Slaid Cleaves

Hello Slaid, I enjoyed your podcast with Otis Gibbs, and am now a fan of your music. Your songs are as cool as your name. Q- if you were just starting today as a singer-songwriter, what city would you move to? Having been to NYC, LA, and Austin, the decision was made (for me), that the rent is too damn high. Ha. But seriously would you still go to Austin? Anything you’d do differently these days?

Slaid Cleaves responded on 11/26/2018

Thanks for writing. Otis is the best. As the years go by I realize more and more just how lucky I was to arrive in Austin in the early 1990s, when rent was cheap, traffic was light, several radio stations worked hard and effectively to promote local music, and there were plenty of opportunities for aspiring musicians. Even in that supportive environment, it took 8 years of struggle, failure, determination, and many champions (most importantly, wife Karen) to find enough audience to enable me to pay my bills (and debts).

I'm pretty sure the type of environment I benefited from exists nowhere on earth today. It's an entirely different world today, and an aspiring musician needs to hunt for the opportunities that are out there to build a community with like-minded musicians, hone their craft, and find an audience. I suppose the answer lies in the digital realm, of which I know little. I could barely afford Austin in the 1990s. So, no, I would not go to Austin if I were starting out today

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