Location, Location, Location: Why You Should Choose Your Home Carefully

The following post is the latest in an ongoing collaboration with the fine people and artists of Muddy Paw PR.

I grew up in Los Angeles and don’t remember a time without music being in my life. When I was in school we’d spend all our weekends at the Whiskey, Troubadour, Largo, and all the other tiny theaters around. It’s funny that when you grow up somewhere you don’t really see it the same way everywhere else does. So many people move to LA to pursue their dream of music and there I was taking it all for granted.

The thing is, the music industry is not what it once was. The internet giveth and taketh away–and the scene is much more fractured now. Despite LA being a hotbed of music and culture, it may not actually be the best place for what you want to do. Write country? Go to Nashville.  Hip hop?  Tons of thriving scenes there right now–Houston, for example. EDM? Detroit sounds pretty good. Not to mention once you’re making money from your music California is not the most business friendly place in the world.

From a songwriting perspective, where you live and where you are can play a huge role in how you write. I consciously try to avoid it nowadays but I’ll put a ton of LA in my songs because there’s a ton of LA in my head. And by going to other places you can also reset your creative process a little bit and get inspiration for new songs.

Everyone has a different creative process but for me, getting out of the chaos and sprawl that is Los Angeles has really helped me focus on my music and other projects. Yes, I’m that guy. The guy you meet at the bar who says “I’m from California” and everyone rolls their eyes. But at the end of the day, where I live in Texas there’s a thriving music scene–studios, mastering houses, etc. And the best part? I was talking to the host of a small showcase the other day and he started negotiating with me for what they’d pay for a 15-minute set. He was worried their budget was too low. I tried not to laugh. In LA you’d be lucky to get a Pepsi.

Charlie Wolf & The Small Calamities are an indie rock band led by Texas-based singer/ songwriter Charlie Wolf. His unique observational storytelling style was inspired by folk music, though he allowed rock and pop to define his energy and upbeat spirit. By turning everyday thoughts into compelling lyric ideas, he creates what has been called ‘a wry and catchy commentary’ and ‘observational folk pop’. This blend of genres makes for a very special approach to song-writing, as every track feels catchy and accessible, yet deep and thought- provoking all at once. For Fans Of: The Mountain Goats, The Weakerthans

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.