributed, while also gaining more exposure and increasing my supporter base.

HOW IS MS. MELODY MONROE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

One pair of receptive ears at a time; through pursuit of my passion for music, faith and business, with the help of God and others.

You can follow Ms. Melody Monroe on Twitter and like her page on Facebook!

P/C: Ms. Melody Monroe

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