We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Tiernan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Life itself is all about risk. Without taking the bigger risks and deciding to take some leaps here and there, growth isn’t possible. In my music career, it was all about risk from the beginning – sort of a challenge to answer a call I felt in my heart to be an artist, which led me to quit my ‘safe’ job and plunge headlong into my music career. In the many twists and turns of my music career, identifying new challenges and taking risks helped me grow in ways I never dreamed of. It has been a wild path from growing my career as an artist, as a production company, to now in the Covid-age, shifting once again to the virtual world for performance, engagement, and connection through music.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started out my journey of music artist way back in my teens. After a cancer diagnosis at age 16, my guitar pretty much saved me, and music became my way of processing some really big questions in life at an early age. I never identified myself as a real ‘artist’ though til I was years into the process of becoming something quite different – I thought I was going to be a Catholic priest, and it was in the solitude and space of making retreats in the seminary that I discovered my true calling as an artist. The business aspect of my life now sort of just grew organically from following my passion in music. I never set out to grow an event business, or be involved in the wedding and private event industry. It just happened alongside my striving to write songs and perform them for people. Starting a family made me concentrate on fostering opportunities closer to home, vs. being a touring musician, and I was able to grow my private/corporate music business alongside my artistic singer/songwriter career here in San Diego. The business grew out of just connecting with people on a deep and personal level through music. Music is all about connection, with yourself, and with your human family, and through just focusing on that commitment, the details and the opportunities fell into place after many years of struggling to make it. These days, that commitment to connection is taking me into whole other areas where music can make a difference. Since Covid began, I’ve been offering my brand of engaging and inspirational concerts to companies across the globe, and this is really guiding the next stage of my career. I love connecting people through music, building camraderie, creating connection, writing songs with people and organizations, and offering a lasting value. In a nutshell, my business started with me just wanting to get my songs out into the world, to growing to quite a thriving production company pairing up clients with talent, to now venturing out into the world as an inspirational presenter through music. It has been quite a wild ride!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve been a big beer snob since the beginning of the craft beer revolution, dating back to my college days back east in the early 90’s. So, living in the world’s beer capital now, I love taking guests on brewery/eating tours down Hop Highway (highway 78 baby!) – of course Stone Brewery is just an amazing vibe and hang, and I have my other favorites throughout Vista (my hood!) such as Belching Beaver, and down the 78 corridor to my friends at the Bagby Beer Company. There are so many great places to sample great beers and eat well. Then of course, for a bit of nature, I love taking people to hike Torrey Pines. It’s magical! After a nice hike, I would take them down to En Fuego Cantina in Del Mar, for one of the best margaritas in the world (also where I perform every Wednesday evening in non-Covid-times:) I love also how my little neck of the woods in Vista/Oceanside area is becoming a foodie destination, and so I’d go visit my former boss from my waiter days who has an amazing new restaurant on Mission Ave down by the pier in Oceanside called Rosewood Kitchen. We’d also grab some cocktails at Gilles Gnafo’s (of Leucadia’s Calypso Cafe fame…) brand new restaurant Le Citrone in Oceanside. I’d go say hello to the Ross brothers at Carte Blanch on Mission as well – amazing new restaurant! So yeah – food and beer, and hike to wear it all off!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I give a shoutout to another music artist from Del Mar, Chris Stuart, who had a good amount of success in his music career and was the one who encouraged me to risk it all for my own music. It was conversation with him that initially gave me the courage to quit my job and get into the music industry.
Website: www.tiernantunes.com / www.StillListeningProductions.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/true-connection-virtual-concerts and www.linkedin.com/in/michaeltiernan
Other: My new service in the virtual age – True Connection Virtual Concerts – www.tiernantunes.com/corpconnect
Sharisse Coulter Photography Heather Elyse Photography