Being an indie artist is a process of continuous improvement, development, learning, and improvisation. Yes, a lot of successful independent artists have created their niche and can cater to one particular audience or genre, but there is always an opportunity to create something new if you keep your eyes and ears open about what people are looking for.
Music, like various other preferences of people, changes from time to time. Its timelessness lies in the power of reinventing itself, and it never ceases to amaze one how the same notes could be permuted and combined to make different tunes and melodies.
Well, this art is what makes a musician stand out. If you are willing to put your energies in and create something meaningful, music will never fail you.
We talked to multi-instrumentalist Valerie Romanoff about her views on the changing industry and also what keeps her going.
Q1. As an Indie artist, what do you do to remain relevant with the audience when you create new music?
My music is meant to be a tool of positivity and transformation for anyone on a path of upliftment. To stay relevant (and happy!) I spend time cultivating a rich inner life as well as a vibrant outer life. Studying not only music, but mind-body-spirit healing, vibrational therapy, Law of Attraction and other metaphysical modalities become the eclectic spirituality that fuels my creative process. Tuning in to how we, as a culture, are feeling, helps direct me to activate peace, love & compassion through music.
Q2. What inspires you most to create a song?
Before I play a note, I set prayers and intentions that the music will be for the highest good and benefit of all. As a multi-genre artist, I am never quite sure what will happen and what style of music I will create. Different rhythms are often playing in my head, and I love to create a groove and then add layers and sounds. On a daily basis, I am inspired by various teachings and material I study. Sometimes a simple concept about love, about vibration, about how life works inspires a song. I have composed many pieces of music inspired by my dear friend (100-year-old Yoga Master) Tao Porchon-Lynch. Her poetry and meditations sparked an entire album of “Healing Music,” and we’ve collaborated using music and spoken word. Also, being in nature (on the water, in the mountains, under the sky) has sparked many of my creative endeavors, most notably my newest album “Healing Music Volume 2.” I am most inspired by the idea that I can connect with some sort of universal oneness, and that my music will contain a vibration of love that will be felt and enjoyed by many.
Q3. How do you maintain the balance between creating what you would like and the demand of the modern market?
I used to think a lot about the line between commerciality and creative expression. With a long career performing dance music for events, I compiled a huge repertoire of popular music to call upon. I became very good at sensing what songs, tempos, and sounds would inspire people throughout an entire evening, particularly on the dance floor. The basic truth is that music has a profound effect on our moods and our states of mind. Knowing how to work with this energy and offer different music for different purposes transcends any genre or any market. I compose and perform music across all spectrums which I call STILL, CHILL, THRILL. Offering people an experience that makes them feel better is always a win!!
Q4. How much do you think a musician should know about changing technology, even social media, etc.?
It’s vital that artists keep up with technology and social media. There are so many artists and musicians, and we each have something unique and special to share. People may not realize what draws them to a piece of art or a piece of music. Often it is the vibration, the intentions, the prayers that were infused by the creator, and not just the song itself that affects the listener. Music (and art) is not just entertainment, but rather tools to help us connect with ourselves more deeply and inspire some type of inner shift. Social media is an important platform where we can share who we are and what we’re about. This huge world wide web helps us find and define our “tribe,” and learn whose work we might want to explore more fully. Our Global Community seems much smaller and more accessible with technology and social media. We find and connect with like-minded people, and combine our voices to affect real change in our world.
Q5. Do you feel you have to widen your repertoire or skills to keep growing?
Every day I am both excited and overwhelmed by how much there is to do and learn! Starting the day with meditation consciously empowers each present moment. Composing and recording new music, writing ABOUT the music (and the message) on social media, practicing my instruments every day, learning new techniques, studying new types of music, submitting and uploading new music to all outlets and organizations, updating my website, finding ways to promote and share the music, arranging live performances, rehearsing and prepping for live performances, collaborating with other performers, planning the next album, practice, practice and more practice. OMG! So, YES, I feel that I must keep growing and developing new skills, mostly because it’s fun but also so that I am capable of expressing all of my ideas and meeting the opportunities that come to me.
Q6. Share a message for young musicians and our readers.
The things I would say to you are the very same things I say to myself every day: stay positive and trust life! Follow your heart and know that anything is achievable. We create our future by the thoughts we think in the present moment, so practice thinking only positive, happy, grateful thoughts. Make every moment of your life count by empowering these with love. Be kind, seek to understand, practice mindfulness, and always remember that Peace is possible.