We recently connected with Jeff Nations and have shared our conversation below.
Jeff, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. When did you first know you wanted to pursue a creative/artistic path professionally?
I don’t think there was ever a specific moment where the lightbulb went off and I went, “Yes, I’m going to do this for a living”. That feeling was always just kind of there; it wasn’t something I had to tell myself. I picked up the guitar when I was 11 and I took to it immediately and from there, everything just kind of fell into place. Ok, I’ve got the guitar, I’m going to learn how to play it. Ok, I can play some chords and leads, I’m going to play with some other people. Ok, I’m playing with other people, let’s put a band together and book some gigs. Ok, I have gigs and I REALLY like it, let’s keep doing this, and write, and figure out how to record an album, and see what it takes to get a record deal, etc. Each next step just kind of came naturally. By the time I was 17 or 18, I knew I was going to pursue music at the professional level.
Jeff, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I’m a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, educator, and songwriter. I began my musical journey singing from a very young age and started learning instruments at age 11. I currently play guitar, bass, drums/percussion, keyboard, and voice. I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of a few signed bands, I’ve toured the U.S., had music featured in film and TV, and earned a music composition degree from Berklee College Of Music. For the last 3 years, I’ve served as the bassist for JB Crockett, a country artist from Nashville. I reside in St. Louis, MO where I also play solo acoustic shows and play guitar and lead vocals for a cover band called Proud Larry. I also do write custom music for film, TV, commercials, etc. in addition to doing some acting and voiceover work. I’m massively proud of the journey my projects have taken me on and everything I’ve been able to accomplish as an independent artist.
Do you think there is something that non-creatives might struggle to understand about your journey as a creative? Maybe you can shed some light?
I think non-creatives just do not fully understand the NEED creatives have to create. For us, creating is like breathing. There’s no way it can’t happen. Creating is an outlet, it’s a reward, it’s a privilege, it’s natural. I find when I go a long time without writing a song that I tend to feel backed up, even overwhelmed. It’s just something I need to get out and get off my chest.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
My entire journey is one of resilience and bouncing back. Every musician is going to face myriad setbacks in their career and path. I’ve been fired from bands, stiffed on pay, lied to, had gigs cancelled, had contracts taken off the table, vehicles breaking down, dealt with massive egos, etc. You have to be strong, have thick skin, and willing to deal with a whole lot of B.S. to get somewhere in this industry. The love of my craft, the need to create, and the happiness in people when I get to perform is stronger than any setback that may be tossed my way. As Dave Grohl said in his book, The Storyteller: “You pick yourself off the ground. You walk home. The show must go on”
- Website: jeffnations.com
- Instagram: @jeffnations
- Facebook: facebook.com/jeffnationsmusic
- Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/nationsjeff
- Twitter: twitter.com/jnationsmusic
- Youtube: youtube.com/jeffeol
- Other: TikTok: @jeffnations
LeeLee Hawkins, Jeannie Liautaud Maul, NCM Photography