We had the good fortune of connecting with Juliet McConkey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Juliet, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I think a lot of folks outside of the music industry world may be unaware of the many variations or levels I guess, of “success” there are. When I was younger, dreaming about playing music for a living, I never really considered it a viable option because I figured you had to be as huge a star as Beyonce. You had to “make it big”. I love writing songs and I love performing but I’ve never had a desire for stardom. In my early twenties I came to realize how many folks were out there doing it independently and making their own way and that’s when I decided I could actively start pursuing it as a career. That was only a few years ago and I have one record out since then, so I’m still very much in the process of figuring out what that’s going to look like for me. Even this early on I’ve learned how disheartening the business part of playing music can be and how a lot of shiny opportunities have a darker side of compromised artistic value. If I’m going to make music I’m going to make it on my own terms, even if it takes longer for it to become my career in a financial sense. I don’t know a lot about business but I do know that I value brands that stay true to their intentions and I aim to do the same with my music. For now that means having other jobs and getting creative with side hustles, which I don’t mind one bit. The music will never stop being created even if not one soul ever hears it. To circle back to your original question, some music fans may not realize that even in the sphere of their favorite indie or unknown artists, one may have a small label or promotional team, another may be doing it all themselves. We’re small businesses, in my case fledgeling, and we subsist financially on the generous support and enthusiasm of folks who dig what we do.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
To put it plainly, I write songs and sing them while playing guitar. I do my best to stay observant of my surroundings and the uniqueness of the human condition and then try to write about it. I’m a music fan first and I know what moves me, so I’m always challenging myself to get better and create art with meaning and merit. I’ve gotten where I am today by sending out thousands of “please book me” emails and getting on just about any stage (or dark corner) that would have me. It’s not always easy, but it’s always either humbling or fulfilling. One night you’ve got the whole room’s rapt attention with one of the best songs you’ve written, the next night no one hears a word over raucous conversation and beer bottle smashing. It’s all part of it, and it can be exhausting, but I think if you take your art seriously and yourself a little less so, you’ll be alright. I don’t care if the world knows anything about me at all, but I’d like them to think that what they’re listening to is honest and genuine, whether they dig it or not. And my goal is to write songs so folks remember the meaning of my words more than just the sound of my voice.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve spent very little time in Houston, but I recorded my album there and the studio’s engineer, Steve Christensen, showed us a hell of a time that gave me a permanent soft spot in my heart for the city. I had Vietnamese food for the first time at Huynh Restaurant and it changed my life for the infinitely better. And La Carafe is easily in the top five bars I’ve ever been to.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It may sound cliche, but anyone and everyone who’s ever supported my music in any way deserves a shoutout. My record was completely crowd-funded by folks who believed in what I was doing, friends, family, strangers and the like. Couldn’t have done it otherwise. Of equal importance are the venues who’s given me the chance to get up on stage and the fellow artists who’ve encouraged me along the way.

Website: https://www.julietmcconkey.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julietmcconk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julietmcconkey

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julietmcconkeymusic/

Image Credits
Hannah Cooper Sierra Haney Carley du Menil-Martinez

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.