“You through in there yet boo?” It sounds like a question you hear while you’re occupying the bathroom toilet. For writers and producers however, this can be the question we hear numerous times when we’re in our labs trying to cook up our next creation. Our response to the question usually varies from “just a few minutes” (translation: another hour or two) to just completely ignoring the fact it was asked in the first place. It goes without saying it is hard work to maintain a relationship while pursuing a career in music; mostly because not only is it a job, but also a hobby for most of us; which means we work on music even when we don’t necessarily have to. It’s truly a time-consuming addiction of mine.
The main dilemma we face is that in trying to pursue our careers, we tend to forget that those of us with women in our lives must learn to balance music with relationships. I always proclaimed music was my wife, but once I got married music was demoted to mistress status and this is something I overlooked at first. We probably all agree that most of the truly successful people in life come from the Michael Jordan school of thought in that each minute we are not working on our craft, there is someone else out there who is. This justified paranoia is also called drive or work ethic and is a great asset to any aspiring musician, producer, or artist. As with anything though, too much of it can have side effects including making “wifey” feel like she is competing with a midi keyboard and a MPC-4000 for your affection. This is when we have to take time to remind ourselves why we do music in the first place. Most of us involved in music say “music is my life,” often neglecting to consider these questions: Will music be there to drive me to the hospital if I’m knocking at death’s door? Will music be there to cook for me eat if I’m unable to do it myself? Will music love me the way I love it? The answer to all of these questions is quite obvious. Regardless of how hot we are, music will survive and continue to thrive whether or not we spend time with it. Music will never know I stayed up so many nights thinking about how to make it better than the night before. Don’t get me wrong, music is a very major part of my life but so is the person I chose to share my life with. That rule from the imaginary player’s manual where it says “Do not introduce your wifey to your mistress” does not apply here. In fact, things usually work better if your wifey spends time with you and your mistress, provided you understand my reference to mistress is a metaphor for music. I am not saying those uninterrupted hours in the studio should be stopped. However, with anything in life there is a certain amount of sacrifice required to keep your relationship solid while maintaining the work ethic needed to be successful. Try asking her what she thinks about your new track. More than likely, she has more time to listen to the radio than you so she can provide feedback regarding if your track sounds radio-friendly or not, if that’s the vibe you want your track to have. If you’re an R&B artist and she gets jealous because she doesn’t wanna see a bunch of women salivating over you because of the allure of your song, you’re probably off to a good start. Even if she does get jealous, she will more than likely still appreciate the fact you value her opinion enough to ask her.
This was written as a brief general guideline for all aspiring producers, artists, and musicians who are considering pursuing careers while in a serious relationship. It goes without saying that all females are not the same and we will never truly understand them because we speak a different language. It must also be said that they will never truly understand us either so it’s always a work in-progress for both sides. Whatever the case, remember that sometimes it pays off to introduce your wifey to your mistress.
-JB aka Munchini