Back when no one was reading this blog, I tinkered around with a few ideas, before finally sitting down one day in the airport two years ago and realizing what I wanted to do. I wrote a whole post about dreams and goals and how music had inspired me, and from that moment on, the pursuit of discovery and musical enlightenment became a huge part of my life. But my love for country music came way before that, as I’ve mentioned before, I grew up on it.
But the drive and desire to make it a part of my everyday life, to find my own path in an industry that is often paved one way, has been a journey that’s just a little over ten years long. I started working for Universal Music Group back in 2004 and was known as the weird California girl that loved Country Music and the Backstreet Boys. Any project that came through our marketing department that had anything to do with country, they threw at me. And I gladly accepted those opportunities. It was when I was first handed a copy of a new artist named Taylor Swift, that the direction I wanted to take my career completely changed. Working on that album, watching her grow and explode, watching how the country music community took her into their arms… all of those things made me so much want to be a part of that community and Nashville itself.
I’ve had a few failed attempts. I moved to Nashville in 2007 and stumbled and failed and turned back around. Always with the intention of returning. I had trouble figuring out who I wanted to be and finding my place in the music industry. And while there are some days all of those things still feel like they come up in my mind out of nowhere, I look back at my journey and feel so blessed. I’ve lived all over the country, discovered what I loved and hated about the industry, put my own spin on things, and found my own voice.
Last night, this little blog that was born in the Burbank airport turned into something just big enough to be invited to the ACM Awards. I watched as Taylor Swift accepted a milestone award, I sang along with George Strait, I marveled at the energy Reba inspired in the crowd, and I loved every second of it. I cheered as Miranda Lambert won award after award, proving that women still hold a very real place in the genre, despite all the noise. I laughed and cried, I danced to Brad Paisley, swooned over Keith Urban, and counted every blessing. I may not be a big wig at a record label, but I’ve made something of my own and I’ve nurtured it, and I’m so very proud of that. Some of you have been with me for a while, bantering on twitter, some of you are my actual friends, many of you are my family. You’ve been on this journey with me, you’ve made it better and better, and I could not ask for more.
Often times this feels like it’s still only the beginning. I can’t help but think that even better things are yet to come. This journey has been over ten years in the making. My love for country music has been my entire lifetime. Thank you a million times over for sharing these special moments with me. Thank you for making it possible for me to get to the ACM Awards. Last night, a very real dream came true for me, and I know I didn’t walk this path alone.
xo – Autumn