Balancing Act Recording Academy Members Talk WorkLife Balance In The Music Industry

first_imgShores said saying “no” includes being willing to pass on work—even really great opportunities—if it means canceling on his kids. He mentioned a recent opportunity for a session with two prominent name artists that conflicted with a hockey game he had planned with his son for months. He was firm about his available dates, and the artists eventually accepted them.  Facebook “We’re all still figuring it out,” said Johnson. “Even at the highest level of success, there is still so much to learn.”This Bill Could Help Independent Music Creators Fight Infringement Without Going BrokeRead more “The average American working professional spends more time with their coworkers than their families—and to take a step further, we’re in the music industry, so we’re not your average professionals,” said D.C, Chapter’s Jeriel JohnsonSarah GodfreyGRAMMYs May 8, 2019 – 4:30 pm If people with nine-to-five work schedules have trouble meeting the demands of career and family, how can those in the music industry—with its notoriously irregular hours and travel obligations—find balance? Balancing Act: Recording Academy Members Talk Work-Life Balance In The Music Industry Married father of three 9th Wonder said leaning on his village, just as his family did when he was young, has helped him make time for his children and spouse while building a career. “I had to look at how I was raised,” he said. “I always thought, even before the music industry, I can’t do this on my own, I need a strong support system of friends to help me raise my kids. And they’ve got a lot of fake uncles and aunts running around in a 20-mile radius.” He continued: “Now when I get home, my laptop is in my bag until the kids in bed….it’s been the biggest change in my life. It was my barrier keeping me from everything else.” On March 27, the Recording Academy’s D.C. Chapter hosted a Music, Business, And Family panel discussion to explore that question. Producer 9th Wonder, audio engineer Daniel Shores, singer/songwriter Melanie Fiona, entertainment attorney Monika Tashman, and family therapist Maura Roll shared tips, tricks, guidance, but most of all, hope for those in the music industry who want to excel and thrive in both their personal and professional lives.  Email NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO May 8, 2019 – 4:26 pm How Music Professionals Handle Work-Life Balance “Most people are human beings,” he said. “You have to be pretty cold to say, ‘You want to spend time with your son?! That’s horrible!'” 9th Wonder said that, as a working father, part of what he does is help others by welcoming their children to sessions with him. “The rappers and R&B singers I know have children anyway, so most of the time the studios I’m in are kid-safe environments. My kids grew up in the studios. Artists will sometimes call me and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got my son with me.” I say, ‘We’ve got Candy Land, we’ve got video games—we’re kid-friendly and kid-ready.”  Fiona said that while she doesn’t have the luxury of a large network of family nearby, she and her partner have become their own strong support system as they raise their son while supporting two music industry demanding careers.  Tashman said that setting those boundaries has, rather than causing a rift with clients, invited them to set parameters of their own. “I have a stronger bond with them,” she said. “They feel more comfortable, saying, ‘When you’re negotiating an agreement with me, can you work around my daughter’s birthday?’ The world we live in is 24/7—you can always be promoting your brand on social media, always stay at studio another hour—we have to carve out time and ask the people who work with us to support us holistically.” RELATED: Getting To Know MusiCares’ Harold Owens: “My Job Is To Inspire Artists To Get The Help They Need” “It doesn’t sound romantic, but the reality is that it’s like running a mini business,” she said. “These things make life calmer, so you’re not getting pulled every which way.” center_img “The average American working professional spends more time with their coworkers than their families—and to take a step further, we’re in the music industry, so we’re not your average professionals,” said Jeriel Johnson, Executive Director of the D.C. Chapter of the Recording Academy and moderator of the panel. “Even those stats don’t necessarily apply to our complicated lives and schedules.” Recording Academy Members Talk Work-Life Balance balancing-act-recording-academy-members-talk-work-life-balance-music-industry Twitter As a therapist, Rolle said that she hears families talk about the same issues every day, but that the issues facing music industry families have “a different spin—most families can make a plan and keep systems manageable,” she said. “I’m learning tonight that it’s not like that [in the music industry]. Tomorrow you might have to go wherever. You can’t always plan and schedule, so how do you find balance? You have to say no sometimes; otherwise, you have no time for your partner for yourself, or for your family system.” Shores, who has three kids, said he has learned balance, in part, because his family has demanded it. “Years ago, I was running a label and engineering—it was a bad mix. Even if I got home in the evening after being in the studio all day, I had mountains of paperwork in the evening,” he recalled. “I’d sit on the couch, instantly open my laptop, do that till 1 or 2 a.m., go to bed, and then by 8 a.m. the next morning I would be back in the studio. My wife stepped up and said, ‘Your laptop is your biggest enemy.'” Rolle said those types of rules and structure, rather than being restrictive, can give busy industry professionals the freedom they need to connect with and be present with their families.  News A common thread among panelist advice was setting boundaries: All shared that setting boundaries, making rules to preserve family time, fitting in some self-care, asking for help, and being willing to occasionally say “no” to work obligations are all tools that have helped them manage.  In the end, all agreed that finding balance is a process and very much a work in progress as they move toward a model that feels right for their respective families. Stories of missed family milestones—birthdays, celebrations, even funerals—were shared, but also ones of moving mountains for their families, such as when 9th Wonder flew thousands of miles in just a weekend to both make it to his daughter’s basketball game and fulfill his work obligations. “I don’t have the luxury of calling nana and pop-pop—my family is in Canada, his is in Florida,” Fiona said. “Between me and partner, I have more flexibility; he has to go with the schedules of other people. I like to have one parent there while the other is gone. As a new mom, I feel comfort and security knowing my son is covered by one of us, even if a friend or auntie has to be there to help out.” While something as simple as a no-phone or no-laptop rule for dinners or evenings can make a huge difference, attorney Tashman acknowledged it is more difficult for entertainment service professionals, such as managers and lawyers, to adhere to such bans when their success is dependent on being accessible to artists around the clock. Still, she said she has managed to set boundaries around her availability since having a child.  RELATED: Put Your Dreams To Work: 5 Ways To Land Your Ideal Music Job “I now think of myself as [available] 24/6-and-a-half instead of 24/7,” Tashman said. “and I tell my clients I try to spend ‘these’ two hours a day with my son, and I do everything I can in the world to preserve that time with him.” last_img read more