August 27, 2012 • Podcasts
JD Samson talks dollars and sense
Continued from page 2
Since I wrote it, it’s been an interesting process of writing a record, and I've been feeling very self-critical whether or not to comment on these things in our records. I want to make sure that I’m keeping myself working as an artist. That’s something that’s complicated when you're trying to make money in the arts. It’s this age old question of art versus commerce and whether or not you should follow your creative journey or if you should try and go commercial and make money. I think through the processes of writing the Huffington Post article and thinking a lot about that and responding to that in interviews and talking to friends about it, I have been way more secure with myself as an artist who wants to make art. Hopefully I’ll be able to make money in other ways such as DJing or writing film scores or whatever it is. All I can do is just try and do everything at once.
MK: You had also written about re-examining the meaning of success in this piece. What does success mean to you?
JS: Someone last year had told me about this, like, triad of success or something. Apparently you can either think success means making a bunch of money, receiving recognition for what you do, or feeling respected for what you do. I think they are not mutually exclusive but for me the most important thing is being respected for the work that I make. I decided that I think that’s why I wrote the article as well, because I don't want to make a bunch of money and make a horrible product. I don't want to water myself down. I don't want to be a shell of a person being puppeteered. I want to be what's important to me and that is activist work. That’s what I've always wanted to do and that’s what I will do, and if I’m able to do that I’ll feel successful.
MK: Would you say that the recognition, respect and freedom you have to create the music and art you want is worth the tradeoff, instead of getting a stable paycheque?
JS: Yeah I mean it’s hard but it’s just as difficult for someone whose freelance, like a freelance writer for a magazine, or a freelance producer for a TV show. Everyone has that feeling of “I need to sell myself in order to make money.” And then as you get older and have done it for a long time, feels bad. Especially for someone who doesn’t have a big ego or that much confidence or something. I've been thinking about it recently, like as a queer woman putting yourself out there in that way, when a lot of times you’ve been pushed down or oppressed or all kinds of things. It does feel really difficult and I’m not really used to that. I think that’s part of what is hard for me – just the feeling of being freelance, like self-promotion over and over again for a certain amount of time, it feels horrible.