We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Marsey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Making the decision to commit to a full time music career happened in stages. I started out gigging around town playing in restaurants and lounges as well as teaching private lessons and working as a sales person at a music retail store. It was a nice mix of incomes but after a while I was getting tired of switching gears all the time and I knew that I would rather be playing and teaching than working the sales job. So I did the math to figure out how many gigs/lessons a month I would need to maintain in order to make roughly the same amount of money. Over a few months I worked to find new performance opportunities and marketed myself to find more private students and once I had the ratio dialed in I left the music store. That was 7 years ago and I’ve been supporting myself solely from music for most of the time since then, save a couple of odd jobs I’ve picked up when I’ve moved to a new city to keep myself going while I searched out opportunities in the new area. Ultimately it came down to passion, there was a deep nagging feeling I experienced whenever I was working at a job that was keeping me from making art and it has always been powerful enough to keep me focused on getting back to being fully immersed in music
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My story in art is pretty straightforward, I discovered the guitar in my junior year of high school and it changed the course of my life. I was immediately enchanted and chose to study music in college. The community I found while I was there introduced me to a ton of styles and ethos’ of music which have influenced the art I make now. I learned so much about jazz, world music, r&b and funk and absorbed all of it. Growing up I listened to the 80’s and 90’s country music that my parents played around the house and groups like Rage Agains The Machine, Prodigy and The Beastie Boys from the CD’s that my friends would lend me. At this point in my career I think my art is beginning to reflect a culmination of all of those influences. My ultimate goal is to write songs that are rich in story, lyrical character and emotive musicality. I want to have a catalog of songs that are fun to sing, interesting to listen to and a blast to play – all while telling a story or expressing a feeling that people can share and find themselves in, to inspire that sense of connectedness that music can so profoundly induce.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m a huge fan of creative takes on vegan food and it blows my mind what some people are accomplishing in that arena. If I wanted to really wow someone I would take them to Kindred in San Diego or Crossroads in LA.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely want to shoutout everyone in my life who has been supportive of my decisions to pursue art full time. There are far too many to name but I’m forever grateful to my supportive family, amazing girlfriend, and inspiring collaborators. The lines between friends and fans have always been blurred to me so I tend to think of all my fans as friends first and they are the other half of the system that keeps me motivated and helps me trust that creating art is what I was meant to do.
G L Askew II @glaskewii
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.