I was remembering a recent revelatory moment in my years of songwriting and playing music, that occurred a year after I lost my corporate job at the end of 2017. I was trying to re-enter the corporate world in my hometown of Richmond, VA, and I wasn’t getting hired for the positions I was seeking out. At this point, I had already been a part of corporate America once, left and started my own business, and returned to the corporate world only to be let go a short time later. The lack of interest from new employers and the news of a child on the way (surprise!) spurred the idea to sell our home and move to a different state to try and create a simpler life where we weren’t owned by the things we had accumulated over the years.
This time away from a steady day job was a time of uncertainty, reflection, doubt, joy, and faith. I never stopped writing music during this time as I love creating in this way and it’s always been great therapy to confront these feelings and transform them into lyrics and melody. My desire to spend more time writing and performing and pursuing things of deep personal meaning has been boiling beneath my skin for years but I had never been true to myself and done anything about it. I encourage my wife and children to pursue what excites them, brings them joy, and gives them purpose, so why wouldn’t I do the same for myself?
Shortly after moving into a rental home our second child was born and we were still trying to sell our home in VA. I was working as a driver and playing some local open mic nights to perform some of my new material live. I was still pursuing secure full-time jobs after moving but still consistently hit roadblocks preventing me from going down the same paths I had before.
After numerous trips up to Charlottesville for recording sessions, and with the record near completion I came home and told my wife “when someone asks me the question- What do you do for a living?- I’m going to tell them I’m a musician”. It was profound and revelatory for me as I had never once in my life put my music career above any other or even considered that as an answer! I had always loved playing, writing, and performing music but I never made it my number one focus. The songs on “All These Years” are a direct reflection of the realities I was facing over a 4-year period of slowly shedding my skin that clung to security and complacency opposed to the pursuit of joy and a fulfilling life.
Starting from the age of 14 I have worked as a grocery bagger, a butcher, a warehouse worker, a wire cutter, a baker, a mail clerk, a distribution worker, a dishwasher, a farmer, a landscaper, a worship leader, a policy analyst, an ice cream truck driver, a business analyst, a business owner, a real estate photographer, a driver, and a server.
My name is Jason and I’m a musician.