We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake Brewer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jake, how do you think about risk?

Often we think of “risks” or “risk-taking” as this 50/50 chance at either the best outcome or regretting we ever considered it. I don’t understand why we began and still do frame pursuing opportunities that way, but one of the most empowering moments of my life was realizing that “risk-taking” isn’t a 50/50 outcome, but a guaranteed positive despite that outcome.

Every risk we take results in us growing as a person, a creator, or however we define ourselves. Whether that result leaves us feeling satisfied or uncomfortable, we can always take a step back, remove ourselves from the moment, and recognize that whether we lost and learned something new or took a metaphorical step forward, the benefit is always present.

Once we recognize this and embed it within our mindset, risk-taking isn’t terrifying anymore. It appears as rather the best catalyst to moving towards our definition of “success.” For me, pursuing music, starting my own company, and building out a professional career has meant consistent risk-taking. Whether it be standing on a stage for the first time in a while or releasing a more creatively ambitious song, I’ve never regretted or wished I hadn’t put myself out there. It may take time for us to come to that point of peace, but it will always come.

Whenever anybody asks me how I did something or got somewhere, I think they’re often astonished with the simplicity of it. How did you start a podcast? I recorded one. How did you make a song? I picked up a guitar and tested things out until it became something. We often only see things from point A to point B. The ambiguity between this two points is where our discomfort with risk-taking rests.

For those who see risk-taking as 50/50, I’ll reply with more simple math. The more risks you take, the more benefit. I feel I’ve accomplished so much at only twenty-three, but I also recognize every moment where I’ve felt proud of myself has come from an instance where I forgot all hesitancy and relied on the benefit of risk. Trust me, I’ve failed miserably before and there has been mistakes that have taken me longer than others to find the silver lining in. But I recognize, with that 50/50 probability, if I didn’t fail miserably, I wouldn’t have had the moments that reminded me why I love what I do. And for that, I’ll fail over and over again.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

As an artist, we’re constantly told to standout. The way I originally took that advice was to create something new, but in the music industry today, “standing out” means authenticity.

When I first began writing music I was oriented around what I thought people wanted to hear. I created stories that I had no relation to because I thought everyone else did. However, after a few times playing those, you learn they grow tiresome when there’s no emotional connection.

Since then, I’ve re-branded completely and built a new genre where I feel more comfortable than ever sharing stories of growing up and what my life looks like now as a 23-year-old college-graduate living in New York. I moved around a lot growing up, living at 22 addresses in just 22 years. I learned a very nomadic way of life and feeling comfortable with constantly changing environments and feelings.

I started guitar at 15, but quickly learned I loved writing more than playing songs others had written. Nobody in my family is musical nor did I have anyone to look to when it came to music business. I quickly fell in love with exploring how I could get places without traditional resources, how to release an album without a label, how to tour without a manager, etc. I would write emails from someone else so it appeared I had representation. I would send DMs to producers I liked to see if they’d work with me. I’d spend hours building relationships with other artists to find how we could best support each other. Where some may have felt burnout (and I definitely did at times), I think I felt exponentially more empowered when a success came because of how grassroots my career was.

I’ve learned very quickly as an artist and someone who co-manages their own career, that the music industry has many traditions and guidelines in place. Some enter following those rules and asking permission, but I’ve found a lot more creativity and ambition in forgetting the standard and crossing boundaries to promote and share exactly how confident I am in my work. What goes much further is when you prove confidence in yourself through denying traditional routes.

I’ve been told I’m very “boy next door” – and that’s an identity I’ve truly accepted. I know I’m doing something right when my closest of friends describe me the same way a fan does. That’s when you know authenticity is reached.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For New York, I’d take someone on a grand tour of all the incredible music venues we have in the city. Every night there’s an abundance of shows happening everywhere. Arlene’s Grocery, the Mercury Lounge, the Woods in Williamsburg, the Cutting Room – there’s never an evening where you can’t hear live music. One of my favorite venues in New York is Pier 17. Watching the sunset with the Brooklyn Bridge and live music on a summer night is tough to beat.

The East Village is one of my favorite spots in the city, too. There’s every kind of food and bar you can imagine within a few blocks.

I’d truly spend a week showing somebody how New York doesn’t always have to feel like a big city. It can be overwhelming, but when you’re going to your local bar, seeing the musician next door play live, and celebrate a housewarming with your friend that just moved to Brooklyn, it can feel like your own community within a world of others.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My FRNDLY co-founder, Madison Conlon, has been pivotal in empowering me creatively and professionally. When you have someone who shares a mindset of “yes” and learn as you go, you feel so much more protected and comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Website: http://jakebrewer.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/jakebrewermusic

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobwittenberg/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jakebrewermusic

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JakeBrewerOfficial

Youtube: http://youtube.com/jakebrewermusic

Other: http://frndlymedia.com

Image Credits
Susie McKeon, Rachel Leiner

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.