Singer/songwriter Tony Ferrari was not born knowing he was destined to be an musician. In fact, when he was younger, his mother would kindly suggest that he not sing.
But at the age of 16, Ferrari found his voice.
“I was singing The Fray and [my mom] leaned her head in and was like, ‘Was that you?’” Ferrari said. “And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And she said, ‘That sounded OK.’”
A screenshot from California Lutheran University student Tony Ferrari’s video for his song All the Way Back.
Five years later, Ferrari, a junior at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., has mastered the balancing act of pursuing a musical career while in college. As he has found, succeeding as a young musician with professional aspirations requires two important things: a passion for the music and a passion for education.
“I’ve actually had a lot of friends who have dropped out of college because they couldn’t handle not being able to perform and not being able to pursue their career,” said Jane Claire, a singer/songwriter who is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin.
Claire understands the struggles many musicians face. Singing, she said, has always been an integral part of her life. As a baby, she would hum herself to sleep, and she constantly sang Happy Birthday — the first song that she learned — during her toddler years.
Throughout her career as a country/blues/rock performer, she has won countless talent shows and made it to the second round of auditions for NBC’s The Voice.
Although she’d rather be traveling as a singer, she recognizes the importance of a solid education.
“I’ll be 21 when I graduate college, and I’ll be able to move wherever I’d like to and I’ll have the means to get a job if I need to,” said Claire, who is majoring in journalism. “It’s best to make sure I can secure that job just in case singing doesn’t work out.”
Ariel Rose, a freshman at the University of Miami, is pursuing a career as a pop singer. She has attended two Latin Grammys awards and was invited to sing at a Latin Grammys street party.
Like Claire, Ariel Rose, a singer/songwriter and a freshman at the University of Miami, has been walking that fine line almost her entire life. She first discovered her vocal talent while watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when she was 6 years old. She heard a trendy rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and decided to emulate the singer’s riffs.
“Everyone in my whole house stopped what they were doing and came into the family room and looked at me,” Rose said. “From that point on, I started singing at all my parents’ friends’ houses. I would always sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Since, she has made a name for herself in the South Florida pop-music scene. She sings at charity and sporting events, is the official singer of the National Anthem for the Florida Panthers’ hockey team and has attended the Latin Grammys twice.
But between her jobs, Rose finds that at some points, it’s difficult to make time for her college life.
“While a lot of my friends are going out to clubs, I have to be the one performing at the clubs,” she said.
Additionally, the dog-eat-dog music industry might leave some wary. Ferrari, whose acoustic-soul single reached No. 8 on iTunes’ singer/songwriter charts and who is currently preparing to open for singer/songwriter Edwin McCain and American Idol season-nine winner Lee DeWyze, said he constantly faces naysayers.
“As many supporters as there are, there are always going to be people that are like, ‘Yeah, good luck with that. That’s a hard industry,’” Ferrari said.
So is pursuing a professional music career worth it? All three musicians would agree it is.
“For me, music is not a means,” Claire said. “It’s more of a necessity. I’m not looking at music as a way to get famous or as a way to earn money; I’m looking at it as something I have to do in order to be happy.”
Powered by Facebook Comments