Welcome to our exclusive interview series, where we uncover the remarkable stories and inspirations behind extraordinary artists who have taken the scenic route on their musical odyssey. Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing a passionate indie musician Ted Simmons, whose unwavering dream to be a singer-songwriter led him to carve his own path in the world of music.
Born from a dream nurtured since childhood, Ted Simmons started his musical expedition by playing music from a tender age. Ted Simmons has curated a distinctive style and sound that sets him apart in the music realm. His approach is far from chasing trends; instead, he draws inspiration from the past and present, weaving together elements of folk, blues, gospel, and modern sounds.
When it comes to his creative process, Ted prefers quiet moments, serene days, or late nights, allowing his mind to remain clear and receptive. The process itself is a beautifully unpredictable one, where he sits at the piano or picks up a guitar and lets inspiration flow. The themes for his songs are as varied as the notes in his melodies, covering topics from injustice, peace, and politics to relationships and lighthearted musings.
However, Ted envisions a future of growth and self-discovery, continuously striving to enhance his craft. His long-term aspirations include achieving financial sustainability for his music, where the revenue generated can fuel his passion and artistic expression, paving the way for a self-sustaining musical journey. Join us as we delve into the heart of Ted Simmons’s music, exploring the messages and emotions that form the core of his enchanting compositions.
Can you tell us about your journey as an indie musician? What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
It was my dream from the time I was a little kid to be a professional singer/songwriter, but I did not take the direct route, more like the scenic one. I wasn’t raised in a situation necessarily conducive to a life in the arts, even though I started playing music when I was a little kid. I came from a somewhat conservative background, so what I was told was I had to pursue some sort of profession, which I did, I went to business school and got an MBA, but my heart was never in it. My dream was to make records and perform in front of people. After a futile attempt to fit in with regular people, I picked up my guitar and started doing what I always wanted to do. I started performing in coffee shops and street corners and it just grew from there.
How would you describe your unique style and sound as an artist? What sets you apart from other musicians?
I definitely do my own thing in the sense that I am not chasing trends, I look to the past and the present and come up with something that is uniquely mine. I try to bring in old folk, blues and gospel and mix in some more modern sounds and recording techniques. I am sure that I am not the only one that does this, but I think my unique approach is in the lyrics, I try not to make it too obvious, more poetic, combine those things and you have something uniquely mine.
Could you share some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an indie musician and how you overcame them?
The biggest problem at any level is getting a foot in the door. It’s always a challenge finding places to play/places that let you play, so the only answer i keep asking, it really comes down to a number game. You might send ten requests to venues and get one response, but at least that is a start.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach songwriting and composing music?
I don’t have a regular process per se . I usually sit at the piano or pick up a guitar and see what happens. I like it to be quiet, like a peaceful day or late at night, that keeps my mind clear. When comes to writing, I find if I hear something I like I might set out to make something similar, or I might just decide I want to make a song that says something political or spiritual.
Are there any particular themes or messages that you aim to convey through your music? What inspires your lyrics?
Thematically I am all over the map. I write about injustice, the search for peace, politics, relationships, or sometimes things I just think are funny. I take inspiration from current events, or things that I see going on around me, or even things that are going on in my own life, but I try to avoid writing myself directly into the lyrics.
What are your long-term goals as an indie musician? Where do you see yourself and your music in the next few years?
Right now I just want to keep growing and learning as much as I can, get better basically. Long-term I would like to earn some extra income from my music, maybe even to the point where it pays for itself, whereby it can be its own machine, feeding itself, the revenue pays for the recording, and the recording feeds more revenue. That’s where I hope to be in the next couple of years.