There I was: ranked first of my class in the fourth semester of a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the sixth best business school in Europe. For somebody like me, it is usually expected that they will work in a consultancy firm or in the banking industry, win loads of money and have a “successful career”, whichever that means. However, I had no clue what to do with my life. I knew I didn’t want to lose it working 15 hours a day in the financial world and although marketing seemed interesting and I loved managing teams, I felt lost.
January 2017 things began to change: I watched LaLaLand and it made me realize how lost I was. “What’s my dream?”. That question found an answer three months after, during Ed Sheeran’s concert. My dream was to be a musician, a singer-songwriter, to do what Ed was doing. Of course, that did not come from nothing: I had been an amateur musician for a long time, and I was able to feel that purpose because I knew what rehearsing means, how it feels to play in front of crowds, to write songs, to work with other musicians, to record, produce…
That was the first time in my whole life that I believed in myself enough to say, “I want to be a professional musician”. However, after more than one year of reflection I’ve found a lot of “signals” lived through my whole life that make me think I had always borne this dream in my heart. It’s incredible how I had forgotten about the times I used to pretend I was a singer at my grandma’s house with a plastic microphone. Or how motivated I was when I would see a guitarist play and how I would pretend I was one in my room. Or how I wanted to be in Nick Jonas’ shoes when I saw him in Disney Channel.
To be honest, half of the guilt is mine, but the other half belongs to society. My half has to do with my low self-esteem. I thought I could never be like famous superstars, I even didn’t consider it as an option. I believed there are things you simply can’t pursue, cause you’re not good enough. FALSE.
And why society? Well, society doesn’t especially encourage you to be an artist. It is thought to be an impossible career, that will make you homeless or unhappy, that you won’t be able to make a living out of it and every time I was asked what I would do with music, the same person who asked the question responded, “as a hobby, right?” Which eliminated any possibility of letting me wonder if I truly wanted it as a hobby or I wanted to be a professional musician and devote my life to it.
The truth is my self-esteem with regard to my music facet didn’t get high overnight. What I did was to look for the biography of every artist that I liked. This way, I could find how they had achieved what they had achieved. That helped me sympathize with them and realize I had the same opportunities as most of them. So… why not me?
I told everyone I wanted to be a musician, even at college. And you know what? Something incredible happened. I started to find out that my college hosted TOO MANY students who wanted to be painters, drawers, musicians, teachers, actors… but didn’t believe enough in themselves or their families had pushed them to study BA as a way to be “successful” and win a lot of money. So sad.
I got two responses from people: the one saying “I admire you man, you’re so brave. Being ranked first, being able to do whatever you would like to do, and you still chose to follow your dream, against all odds.” I don’t think anybody told me the second response directly, but I knew about it through friends. It was “Jay’s wrong. He’s lost his mind and he’s wasting his aptitudes and capacity.” It felt so damn right to listen to this… It meant I was doing the right thing.
In my opinion, people should be able to choose their way, to get rid of this social misconceptions with regard to the artist world and to follow their dreams.
And this is how a Business Administration student decided to be a musician.