This week’s featured influencer is Country Musician, Jason Weinberg (@jmaxwellmusic).
As a young kid, Jason developed a competitive nature from constantly being on the rink, playing hockey. Now, he is using that same competitiveness to fuel his burning desire to chase after his dream in the music industry. Hear more about how he first began singing and how he conquers discouragement.
Where are you from?
Born in Toronto, Canada
What were you like as a kid?
Very shy (still am!), a goody two-shoes of sorts that did well in school and didn’t break the rules. I played all sorts of sports but hockey was my religion.
How did you get started?
Technically, I started singing/guitar at the age of 12, but that only lasted about a year. Fast forward 10 years later – I graduated university, took a year off and in that time frame I decided to pick up guitar again, which eventually led me to posting videos on social media. I had posted on my own personal Facebook page before and was tinkering around with Vine but nothing caught on until I began posting on Instagram.
My Instagram profile was created last May and in just over a year now I’m bordering 10k followers. I was recruited through Instagram to tryout for a local band and after spending around a year getting my feet wet performing on stage, I’ve left the group to pursue my own path in music.
What was your first experience like? Performing solo?
I was opening for CCMA Award Winner/Boots & Hearts regular Chad Brownlee at the KEE to Bala, a historic landmark for live music acts in Northern Ontario. I had expected a crowd of roughly 40-50 people to be present for my opening set – after my introduction I looked out and saw a packed house, both the dance floor and upstairs viewing area were already nearing full capacity!
It was by far the most unexpected and coolest experience of my life, I never even imagined what it would be like to play for a sold-out crowd.
What is your creative process?
The second part is the musical composition. For this phase I typically arrange my own ideas and then bounce them off my close circle of musician-friends for their feedback. It’s important for me to have music mentors that understand the type of song I’m trying to create so that they can better guide me to my desired result.
One place close to my heart is definitely my cottage in Gravenhurst. Each of my cousins’ families have cottages right next to each other, all in a tight-knit community by the lake. We are basically a mini-camp Weinberg you could say – I’m truly blessed to be able to enjoy my summers with my family year after year.
In 10 years, what will you be doing?
Rocking out at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the home of country music! If not there, I hope to be touring across the country, taking pictures, signing autographs, breaking hearts, the usual… but most importantly, making memorable music that connects with the listener. Hopefully by then I’ll be writing my first JUNO acceptance speech, I’ll be sure to thank you for this feature!
How do you overcome discouragement?
Very good question and my own method for overcoming discouragement doesn’t work for everyone. To pursue a path in the music industry, you’ve got to be ready for tons of discouragement… and I mean tons! To be 100% honest with you, I get discouraged on a daily basis and that’s just the nature of the business. The key is channeling that discouragement into a quiet confidence that lights a fire inside you.
I’ve sent out 100 emails for potential gigs and received absolutely zero response whatsoever, maybe one person was kind enough to say “No thanks”. I’ve posted videos singing my heart out that got zero traction on social media platforms, minimal likes, few to none comments. Every time I get discouraged, its just another chip on my shoulder. I will encounter 100 “No’s” but when I finally get 1 “Yes”, it feels like a success.