Photo Credit: Alzo Slade
Who is Trizonna McClendon?
Trizonna McClendon is an independent singer/songwriter and casting director/producer in reality television who enjoys balancing both careers simultaneously…it gets crazy sometimes but hey, that’s me!
In overpriced cities like New York, many artists struggle to find the balance between following their musical passion and truly making a living. You seem to have identified a great balance in your life by creating music and working in the television industry. Tell us about some of the shows you’ve worked on and how you make the double life work:
Yes, New York is very expensive and can be very tricky when trying to maintain a lifestyle that’s both satisfying and realistic to your means. As far as my television life, I’ve had the opportunity to work on “I Want To Work For Diddy 2,” the “College Hill” franchise, and “Ultimate Hustler” just to name a few. I make it work by being honest about my finances. When the music money is slow I make up the difference by devoting more time to television and vice versa.
Photo Credit: Glen Graham
Many people don’t consider music artists to be entrepreneurs but when you’re independent, you’re totally responsible for managing your own brand. Without big label budgets, you’re part of every step of the process including distribution, marketing and publicity. How do you maintain?
Why it’s hard to believe I don’t know, but having an independent career in music is much more than holding a microphone and wearing a fly outfit in front of an applauding crowd. It’s a committed belief that you can achieve your wildest dream on your own terms. But to answer honestly, I maintain by having a great team beside me. My manager Greg Lewis is God’s blessing.
Tell us what a day is like in Trizonna McClendon’s shoes:
It varies from day to day, but usually I start the morning by checking emails from my manager re: upcoming events, interviews as well as marketing and promotional strategies for the new album. Then I’m off to my television work, which usually consumes my day with locations shoots or meetings regarding the editing of a particular episode, however I still squeeze in duties that my music career requires. I may have a phone interview in the middle of the day or even a performance or rehearsal after work. It can be very hectic at times, but I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. I love what I do!
Photo Credit: Alzo Slade
Congrats on having your album “New Familiar” named as SoulTracks’ CD of the Month! The entire album is HOT but I’m really loving the title track. What inspired these lyrics?
Thank you! SoulTracks is one of the leading sites for soul music both domestic and internationally, so to receive recognition from them feels wonderful. The song NewFamiliar is my fave, too! LOL. No, but seriously upon hearing the track which was produced by DJ Self Born and Chris Rob (both from my hometown Chicago), it spoke to me and I kid you not, I just started singing, “it’s coming, the newfamiliar.” I wasn’t sure what I was saying initially, but it felt good.
If I were to borrow your ipod right now, which artists would be on your most played list?
What advice would you give an aspiring independent artist wanting to follow in your footsteps?
The first thing is to be honest with yourself about why you want to be in the industry, because it’s not a fairytale career. Secondly, learn the business and study your music history. It’s difficult to travel forward if you don’t know what and who came before you.
Where can we see more of you in 2010?
You will see my new video for the song “Shatter Proof” circulating the net as well as a couple of our favorite video shows. I’m doing a Midwest Borders Books tour in the Spring, also we’re working out dates for a couple shows in the UK during the summer and whatever else we can squeeze in between.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Finding your passion and following it is essential to your well being, so if you haven’t already found yours, dig in! Tomorrow is not promised…
Tags: Trizonna McClendon