Wednesday, August 15, 2012

chasing a dream


Recently a friend from my past rolled through town- Her name is Channing Lee and she is one half of the quirky two piece band Channing & Quinn. The last time I saw Channing was around seventeen years ago, I think she was eleven years old and I was around eighteen or nineteen. Our families were good friends and while there was a big age difference between the two of us- she was my little buddy. My memories are of a little kid with an "old soul" AND one of the sweetest, most beautiful voices you ever did hear come out of a little girl. I can remember long ago, her dreams of being a singer.


Fast forward to today- Channing is all grown up (and now I feel REALLY old) and she is indeed a singer and has been pursuing her dream all these years. Channing and her partner Quinn Matthews were passing through town on their West Coast tour and we had the opportunity to catch up before they play in Portland, OR. They shared the highs and lows, the adventure, the whimsey and the hard work involved in a living the dream of working as musicians. So often we hear about the "creatives" (artists, musicians, writers) who achieve overnight success but in my opinion it is the stories about people taking the long road that inspires me most. Perhaps it is because this is my own story- a lifetime of dreaming, working, practicing, loving and dedicating yourself to the one thing that you know you are meant to do. Meeting others who have been on the same kind of path is so inspiring- which is why I couldn't resist sharing a little interview with Channing and Quinn. Here is a peek into their life!

Channing and Quinn are a quirky two piece band based in Nashville, TN. They met and started writing music in Boone, NC and then eventually moved on to Nashville. When they play live they do the work of several musicians by playing guitar, ukulele, drums, glockenspeil, banjo and more! Channing provides the vocals and Quinn plays just about any and every instrument! They have toured the country playing shows at a variety of venues and in 2008 and 2011 embarked on a 2 week train tour, touring the East Coast and performing while only traveling via Amtrack train and public transportation. Currently they are on a West Coast tour promoting their latest album- Under This Big Striped Tent and have made their way across the country in an Airstream performing in cities along the way.

Picture 7

What does chasing a dream look like for you guys?

I think it took us a while to figure out what our dream looked like. We used to think chasing a dream was "one big thing" like winning the lottery but what we have learned is that chasing our dream really is a process of slowly taking baby steps and moving forward. Right now our dream is simple- to make a living playing music. We don't have to be famous or be rock stars, we just want to be able to do what we love and be able to survive. We are on our way and we are doing what we love and we are doing it full time and we are surviving. The next step would be figuring out what our life is going to look like as we move forward.

Do you feel like taking baby steps have worked in your favor?

Yes! We took baby steps for a long time (and still are) and those steps enabled us to make the BIG decision to quit the side jobs that were supplementing things. It was a combination of taking those baby steps and then a leap of faith. But we really have to work hard to support that leap. There has to be something (lots of work) to back up the big decisions.


What does your daily life look like?

When we are home and not touring there is a lot of day to day business, marketing, booking, writing and recording. Lots of our time can be spent on the computer answering emails and working on the business end of things. When we first started we thought we would just be writing and playing music but there is so much more that goes into being a musician. When we are touring it looks a lot different because we are traveling. Half of our job is trying to figure out the daily logistics involved in travel, how to get from place to place, where to park the airstream, how to get in and out of the venue. The least amount of work (and most fun) is actually playing music and then we have to pack it all up, hit the road and move on to the next city and the next venue.

Picture 8

What is the best part of being a musician?

We love traveling the country and meeting so many people who end up becoming friends. The ability to network and create community with other musicians is another great part of this life. But the best part is probably getting to perform and see the audience enjoy and know our music. It's really cool to be able to look into the crowd and see people singing along to our songs.

What advice do you have?
Keep doing what you love- that is all that really matters.

Channing and Quinn's next stop is the Jade Lounge in Portland, Oregon on Thursday, August 16th! For their entire West Coast Tour schedule you can visit their site HERE


Bonita Rose said...

this is such a great post.. thks for sharing and letting us peek into your friends' lives. Dreaming dreams.. oh... I've been dreaming for a long time.. and soon one of our dreams is coming true.. my hubby and I are moving to live by the sea in FL, in about 8 weeks! Holding onto my dream for years and years despite challenges and heartaches and the right timing. God knows our hearts. He knows all that potential deep inside us. All we have to do is listen and follow his lead. xo GREAT POST! XO

Denice (inkstitch) said...

"We used to think chasing a dream was "one big thing" like winning the lottery but what we have learned is that chasing our dream really is a process of slowly taking baby steps and moving forward."

Love it.
Thank you Channing and Alisa. You are both lovely inspirations. x

Lindy and Paul said...

Great post, what talent and inspiration! I hope they come our way :)

Maya Kuzman said...

What a stunning voice!
I am hooked - I listened to all their songs :)

Unknown said...

Wonderful and inspiring! Thank you for posting / sharing. I love what she said about the process of baby steps. So true! Overnight success in most situations is not literally overnight. I think it sells the artist short of all the time, effort, work, sacrifice put into 'overnight success.' Lovely posting - feeling inspired. Just what I needed!

melanie otte said...

What an inspiring article....i dont know 2 people more deserving of their dream!!!!

Introverted Art said...

They are amazing. What wonderful artists they are. I love the ukelele and her voice is beautiful.

Moois van mie said...

she surely is talented !

Unknown said...

Thank you for the reminder of living a full life. We forget it is about the journey. There must be a reason to continue on from day to day. Just think if there were no dreams to move us forward and give us great joy to this great thing called "my life".

Kay said...

such a wonderful voice and a beautiful girl..wishing them much success

livethegoldenrule said...

They are adorable!! Great voice! They go so good together. Thank you for introducing us to such a lovely couple. I am hooked ;D

Vicki Bradley said...

I just happened across your blog today and discovered your post about Channing & Quinn. I was amazed as I had recently had the wonderful good fortune to be invited to a backyard concert where they preformed. They were amazing and a day hasn't gone by since that I haven't listened to their CD! My 11 year old daughter is equally enchanted with them. What a small world! If anyone reading has the opportunity to go and listen to them in person you absolutely should!

Dianna said...

Wow just visited their website they are really amazing. Time to buy a new album!

Fil said...

Great Post:)

lilly said...

first, great blog..... you are an amazing mixed media artist, thanks for turning me on to your friend's music.... she has a beautiful voice.

Debra Kapellakis said...

I enjoyed the video, lovely voice. Just another reason I wish I still lived in Portland, Or.

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