In this interview, US artist Vicky Sometani riffs on streaming services, the best London venues to gig in and the challenges of being a musician
Vicky Sometani, Singer/Songwriter
Vicky is a singer/songwriter from the US. She spent many years living in NYC, working and writing music, but hadn't ever shared or released any music. She moved to London after falling in love and began performing her songs for the first time in years. Since then she has been featured in several live sessions including London Live, Laid Bare, and Sofar Sounds – and has been working on her debut EP. 'My Music' is a rhythmic blend of blues, soul, and jazz, with captivating lyrics and dynamic vocals.
What inspires you to be a musician?
I have always loved singing, writing songs, and dancing to a good beat. It's my biggest form of release, expression, and natural high. Music is what makes souls touch and synchronize. That genuine and raw and honest connection is something I have always longed for and will always chase.
What is the best part about being a musician in London?
There are so many incredible opportunities that arise here when you put yourself out there. The music community is also a warm and noteworthy part about London. I've gotten to know so many wonderful people and talented artists who all support and encourage each other. Music is what made London my home.
What is your favourite London venue for gigs?
I always really enjoyed playing for New Roots at the Harrison, an intimate basement venue with pin drop audiences.
What is the biggest challenge you have as a musician today?
I would say finding the time, money, and energy to devote to my creative endeavours while working full time and trying to build a life. The challenge has always been finding balance to be able to do everything I want to and not get overwhelmed or burnt out. I think it would be the same for anyone with a dream.
Do you think the industry is changing for the better?
I think in many ways it is. There was that one saying, "music is far too important to be left in the hands of the professionals". I agree and think it's amazing how so many people can make music pretty much anywhere and share it with the world. That is a beautiful thing. I hope the industry will continue to grow and evolve and become a place where more musicians can create their art and live sustainably.
What are the three tools you could not live without?
My guitar, my voice memos app, and my capo. I gotta sing those high notes.
Are there any new apps you have discovered and would like to recommend to other musicians?
I'm not sure if it's new, but the Acoustic App is a lot of fun for making videos with layers and harmonies.
How do you find opportunities to gig?
I google, go through Facebook event pages of venues/artists, and look up promotors that might I might be suited for and then send emails.
What are your fondest musical memories?
I love when parties with friends turn into big jam sessions. That used to happen a lot in New York. In apartments or on rooftops in Brooklyn.
How do you reach your fans?
Through various social media outlets and a mailing list. Instagram is my favourite because I like taking/posting photos and people can easily find me through hashtags.
What is it that compels you to publish music?
I would like to be able to share my music with friends and family and people who have never met me. I would like to leave something tangible on this earth that comes from my heart.
What are your thoughts on streaming services?
I think Spotify is great. Its true that if you don't get a million listens, then you don't make any money, but before streaming services if you weren't played on the radio then no one would hear you and you wouldn't make money either.
What is something you wish you had known sooner?
I wish I had known that showing up is half the battle. I was afraid for so long to just to put myself out, but when I finally did, and continued to do so, things started happening.
Are you actively looking for record labels? Do you think it could be a good option?
Not at the moment. I think it could be a good option down the road and depending on the circumstances.
How do you balance your music with other passions - partner, children, job?
We hope you enjoyed reading Vicky Sometani's story and experiences as much as we did. You can find Vicky on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/vsometani/
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