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Shabbat and Protecting Your Image

Wow!

It’s been a while since I’ve really sat down to talk with y’all. My last blog post was a whopping TWO MONTHS AGO! In these last two months my life has taken a turn for the weird. Like anyone’s journey I have faced the tumultuous downs and elevated highs of a younger twenty-something. I have performed incredible shows that prove to me that no matter how difficult this road it, it is 100% worth it! I have also hit unfathomable lows that have made me almost consider giving up my Minnesota life and trying things anew in Kansas.

In light of those complete polar opposites, I have two topics I would like to focus on today: Shabbat, and Protecting your image.

Similar to my highs and lows, Shabbat, and Protecting your Image come once again as complete polar opposites, not only in perspective, but in of fields completely different plains. How in the earth can these two have anything to do with each other?

 

Shabbat

Shabbat for me has always been a semi-sacred day. Growing up it was a gift at the end of a long week. During my elementary days I ALWAYS loved going to school! My friends were there, I would be myself without judgement, and I got to test out killer style choices~ Junior High was a completely different ball game where none of my friends were there, I didn’t feel like I ever fit in, and my style morphed into something an introverted manga-girl who doesn’t see the light of day. High School was a MECA of acceptance but came at the price of so much homework and crammed schedules that I couldn’t enjoy the weekend anymore.

Going back to those elementary days when Friday was still beautiful, pure, and full of adventures waiting to unfold with the promise of Saturday morning cartoons, I had a tradition. After school my mother would pick me up and we would either grocery shop for dinner or head home in order to make our family meal. I would help her with either cooking, cleaning, or yelling at my brothers to get the HELL out of our way. At the dinner table we would sing our traditional grace (and the non-traditional one that always made us giggle) and go around and say what we were thankful for. We would then light the Shabbat candles and bask in the beautiful light that cleared the way for a new and exciting week.

Once the plates of spaghetti and meatballs were cleared away my mother and I would then try on a multitude of different outfits, looking for that PERFECT one to head to synagogue in. I usually picked out something sparkly that aimed to wow while my mother would seek out beautiful fabrics, rich velvets, and many a shawls and graceful earrings to complete her ensemble.

After (much arguing about having to go to services) we would drag my begrudging siblings (and occasionally my moody self) to services, which in the Jewish tradition, always started a few minutes behind schedule. I would sing to my hearts content all of the beautiful prayers and hymns that I still know like the back of my hand. Once services concluded the other kids of the synagogue would race around the building like bats out of hell, stealing all of the candies and other goodies we could sneak out of the reception. Parents would pluck out children by groups as families started vacating the premises and my brothers and I started our ritual chant, “MOOOOMMMM! LET’S GOOOO!!!! Everyone else is gone! I’m BOOOOREEEDDD!!”

Once the exhaustion (and annoyance) settled into my parents we would scramble back into the car and head to our second tradition: Folk Dancing.

My father has been an avid folk dancer since he was 17 and has enjoyed traditional folk dances from all over the world. We would join his and my mothers friends to participate in whatever the style was for this week. While I shyly sat in the corner and overlooked the dancing I was always taken aback by their presence and perfect precision to the songs.

The next morning I would wake up (usually around 7) to crowd around our families 6″ black and white television screen to horde all of the cartoons we possible could take in. On special Saturdays, my father and I would sit down at the table and circle all of the interesting looking garage sales and track out our plan. At these garage sales I found everything from ceramic frogs, to random decorations that hang in my new adult apartment, to even my first guitar.

So what do I do to celebrate my more modern traditions? Not much as of late. The whole month of September (and the bulk of October) I worked Friday nights until well after midnight. Other Fridays since then have been delegated to going out to shows, staying in with the comfort of my Netflix, or working. I no longer make today sacred, which I find a real and complete shame. In order to change that, today I decided to have a rest day. I slept in, enjoyed time with my kitten, and after work I’ll go out with a friend who I haven’t seen in a long time.

I’m learning how to make Shabbat sacred once more. I may not be perfect at it, but I’m learning to rest once again.

 

Protecting Your Image

In the music industry your image is absolutely EVERYTHING. Much to the dismay of millions of musicians who wish the industry to be entirely about music, instead of what image to sell it through. This is an incredibly important issue as its stance has drastically changed since money was poured through the industry in the mid 70s. Many today see it as a vanity, pure and simple. So what do I believe?

I’m torn. On one hand I believe that music SHOULD be judged by its sound, composition, and point of view, rather than what the artist is wearing, why they are wearing it, and what their fashion reflects on current trends. On the other hand, I have brought up in a world where image is everything and by ignoring that aspect, you are cutting yourself short to succeed.

Instead I try for an equal balance. I strive to make my songs complicated, diverse, and speaking to many issues that personally fulfill me. I also present an image not crafted by trends in the hope of catching on, but inspired by my inner 4-year-old and what she would have wanted to perform on stage in.

Protecting your image also goes hand and hand with how you present yourself, in, and out of business.

I recently heard a former colleague go on a long filled rant that can be summed up to: You shouldn’t judge me for how I act when I’m not pursuing business, the partying side of me, and my business side are two COMPLETELY different entities!

I was taken aback by this comment because I completely disagree. So much of today’s music industry is centered on how you conduct yourself. You can be the most brilliant business entity to have taken over the industry, but if you then turn around present a sloppy party girl/boy side when you’re off the clock, you’re selling yourself short. Instead of focusing on all of the amazing progress you have made, others will simply judge you on how you conducted yourself out in public.

Being a savvy artist today means learning how to find your balance. For me it means going to as many shows as I can, networking my ass off, making business decisions without second guessing, and always presenting a professional front. I get sloppy like everyone else, but I work as hard as I can to not let that side show, especially when my career is on the line.

 

Bottom Line

Making sure that I don’t get sloppy comes full circle around when trying to plan in a day of rest, aka Shabbat.

It all comes down to taking care of yourself. If you’re organizing your schedule in a way that prevents you from eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising, working enough to pay your bills, and acting in activities that make you personally fulfilled, than you’re not going to be able to perform your best.

When you can’t perform your best then your business senses aren’t fully alert, and you miss out on opportunities.

The music industry is grueling to say the least, but by first focusing energy on your basic needs, which branch out to every other aspect of your career, you can learn to keep yourself from being overwhelmed.

 

I hope this post was helpful to all of my fellow artists and musicians. If you have a topic you would like me to discuss in next weeks post, please make sure to leave your suggestions in the comments below!

 

Love,

NatanYael

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Concert Window Series

Greeting NatanYalites!

It seems that balance is finally finding its way back into my life! Over the past week I have been able to accomplish nearly all of the items on my to-do list. The three jobs that have been pulling me in every direction have settled into a steady rhythm that I am quickly learning how to adapt to. I’m feeling stronger and more in control than I have all year which is an UNBELIEVABLE blessing!

With Fall rapidly approaching it’s time to starting setting up my game plan for the rest of the year and the start of next. It seems wild that although it’s only October, it already feels like January to me. That’s how quickly I anticipate the rest of the year to follow suit. This is both an incredibly intimidating feat, but also an opportunity to really make something out of myself.

I’ve decided to host a series of live web concerts through the website, Concert Window. This is an opportunity for many of my readers, followers, and listeners who have not been able to see me perform to watch me free of charge!

Many of my main supporters have either been to far away, financially unable, and/or too busy with hectic schedules to come out to my shows. Since I have received some amazing feedback and love over the past year I wanted to find a way to give back to the community who has given so much to me!

Starting Wednesday, October 8th I’ll be performing my first online solo concert!

Check out the link below:

https://www.concertwindow.com/shows/9567-natanyael

 

Gratitude List:

1) Mentors – Without your help I wouldn’t have been able to pull myself out from under my rut

2) Aragorn – With the weather getting colder it’s nice to have something warm and fuzzy to keep me loved at night

3) Balance – Thank you for finally finding me again!

 

Love,

NatanYael

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A New Approach

Happy Friday One and All!

As many of you are preparing for a relaxing (or jam-packed) weekend and enjoying the end of your hectic work week, I am right in the midst of mine! Between this Thursday and Sunday I will work a whopping 43 hours before finally setting into my new weekend (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). This weekend, although unbearably hectic, is the last one of its kind for the time being! Starting next week I’ll only be working between 25-30 hours between Thursday and Sunday.

This last month has not only taught me how to better manage my time (since there is such little free time anymore) but showed me exactly what I’m made of. After starting my new job I have been working harder and faster than I ever have at any point in my life. For the most part over the past 4 years I’ve held jobs where I just have to sit or stand around for hours. This is the first time where all three of my jobs force me to be on my feet constantly for multiple hours without breaks. I have been building up my endurance and stamina and also working out SO MUCH MORE! I’ve found that if I don’t work out on a daily basis and eat balanced meals I physically cannot function in the ways that I need to.

So much is on the line over this next year that it puts an enormous amount of pressure on me. However, as many of my workouts have proven to me, pressure and stress is just another activity that forced you to rise to the occasion. If you would have told me a year ago what I would be doing this year I would have run the other direction screaming at the top of my lungs!

I have been working my tail off, not only to pay the small mountain of bills that greets me with a snarky smirk each month, but to further my career which I now have to be much more creative about!

These activities have forced me to think out of the box when it comes to looking and creating new opportunities for my career, finding ways to balance my schedule without losing my sanity, and live the life that I have always dreamed of.

Am I doing it perfectly? HELLS NO! Am I trying my best? Most days!

What I’m trying to say is that I’m working on documenting the good and bad of my days and then figuring out how to minimize the negatives and strengthen the positives for the future. Take today for example: it’s a quiet morning so I COULD HAVE slept in, watched Netflix, neglected my exercise, and hung out with my kitten. Instead I got up at a reasonable time, practiced, worked out, played with the kitten some, ate a good lunch, and am now forcing myself to sit down and figure out my game plan for the next week!

I even got a daily planner so I can better organize! How’s that for adulting?

So what can y’all expect from me as we propel into October?

  • Many new gigs (and different ways to connect with me via the interwebs)
  • New photoshoots and a different approach to my image than you have seen before
  • BRAN’ SPANKIN’ NEW covers and videos, which I am INCREDIBLY excited about
  • More dad puns? Still working on that one, but I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to make myself awkward and put forward my best dad jokes for your listening pleasure~

 

Gratitude List:

1) Mentors – HOLY CRABCAKES! Where the hell would I be without the constant help of my family and friends who constantly reaffirm what I need to do and help me think outside the box!

2) Caffeine – Sweet Jeebus am I thankful for this one! Although I’m attempting to get good amounts of sleep, for those days when it just doesn’t happen I have my best friend caffeine to pick me up~

3) My friends – even with my crazy-as-duck schedule y’all are still reaching out to me and finding ways to hang out out despite my three days weekly window where I can do ANYTHING

 

I can’t wait to show y’all this new side of NatanYael! I’m working my tail off so that I can present a new united front to all of your lovelies out there~

Love Y’all!

NatanYael

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Adulting 101

Hello NatanYalites!

Many of you have followed my journey over the past couple of months and watched my transformation from ignorant starting artist, to complete train wreck, to semi responsible adult. It has been a wild roller coaster of a ride and now that I look back on where I was one year ago I am completely astounded!

A year ago I was in what I like to call, my irresponsible burnout phase. After 8 consecutive semesters of school I had been living the life of a graduate for around 5 months. Completely exhausted and utterly over trying I spend that time partying, not doing my work, and having one hell of a time.

However, no matter how good of a time I made for myself I still had to come home at the end of the day and wonder why I felt so unbelievably empty inside. There was no reasoning for it in my mind.  I had gotten into the school of my dreams, made it through 2-1/2 years of pushing through obstacles and was now living the life of the reckless 21-year-old that I had always dreamed of. Whenever I started feeling depressed about my life choices I reasoned it with the manta, I am 21 years old! I deserve to be an idiot for a while after all of that hard work!! So I continued my decent.

Last December, as many of you remember, was when the shit hit the fan. I found myself dealing the consequences of my year of partying and had to come to the hard truth.

That I was INCREDIBLY depressed and unhappy with my life.

Why was this? I was living the “dream” as I thought in my mind and I had fantastic friends to support my addictions and poor life decisions. I finally came the conclusion why I was so miserable:

I had forgotten my voice.

Over the next nine months I committed myself back to my music, my health, and my heart. And let me tell you this: Although I have put on the illusion that everything has been wonderful and only going uphill from here, these last nine months have honestly been the toughest in my life.

I have never had to make such life changing choices, put myself at such risk on a daily basis, and made myself get out of my comfort zone each day like I do now.

One year ago I had a job that made me miserable, health that left my devastated, and habits that would only lead to financial ruin, depression, and anxiety.

I now sit in control of my domain. I have my own apartment, work three jobs to keep myself going, work my ass off on a daily basis to promote shows and write new songs, and work on healing myself.

I’m not going to say that everyday is a success because there have definitely been the days where I truly hate myself again. However, I can say that my bad days are 10x better than my “good” days of last year.

So where do I go from here? Forward and upwards with any help! I’m not scared of the fears that plagued me last year and I refuse to let anyone or anything take advantage of me again. I feel stronger than I ever have before and even the less successful days are blessings in disguise.

 

Gratitude List:

1) Shows: keeping me on my feet and making me more productive everyday

2) Support: it keeps presenting itself in different avenue each day and I am constantly grateful for it!

3) Love: for myself, my kitten, my friends, my family, and my music

 

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Love,

NatanYael

 

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Business Savvvvvvvvvy

Greeting NatanYalites!

I have returned to my regular Saturday slot and I am so thrilled to see all of your lovely faces! Much of my life has shifted into a much more adult-like format over the past two weeks. For me, this has been a welcomed change, but also a very tricky balancing act.

I have always excelled when given a structured schedule to follow. It’s not that I cannot function when life turns willy-nilly, it’s just that I have a much more difficult time being productive if I don’t have a list of goals to accomplish throughout my day. Since acquiring my latest job I am now working between 45-60 hours a week from my three combined jobs. This is where the balancing act begins. I now have to figure out how to balance those jobs, promotions, social media, practicing, and other music career related tasks, eating and exercising right, having a social life, and spending time with my new kitten who needs GOBS of constant love and attention.

Let’s just saw that some weeks have turned out better than others! One of the benefits I have found of having to balance everything is the fact that now I have to compartmentalize and stay to a structured schedule. The few moments that I have at home are now dedicated to eating, social media-ing, kittening, and practicing. This has seriously cut down on my Netflix time which is honestly a good thing because I was wasted a LOT of time!

I just got off the phone with one of my musical mentors to discuss how to take the next step in my career. Now that I am self managing I have to constantly wear my business lady hat and make sure that every move that I make is benefiting my career. Long gone are the days of throwing shit to the wind and hoping that something will catch without putting in much effort. I am about to make some very big steps and changes to career which, although hesitant, I am ready and willing to take!

One of them is filling my plate up with different projects to keep me busy while I am gigging as a Solo Artist. Some of these projects you will see first hand by the end of the month, and others, you’ll just have to stick around to see what unfolds~

It’s very difficult to becoming unbelievably overwhelmed with it all and I have definitely had moments over the past couple of weeks where I have felt utterly useless and helpless. The important lesson I have learned from all of this is that no matter what life throws at you, you just have to accept what you cannot change and work your ass off to make a difference where you can.

Everything is one step and a time and I am so thrilled to know that I am finally on the right path and now that I am, absolutely NOTHING can stop me unless I let it.

Here’s the next couple of months and the AMAZING journey I am about to embark on!

To my fellow artists, what is the most difficult aspect of balancing your busy lives? Comment with your thoughts below or some say hi at Honey in Minneapolis this Tuesday at 9:15. I’ll be performing alongside Gaby Castro, another incredible singer-songwriter!

 

Gratitude List

1) Music Mentors – If it weren’t for all of you supporting me and helping me through those absolutely devastating times I don’t think I would be in as good of shape that I am in!

2) Busy Schedules – Keeping me on my toes and making sure I stop wasting my extra moments~

3) Aragorn (my kitten) – My little bundle of joy who shows me what this beautiful world can offer

 

Love,

NatanYael

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September Shows GALORE!

Good Evening Everybody!

For the longest time I watched my friends and peers in utter AWE as I saw them piece together their musical lives. For me, lining up a number of gigs seemed not only impossible, but unrealistic in my current stage of life. I had no songs to perform, TERRIBLE, CRIPPLING stage freight, and not enough confidence needed to keep a crowd listening to me for any more than they were physically required to. Through all of my teenage years I watched in envy as my friends got amazing musical parts in plays, incredible shows that helped them make a name for themselves on the scene, and solos during school performances that I would have given my right arm for.

Well now it’s MY time to shine!

As cheesy as that over-used cliche is above, the statement still rings true. I have been waiting for the day where I set up NOT ONLY an individual solo show, but a number of shows that incorporate everything that I love about the music industry. This month I have been given the UNBELIEVABLE gift of being able to perform at Honey nightclub in Minneapolis for not only one show, but three!

I will be performing many of my solo songs including my debut single, Snow, which you can listen to below:

I am also delighted (and a little terrified!) to start debuting some BRAND NEW MATERIAL along with new originals AND new covers!

But the BEST part of this show is that I get to share it with all of my friends! I’ll be performing with a TON of my favorite local Twin Cities songwriters who are also my very close friends~ Make sure to give them some love before coming out to see us in September!

Here are my upcoming show dates:

 

September 9th — 9:15-11:00pm

Special Guest – Gaby Castro

https://www.facebook.com/gabycastromusic

 

September 14th — 8:30-11:00pm

Special Guests – The Floating Perspectives

https://www.facebook.com/thefloatingperspectives

 

September 22nd — 7:00-11:00pm

Special Guest:

Laura Johnson

https://www.facebook.com/justcallmehugomusic

Cappie

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cappie/1494565530789477

Rachel Kline

https://www.facebook.com/rachelklinemusic

honeyseptemberflyer.jpg 2

Can’t wait to see all of you lovelies there!!

 

Have a wonderful night all of your NatanYalites!~

 

Love,

NatanYael

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The Start of Something New~

How’s it shaking NatanYalites?

It’s been a wild summer to say the least! I cannot really describe how much I have changed and grown over the past couple of months. All I can say is that this next year is going to truly help me become the performer that I’ve always dreamed of!

To start off, I’ve made some MAJOR changes in my life over the past couple of months.

 

WEBSITE:

I now have a NEW SPANKIN’ WEBSITE! You can check it out below:

http://www.NatanYaelMusic.com

 

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:

Next, I was featured in the HUMAN issue of Shock Value Magazine.

The “HUMAN” issue is dedicated to showcasing and featuring LGBTQ talent and issues from around the globe. Inspirational stories from theTransgender and Intersex community. Beautiful Fashion Editorial spreads featuring Drag Queens, Gender Bender, and Transsexual models. LGBT HIstory Facts, LGBT Music Artists, and so much more!!! Check it out below!!!

http://www.shockvaluemagazine.com/

You can read the full article starting on page 86:

 

EVERYTHING ELSE:

I moved into my VERY OWN place over a month ago! Here are some pictures of my absolutely wonderful new apartment~

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It’s truly a magical place where I feel free to live the life I’ve always craved! To make things even BETTER, I adopting a little kitty critter to help attack bugs and stray creaking noises in the night~

There’s been a whole heap of drama and major life issues that I have had to deal with since June so it’s an absolute blessing to finally have some calm in my world.

I visited Israel in July which was one of the most amazing journeys I’ve experienced in a long time! After going break-less since the New Year it was a much needed vacation. Being is Israel really made me rethink my priorities and how I view my so-called problems. Living for 10 days in a country where my Israel peers were losing friends to the war on a daily basis changed something deep in my core. It’s made me want to work harder for my dream, and not beat myself up so harshly for every false step.

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Hope y’all are having an absolutely fantastic weekend, I know that I sure am!!

 

Gratitude List:

1) Israel – for perspective, love, and a whole new understanding of my Jewish heritage

2) My Friends – I would not be here if I didn’t have all of your support, y’all inspire me on a daily basis and I love all of you DEARLY!!

3) My Apartment – Living with myself has never been so wonderful!

 

Love,

NatanYael