Motherhood was something central to my music career. I only started pursuing it after I had a 2-year old. I experienced a lot of what my guest, Rachel Mason, will talk about in regards to balancing a thriving music career and being a mom.
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Rachel Mason is a jill-of-all-trades and has helped many people internationally. She has always loved music and song since she was around 4 years old. She has a condition similar to Tori Amos called synesthesia wherein apart from hearing music, she can see it as colours and taste it too.
Music has always been a part of her life. She studied it in school and took up classical music in University during the day and at night, she wrote music in the studio. Recently, she took up Masters in Songwriting. After University, she taught voice to students. Although she loved pop, she took up Classical Music since that was the one available in their schools. She felt her voice did not belong in usual genres so she created her own path where she does belong.
One time, she had an admin job that she hated. She contacted all the local schools to see if they needed a music teacher. Eventually she found a school that took her and she was able to quit the job she didn’t like. She eventually needed to set up a local group for the school and from there, she and her friends set up Euphoria Show Choir. Since show choirs were not common in the UK during that time, that venture opened a lot of doors for her, which included being invited outside of the country for judging choirs.
On top of all that, she also manages independent musicians. She won a competition for self-employed people in the UK as “Freelancer of the Year”. It was tough competition but the judges loved that she was so diverse and she’s come through really difficult things. She works with independent musicians who do not know how to start and she is like their mom who motivates them and support them in their journey. She manages the artists but it is more of mentorship that she provides. If the publicity side is doing really good and the artist feels ready, that is where she prefers to come into her management.
Being a mom of little kids, she is grateful to have a good support network that includes her husband, her parents who live nearby plus her sister and her husband. She can be home with her children during the day and does her teaching in the evening. She avoided going abroad too much since that upsets them. She takes it step-by-step since there is no real blueprint for being a working mom.
She loves writing for herself and collaborating with other people. She is aware that there are some things she is good at and there are some that she is not and that other person may complement it. Aside from that, she also records music and she did one with her 3-year old.
She is also a patron of a Mental Health foundation. She struggled so much going through motherhood, having post-partum psychosis (also known as postnatal depression). Eventually, she admitted to herself that there was a problem and she sought treatment. It’s really good that she got the support and treatment she needed and eventually recovered. She also used songwriting to cope with how she felt whenever she was depressed. That makes her really passionate about her company, Lyrical Light. Everyone is welcome to join the group, not necessarily songwriters or singers only.
I previously thought I had to give up being a mom after I had a child. You do not. Rachel agrees that it’s a difficult balance but it’s rewarding. You can have it all just at different points and times.
She has a number of income streams she keeps. Her main one is teaching which she does at home which includes teaching choirs. She’s had to do the classes virtually during this time. Aside from that, she writes songs and does commission work for choirs and other outlets. She also writes articles for different magazines and does public speaking.
Just like Rachel, I always encourage musicians to have 5 or 6 income streams that you build up so that no matter what is happening in the world, you still have something to tap into. There’s a lot of opportunities online now which allows us to participate in events outside of our location and still stay in the safety of your home.
You can find Rachel on her website at rachelmasonmusic.com, on her Instagram @rachelmasonmusic, her Facebook Rachel Mason Music and twitter @iamrachelmason.