Jules Schroeder American Pride Magazine
Interview by Jacqueline Jax
“For most of my life I have been my biggest critic when it comes to my art. “
Constantly judging myself, my talent or at times feeling lack there of if it was good enough if I was good enough that I was paralyzed. It took me 9 years to make my first album in 2017 and day by day I keep making the choice despite fear to keep going, keep developing and keep being dedicated to the muse inside of me and the joy that I get when I am doing it.
I remember hearing my dad after I left American Idol when I was 16 and didn’t make it pass another advancing round when he told me, only the 1% make it. It is so risky, you have to have extreme talent. I believed him and instead of following my joy and my music I went into business. Got super good at business and ran multiple six-and seven figure companies impacting millions of people through my podcast, Unconventional Life to realize that there was still something missing. I couldn’t ignore the voice in me that knew songwriting and music was my path and so I knew if I was going to pursue it I needed a different mindset, better technique, and a community and team of mentors. I started attending songwriting circles, sought out people I admired to collaborate on songs with and slowly over time and countless hours have been able to create more success and confidence in myself, the quality of my music, and my performance.
My music is an extension of my self-expression.
It is the place where I get to share myself most vulnerably in a way that I can’t through words, it is through feeling. My songs are drawn and inspired by my life experience. My desires, my deepest fears, my joy, people who I meet, stories that inspire me. My songs are created through me rather than by me. Where most of the time I will sit down to the piano or to the ukulele put on the voice recorder and literally a whole song will flow out. I then go back, transcribe, and fill in any gaps to complete it. I find that for many of us we are constantly being given an opportunity to allow our life experience to transmit and transmute through us. That the path that we walk and what we go through is often in service to usher or guide others through just a few steps ahead. For me that process starts with radical truth. Being willing to radically be in relationship with truth.
One thing I have found out about truth is that it is inarguable. You may not like how it feels or the outcome at times yet when truth is present it is clear. It takes a lot of courage in my experience to really admit or see things in yourself or your life that aren’t as good as you would like them to be and to create something else. To allow possibility for all areas of your life to grow and to keep present to the process. My music is a direct reflection of this.
The internet is a powerful tool.
In my opinion it creates massive opportunity for all independent artists to really create their career without being at the effect of needing a record label or someone else to approve of your talent. I have found it has allowed me to connect with “my people” in the 8 billion+ people on the planet and to get clear that there is really an audience for everyone. This is something I struggled with for a long time thinking I wasn’t mainstream and therefore no one would like my music. I just needed to find my people and build an audience that felt like an extension of me. As artists the internet truly allows us to create whatever we want for ourselves it also opens the doors for bigger opportunities as I find that when people can see the traction you are already getting on your own they get to add fuel to that fire. The biggest ones I have found impactful are spotify, talking with other aligned playlisters to get yourself added, instagram is also big for me as I love sharing clips of my music and allowing fans to connect with me though stories on my day to day as well as tiktok. I used to think you had to do all the platforms all the time and the truth is you have to find what works for you and I find that what works for you will also be what works for your fans too.
Struggles and Challenges
The top struggle I face as an independent artist is getting my music shared with more people. What I realized was I was waiting for more people to just hear my music and want to share it and in todays industry you have to be really willing to push your music and hustle it to stand out. If you make great songs and have a great product people are more than willing to support you it is just about connecting with those people. I have doubled down on strategic collaborations with other well known artists with complementary fan bases as well as making connections with other music blogs to see how I could support them with aligned content for their audience to influencers and tv shows for licensing and sync opportunities. Every opportunity in my own experience is just another conversation and the way i see it now is that the more conversations I get to have the more my music gets to be heard.