Trying to have a career creating and performing music is really difficult. Like…WAY hard. I have been on a musical journey for nearly 16 years now, and most of that time I could consider myself being extremely focused and dedicated to the path. The amount of passion, fortitude, growth, work, progress, set-backs, hopes, let-downs, egos, laughter, tears, frustrations, determination, tests, and faith I’ve experienced over the past 16 years is probably impossible to accurately describe with words. At the least I know that it’s too much for me to try and describe right now in this blog, but it’s been “gnarly,” as I would say. Side note: the amount of SoCal-mixed-with-hip-hop slang I use on a daily and casual basis is arguably ridiculous; gnarly to say the least. But I digress… I have gone from believing with all my heart and soul in my band Bliss (which became Azure, which became jack-the-original), to making a solo Chavez album and a 17-track hip-hop CD(Beatniks), to creating an electronica album called Mechanical Cats that I thought would be my ticket to wider recognition and a career, to making another hip-hop CD I really believe in(Area Sound-Gemnastics), to creating Metrofique, which is some of my favorite music I’ve ever created by far, to making my Mister Mustard Beatles remix album, to finding Inspired Flight and having iF bring me here where I am now. Of all of these projects the one that has my full attention and is still really happening is Inspired Flight. Sometimes I feel like despite all of my progress along my musical path I am still so far from reaching the success I’ve always hoped for, which mainly is to have only music pay the bills and fully support a decent yet modest lifestyle of my own. Other times I feel so incredibly blessed for Inspired Flight to have taken me where I even am now, with the incredible experiences of playing awesome shows and festivals with established artists, and getting to do some really great touring, and getting so much love and attention from fans all over the world, even if iF is still relatively underground. I have worked my ass off for so long trying to do music, and I know that most people/bands with the same dream I have never even get a taste of the experiences I’ve been having over the past year with this iF project. So in a way I have already made it. “Made it.” What does that mean? How will I know when I have finally “made it?” I suppose it’s all perspective because at times I feel like I haven’t, and at times I feel like I totally have already. So maybe I have. But I guess for me “making it” means I’m not stressing off of not having enough money to live. I don’t need to be balling out of control like people on MTV Cribs, and I don’t want to be famous like Black Eyed Peas, or Katy Perry, or whoever. I just want to make music for a living. Actually, I have to make music for a living. I don’t have a plan B. I’ll never forget sitting in on a panel discussion about record labels at the first San Diego Music Thing, which was then called the North by North Park Festival/Conference. Greg Laswell was a panelist, and someone asked for his advice to a songwriter/singer wanting to have a career with music. Greg pretty much said that his best advice is if you have a plan B, do it! He went on to explain how damn hard it is, how much work it takes, to have this be your life, and that you pretty much have to be crazy to really do it. I remember feeling in that moment, as I do now, that his answer was great because I have no plan B. I’m not sure how or when it’s going to work out for me, but I know it’s going to because it has to. Anyway, as much as I love Inspired Flight and am aware of all of the blessings it brings, and all that we have accomplished and are going to do in the near future, it’s still hard sometimes to keep the faith and stay strong 16-years into a path that hasn’t gotten you to your destination you set out for when you started. The whole reason I am even here now with my career is because I am always able to overcome the doubts and frustrations with confidence and faith, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times where I wonder what the hell I am trying to do with my life, and how the hell it’s going to ultimately work out for me. What’s awesome though is that no matter how lost I may feel in the struggle, something like an epic sunset at the beach will always calm me down, make me know that everything is and will be okay, and recharges me with the faith and surrendering to the unknown outcome that I need to make this dream happen. Today I experienced one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen; it was near my buddy’s house in Pacific Beach. I had been in one of the more lost head-spaces all day about my life/music, but this sunset totally put me at ease and brought me back to the essence, meaning I know that it’s all good, and it’s all going to be good. I thank _____ everyday (fill in the blank with whatever you please. Most people would probably insert the word “God” there, or perhaps “the universe.”) for all that I have and am super fortunate to have, and it’s such a joy and luxury to get to live somewhere where we can even see a sunset like the one that happened this evening. Isn’t it amazing how nature can hit the reset button like it aint no thang? Chicken wing on a string, son!
Sunset in Pacific Beach, 9/5/11