Photo Cred: Jonas Mohr
Hi Avatari! Great to have you here!
Great to be here!
What do you see as the most important habits of successful people?
That's a great question. I think to start, you have to define success. Some might define it as money or worldly achievements. And while I think those things play a role in my definition of success. I'd say a more accurate definition is - having achieved a sense of peace, ease, and fulfillment in life. Can I look in the mirror each day and say "I did my best?" Can I lay my head down at night and say "I'm comfortable with who I am?" So if I'm going by that definition, a few of the recurring characteristics of the most successful people I know would be: 1) Purpose/drive - a clear mission in life and a strong sense of one's role in fulfilling that mission. 2) Disciple and accountability: can you make a list of what you want to achieve each day, and then order your life around making those things happen. And then, can you be honest with yourself about what you accomplished, what you didn't, and why? 3) Imagination - we all have these amazing, unbridled imaginations as children, and over time I feel like most of us lose the joy of using that part of our minds and hearts to create what we want. But I think really successful people are able to use their imaginations to imagine and create the lives they want. 4) Kindness and humility: again, these things aren't totally necessary if you define success by money, fame, or accolades. But in my experience, my true feelings about my own success in life have been almost directly correlated with how much I've been practicing kindness, humility, generosity, and gratitude with my fellows. And towards myself. Sorry, that was a bit long-winded. But it was a big question!
What are the essential qualities that make up a good musician?
Another great question! Well, I'd say there's a lot of crossover between my answer to the previous question about being a successful human. For one, discipline: are you willing to put in the 10,000 hours it takes to master your craft. Purpose as an artist - is your music connected to some deeper drive to communicate and reach other human beings and the world. If you're playing without this, then you're just playing notes. Sometimes I've heard a really skilled artist play next to a lesser skilled, but truly soulful artist; I'd take soul over skill every day. Also, resiliency: the life of an artist is excruciating at times. If you're not truly in love with what you do, and willing to persevere, you're almost guaranteed to stall out. Again, I've seen artists who have the first two things - they're both skilled and uniquely soulful in their craft - but for whatever reason, they don't quite have the fight to push through to see their dreams realized. I think the unbreakable drive to make music and reach people is the biggest thing.
How do you balance artist life and normal life?
Wow, you're three for three with amazing questions. Structure is really important for me. Having a schedule and clear goals. And being really clear with myself about my priorities, both as an artist and in my personal life. Artists, and musicians, in particular, get a bad wrap as maybe being irresponsible and disorganized. For me, when my life isn't orderly and when I'm not taking care of the basics, then I get really anxious, and then I'm probably not going to make my best art. I personally operate really well when I know that I've crossed my T's and dotted my I's in my life. Then my creativity can flow. The other misconception a lot of people have I think is that artists use their art form to escape from their normal lives. And while that's definitely one way to look at it, I prefer to look at it this way - that my art is a way for me to interpret, process, and deal with my normal life. So whatever I'm going through in my "normal life" - I can use my art to actually get closer to it. So ultimately, the line between my art and my everyday life is almost non-existent.
What has been the biggest game-changer in your career thus far?
I'd say the biggest game-changer in my music career so far, happened last March. I was just about to launch my solo project - AVATARI - that I'd been working on in the studio for two years. I was getting ready to play out and tour, and I'd literally had my very first rehearsal with a band when the first shutdown happened. I was crushed. But fortunately, I have great people around me (my amazing wife included) and I got some sound advice from a fellow LA musician friend, who suggested throwing myself into digital marketing. And after hemming and hawing for a minute (or a week) I took their advice and jumped into an intensive course on using all of the latest, most cutting-edge tools on the internet to market my music. It's called Modern Musician (shout out). My mind was officially blown. I basically got to digest everything that I'd been missing (or avoiding) for the first few years of my career. And it's really changed my perspective as an artist-entrepreneur. In the past, I've struggled (as I think a lot of artists do) with the marriage of those two things - artistry and entrepreneurship. Also, using the internet to do so, can be really daunting. There are so many tools and platforms out there, so much information. I had to admit that I didn't have the answers and that I needed help. When I did I was exposed to this amazing technology that's available to every artist to connect with their fans. And the result - even though I haven't played live for over a year, I feel closer to my fans than ever. It's wild.
How would you describe the music you typically create?
I like to call it epic, anthemic alt-rock, with pop hooks and grooves. Something like that. I write about universal themes. Finding inner peace and love, battling demons, uniting and coming together as a human race, finding light in the darkness. I Identify with classic rock and soul artists who do the same: The Beatles, Bob Marley, David Bowie, U2. Most recently Imagine Dragons. The goal in my songwriting is to take my audience through a deep, visceral, emotional ride. I definitely dip my toe in the darkness, but the message is always hope. And my belief is that as humans we are our very best when we connect with each other. I've been fortunate to work with some amazing producers, so I think the production of my music matches and delivers this intent. I think the sound is heavily influenced by classic rock music from the sixties and seventies, but the production and songwriting is very current. And as much pop as rock.
Is there anything, in particular, that you are looking forward to in 2021?
Oh yeah. I have ten songs recorded, mixed, and mastered that I'm going to drop in 2021. Some as singles. Some as EPs. I also shot a video for one of those songs (called "Superhuman") which involves puppets and an 80s theme (a la Back to the Future and The Goonies). It's A LOT of fun. So keep your eyes and ears open. Also, I CAN NOT WAIT TO PLAY LIVE AGAIN. When the pandemic subsides (yes it will) I think there will be a live music renaissance. It's going to be so cathartic. I can't wait. Did I mention I can't wait?
Please share with our readers which platforms you are most active on and where they can follow you!
Best way is to follow me on IG - https://www.instagram.com/avatariworld/
Follow me on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/avatariworld
Subscribe on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/avatari
And most importantly, join my mailing list - https://go.avatari.world/street-team
Thank you for your time!
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