I knew Nashville was considered “Music City” before I came here. But I couldn’t have possibly imagined the opportunities that would become available to me. Last week I visited the Grand Ole Opry and had the chance to take a backstage tour. I chatted with some of the house musicians, who congratulated me on coming to Nashville and wished me luck with my career, and I stood on the Opry stage. I attended a brief reception, where Rascal Flatts performed their hits “Payback” and “What Hurts The Most” acoustically for our small group from YEP (Young Entertainment Professionals).
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to watch Sam Smith’s sound check before his show at The Historic Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. Just to touch on some other things I’ve done since moving down here, I was an extra in Lady Antebellum’s “Compass” music video, and I went to live tapings of CMT Crossroads and the CMT Top 20 Countdown. I have also met some of my favorite current chart-topping songwriters and artists (Kip Moore, Brett James, Shane Mcanally, Josh Osborne, Jimmy Robbins, etc.).
These types of opportunities are equally present in New York. The difference is that Nashville makes them a whole lot more accessible to students. I spent the past summer at home in New York, and I interned with a local radio station. I got the job from a mutual friend, and spent most of my days there driving the station vans around and promoting the summer concert series. I scanned tickets at the entryways and led people to their seats. This was fun for a while, but it was no Nashville.
I highly recommend that anyone who is even remotely interested in the music industry come to Nashville and stay for at least a week. If you already live here or close by, do yourself a favor and join groups like Grammy U and YEP. Take every opportunity you can find, because you never know what you might fall in love with. The entertainment industry has so many different parts; you just may surprise yourself with where you end up. Good luck, and let me know if you need a list of the best places to eat in Nashville ;).