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Meet Nadia Chechet

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadia Chechet.

Nadia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started singing at the age of five. My father is a professional musician, so there has always been music around me, every day. I grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, and moved to Boston, USA, at 21 years old, when I won a scholarship to study music at one of the most amazing music colleges in the world – Berklee College of Music. It was at Berklee that I finally realized what my calling was: I was meant to be on stage and make my own music. I suppose I always knew that, but I had never dared to put my foot completely “in” until I got to Berklee. I started writing my own songs and, to tell you the truth, I was really surprised about how easy it was for me from the very beginning. I just had them in my head, ready to be put on paper, waiting for a good moment to come out. After graduating, I moved to Los Angeles, and that’s where the craziness began. Being an indie artist can be pretty overwhelming, especially in a city like LA, and I’m sure that my story here is pretty similar to other artists’, maybe with an exception of being an immigrant from another country (though even that fact might not make me that much different since we live in America). Between working multiple jobs in order to pay bills, writing new music, booking performances, rehearsing, networking with industry professionals, organizing photo and video shoots, recording, etc., it’s easy to lose focus and positive perspective. But I promised myself a long, long time ago that I would never give up and would always keep going no matter what. And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now!

In 2016, I was playing around LA and was discovered by a Los Angeles based record label – Silver Gun Records. I signed with them in 2016 and have been working with them ever since. Right now we are at the finishing stages of recording my latest EP, and I am really excited to release some new music very soon.

Songwriting, performing and recording my original material is currently my main focus. But I don’t like setting limits for myself. Life is short and there are so many sides to music that I enjoy exploring! I teach voice, and I love my students; I perform jazz, blues and pop/rnb around Los Angeles; I love singing covers and performing at weddings and parties; I conduct theme-based vocal master classes in the US and abroad; last but not least, I am working on opening a music studio and writing a book!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course, it hasn’t! I wouldn’t call myself a “starving artist”, but there were definitely some times along the way when I felt defeated and run down. But it was exactly those moments of desperation and struggle that taught me how to get back up and keep fighting.

As I’ve mentioned before, the life of an indie artist isn’t as glamorous and effortless as it might seem on Instagram or on album cover pictures. I compare it to having to do homework every day for the rest of your life. Work isn’t over for me when I come home after playing a show or recording. I have to constantly keep going, write new music, look for new career opportunities, practice my instrument, come up with creative ideas, manage my band, organize rehearsals, recording sessions, photoshoots, various meetings, etc. Even when I don’t have any performances or projects coming up, I have to work hard in order to stay afloat and have my music heard. This way of living can become very draining, both physically and psychologically. Not even to mention budgeting!

Coming from another country and establishing a name and a reputation, as well as finding industry contacts as an immigrant wasn’t always easy. But where else would it even be possible, if not in the US? At this point, I feel very much assimilated into American culture, work ethic standards and way of living, I love living and working here, and I wouldn’t want to change a thing!

Last but not least, your own self can be your biggest obstacle, in my opinion. It took me years to find my way to confidence and self-appreciation, to knowing that I was worthy and successful, even when it felt like I was failing. Doubting yourself is not the way to go and can be very detrimental, especially in my field.

What else should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from others?
I am a singer-songwriter, a recording artist and a performer. I take pride in all my work, no matter the scale of the project. I write songs that, I believe, are sincere, well produced and memorable. My music is a melting pot of various cultural influences. I combine jazz and pop/rnb vocals with rock harmony changes, while the production and the overall sound is alternative, with EDM touches. I incorporate Eastern European and Balkan harmonic changes and vocal technique into some of my recordings, which helps me stand out from other artists around me.

As a live performer, I am extremely proud of my ability to grasp the audience’s attention and to be the person people choose to enjoy music with. I’ve seen people cry at my shows multiple times because they were so touched by a certain song or performance. Those were good tears, tears of catharsis, and that for me is the ultimate praise, proof that I am on the right track!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is an extremely relative concept. I believe that every single person in the world is capable of being successful; the secret is just in finding your own, personal definition of it. Because at the end of the day, you are only successful if you believe you are.

My personal definition of success is to be able to do what I love (music) every day comfortably and to support myself financially doing it. Because I am a recording artist, of course, maintaining a following (or a fan base) is an integral element of that definition. Some people believe that a musician is only successful if he or she is famous and appears on TV/radio. I absolutely don’t agree with that statement. There is a niche for everyone, be it a small-town songwriter who performs in coffee shops, or a platinum-selling recording artist.

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