I have always had a love for music, it was one of the things that helped me let go of the negative things in life. I loved even as a kid always having the radio on and constantly watching music videos.
As I got older I went to more and more concerts, resulting in my passion for live music. Like any teenager in my generation, I was very active on social media. I started connecting with local bands and going to see them live. This happened a lot because I could afford tickets now since they were only $10-25 a ticket.
The community within smaller bands and the way they interact with fans is such a unique bond and it is way more than just seeing the concert and then leaving. You form actual relationships and bonds with the bands because there aren't a whole lot of people and they care about the people who are helping their dreams become a reality. I would have to say local concerts are some of my favorites to go to because you get to see how it all happens from the start of their career or pretty close to it anyways.
One of my biggest inspirations and favorite people would have to be the group AJR, they're a band of brothers who've been my favorite concert to go to for over five years. They are a huge part of what inspired me to want to engulf myself into the music business and interact with people like them in my work. I've been going to their meet and greets for so many years, they have literally watched me grow from a 15-year-old to a 20-year-old. Believe me the difference there is a lot bigger than you'd think. The band themselves, are just amazing humans. They were my first interaction with someone that I had only just seen on stage, sitting and talking to them felt so great. To talk to the people who make the music you love to come to life is a whole experience. The next concert of theirs would always be the same and it felt like I was catching up with friends.
Connecting with a band and watching them grow has been one of the most inspiring and sensational things I have been allowed to do in my life.
After getting just a taste of what connecting with local bands was like, I met former band "The Silent Scene" made up of four guys from CT and NJ. Since then they've split into different groups/bands, "States and capitals" and "birthday".
"States and Capitals" is one-half of The Silent Scene that's from NJ. "Birthday" is a group who originally formed right in Connecticut, where I happen to live. As of recently, both bands have moved out to California to launch their dreams into a reality, but before that happened I got the chance to get to know them.
In 2014 I found the band online and took the jump to a small gig in Connecticut where I met some of them briefly before the show even started. I was one of maybe 50 people or less, which at the time seemed absolutely insane. That same show I met Catalina Gonzalez, but we'll talk about that in a minute. Afterward, I was searching for the merchandise person who wasn't there, we were told the band was in the back outside. When I made my way back there all of the guys were so kind and so genuine, that we stayed there for at least a half hour just talking. After that, I saw them at least one last time as a collective group.
When they split up "Birthday" aka band members Duran Visek and Ben Spremulli quickly made their way to California. In the meantime "States and Capitals" aka band members, Richie and Jeff stuck around for a little while. Enough time for me to see them in concert and even book them to perform at my birthday party. Richie and Jeff were and still are amazing people to have a conversation, laugh, and spend time with.
Getting to know and listen to their sound develop is an amazing experience and them being good people made so many wonderful memories in my teens.
On the topic of Catalina Gonzalez, she became so much more than an artist I like. Believe me, I LOVE what she's doing with music and always have, but on top of that, I feel as though I made a friend. When she saw sad tweets on my twitter she'd reach out and I think she gave me some of the best advice of my life. I saw her a few times at local venues in which she sang her heart out. I had never met someone with so much soul and passion into her performance, especially the circumstances she was in while in Connecticut. The music scene in Connecticut could be rough, such as small crowds. On top of that, she trusted my friend and me to promote her album online to essentially be her street team. My experiences with Catalina taught me that connections made here are more than just friendly banter but someone who reminds you a little bit of yourself.
Last but not least I have to mention the epitome of local music, Kalimur. The band Kalimur was actually a band formed on the campus of The University of Connecticut! They reached out to me on social media and I had the opportunity to meet the band members and talk with them. One time when I came alone the lead singer Brett Steinberg even introduced me to some of his friends so that I wouldn't have to feel so alone. The band always has time to talk and take photos, they were so friendly. Brett even has given me career advice on Occasion, making me feel as if I'm doing what I love and realizing my pathway in life at the same time.
Every single experience with every single band has made me realize that if I could interact with and talk about people like them while I'm working, it would make me the happiest person alive. The thought of it made me ecstatic because it's when I finally realized what my true passion is and how it would shape my pathway for me. All of my experiences with each artist was so different yet they all collectively showed me what it was like to feel loved by something I put so close to my heart, music.