ASK ME ANYTHING: Professional Musician, Amateur Adult

Roux Bedrosian
Mar 13, 2018

My name's Roux, and I'm a Roux-ician. More, I'm a vocalist, songwriter, pianist, and recording artist based in New Jersey. I do everything from cover work to commercial jingles depending on who needs what from me. I'm also an original artist, and part of a nerd-tastic acoustic duo with my pal Evan. Together we are ROUVAN, and we hope to one day take over the world. 

I've been a freelancer in the music industry for over ten years. I've got stories, struggles, and answers to share for all your burning questions. Feel free to send 'em my way. 

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Artistis often struggle financially while getting their careers off the grounds, do you work in anything else besides music to support yourself financially?
Mar 20, 8:49AM EDT0
Do you play instruments other than the piano?
Mar 20, 1:47AM EDT0
Where do you want your career to go from where you are now?
Mar 19, 9:28PM EDT0
As a song writer, how do you define success?
Mar 19, 6:18PM EDT0
Do you get inspiration for your music from real life experiences?
Mar 19, 5:56PM EDT0
What type of music do you usually write?
Mar 19, 2:42PM EDT0

It depends on a few things: what I'm writing about, what I've been listening to at the time, and who I am working with. If I'm left completely to my own devices, I tend to stick towards simple ballads and blues tunes, and mostly on the piano. Original projects I've worked with in the past were way heavier and in the vein of progressive and alternative rock. I also just recently teamed up with a friend of mine to form an even heavier  folk/symphonic/punk/metal hybrid group that we're really excited about. 

I would love to try my hand at writing something rockabilly, or jazz, or even pop. My influences are all over the place, and I'd hate to ever limit myself to just one style. 

Mar 19, 4:12PM EDT0
Do you consider yourself an indie artist?
Mar 19, 1:22PM EDT0

Thank you to everyone who took the time to send in questions! I really appreciate the chance you've given me to reflect and share my experiences. I hope that what I've been able to offer made you smile, or think, or understand a little more about what it's like to be an independent artist. I've got so much more ahead of me, but it was nice to be reminded of what I've done, how far of come, and how much more I have to offer.  A million times, thank you <3

Mar 19, 10:59AM EDT0
The music industry is known to be cutthroat and cruel at times, how do you keep from falling apart from all the rejections and criticisms?
Mar 15, 6:50PM EDT0

I don't, haha. I fall apart constantly. Maybe that's my way of coping with it--I allow myself to be upset, angry, devastated, even. Then, I pick myself up and put myself back together. I've gotten better at it over the years, but rejection will always hurt. That's a fundemental part of rejection, after all.

I also don't view criticism as an innately bad thing. Constructive criticism is so useful, especially when your listeners are invested enough to give it to you. I don't take every suggestion I hear to heart, but I sincerely value feedback and use it to grow. There's a distinct difference between critique and insult, too, and I appreciate when people are kind enough to stave the latter for the former. 

Mar 16, 2:35PM EDT0
As a musician whose your dream artist with whom you would want to collaborate with someday?
Mar 15, 3:24PM EDT0

I've mentioned Matthew Bellamy (of Muse) in a previous answer. He is absoultely my first pick. Other artists I dream of collaborating with include Brian May (Queen), Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), and Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys). I admire all of them for their composition skills, as well as their journeys and personalities. They've founded a few of my all time favorite bands, and I'd do anything to learn from them personally. 

Mar 16, 2:31PM EDT0
When you look at your musical journey, what brings smile on your face?
Mar 15, 8:33AM EDT0

The progress I've made, not only as an artist, but as a person. I smile at how hard I've worked to accept myself, to be proud of myself and the things I do. I smile at how capable I can be, and at how much I can do if I really put my mind to it. It's a nice feeling that mixes with gratitude for the people who've helped me along the way. I'm also thankful for the opportunities, even the failed ones, that taught me all this about myself.

I also smile (albeit a little nervously) every time I remember that a song my duo was commissioned for will air for millions of people on YouTube next week :D

Mar 15, 12:04PM EDT0
What is one of your most memorable experiences in the music industry and why did this event have such an impact on you?
Mar 14, 4:36PM EDT0

I vividly remember the first time I was let go from a band. We were about an inch away from an independent record deal when I was abruptly fired and replaced by an older and less qualified vocalist. The band cited my 'lack of commitment' as their main reason for ditching me. That hurt the most because I felt wholeheartedly committed to them, and my dreams, despite also feeling used, out of place, and unappreciated within our band dynamic. I was the youngest member by several years, and defintely had the most to learn. That said, I never saw it coming.

I was in high school at the time, and I came home from class to my devastated mother who had heard the news first from my father. They'd told him instead of me before asking in the same breath for him to be their band manager. That added salt to the wound for sure. He accepted, much to my chagrin, but only to secure the rights to all the lyrics and melodies I'd written with them. That worked out for the best in the end, but it hurt like hell in the moment.

This was memorable because it was my first major failure and rejection in the industry. It was a huge setback, and an even bigger blow to my confidence. It took me years to even consider trusting another band, and I still struggle with it sometimes. Nowadays I understand why it happened, and I do actually think it was for the best. Still, when your trust is broken and your character is torn down, it sticks with you even after you learn and grow from it. 

Mar 15, 12:12PM EDT0
What, do you feel, is the best song with which you were ever involved?
Mar 14, 11:13AM EDT0

One of the more recent projects I was involved with was a band called Astrokatz based out of South NJ. I was only with them for about a year, but within that time we wrote my favorite song to date. It's called "When Words Don't Work", and I wrote the lyrics about a long distance friend who I was missing very, very intensely. There's also a reference in the chorus to the song "Making Believe" by The Ink Spots & Ella Fitzgerald that I'm particularly proud of. 

I tend to dislike much of my own work shortly after it's completed, but I have yet to get tired of this track. I love the melodies I was able to come up with, and the poetry of the lyrics. It doesn't feel cliche or dated--at least not yet--even though I have long since left the band and parted ways with the friend it was written about.

I wish I could share it here, but I only own the rights to the lyrics and vocal melodies. I am hoping to re-release it in the near future with different music, though. It's too good of a composition to just let go of. 

Mar 14, 12:06PM EDT0
What are some of the difficulties associated with your career as a musician and what are the methods you use in order to handle these issues?
Mar 14, 10:07AM EDT0

At risk of being repetitive, I'll narrow it down to these three difficulties:

  • Lack of resources--money, other musicians, recording time, etc.
  • Lack of ability--instrumental, writing, producing, etc.
  • Lack of stable mental health--depression, anxiety, etc.

Each of those bullet points plays host to a plethora of specific challenges that I face on a regular basis. Facing these challenges require different things at different times--patience, sleep, persistence, and sometimes, tears. Sometimes I have to drop projects for the sake of my well-being. Other times I have to accept projects for the sake of pushing myself to be and do better.

I apologize if this is sort of a vague answer, but it's the truth. I've also answered similar questions below if you're looking for more specific challenges and solutions. 

Mar 14, 10:34AM EDT0
If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you and why?
Mar 14, 8:31AM EDT0

Personally, I think Keanu Reeves would do a great job. 

Mar 14, 10:29AM EDT0
If you could choose to work with one specific musician, who would it be and why?
Mar 14, 5:31AM EDT0

Excluding deceased musicians, my first choice would be Matthew Bellamy of Muse. He is essentially my living idol. The man is an astoundingly talented multi-instrumentalist, has close to five octave range, and singlehandedly arranges symphonies that marry classical elements with booming arena rock. I would love to learn from him. Seriously, If I could be even a fraction of a percent as talented as him, I think I'd be set for life. 

Mar 14, 10:27AM EDT0


Mar 13, 9:48AM EDT0

I will continue to be involved in music so long as life allows.

And I will be a kind and gracious leader :D 

Mar 13, 12:23PM EDT0
Do you continue your career in the music industry out of passion or demand?
Mar 13, 4:24AM EDT1

Passion. Passion over everything. It's what I do, it's what I want to do. It's part of my idenity, and it's what I work the hardest at. It causes me the most grief, and the most joy, and I don't know what I'd be or what I'd do if I couldn't do it anymore. 

Mar 13, 12:17PM EDT0

What are some of the musical tours you have been apart of and what was the experience like?

Mar 13, 12:23AM EDT0

I actually have next to no touring experience, much to my dismay. It's definitely been a long-term goal of mine as I've bounced between projects. Many of my friends and colleages have touring experience, though, and I'm always learning from them so I can plan my own next steps.

The first and largest venue I ever got to play was The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. This was when I was with an original band called Life By Proxy. We performed at an original band showcase for a meager audience, but it was still a blast. I'm determined to get there again, as well as to other local, bigger name venues, by this time next year. 

Mar 13, 12:09PM EDT0
Has succeeding as a musician been made more difficult by being in New Jersey? Does location play a role in the musician's success?
Mar 13, 12:09AM EDT0

I think that depends on how you view 'success'. New Jersey has an excellent music scene, so I am able to find certain work on a pretty regular basis. I'm also reasonably close to NYC and Philly, so I get to draw from the creativity, popularity, and accessibility of those locations without actually having to live there. That's great for networking, collaborating, and picking up better paying or more high profile jobs.

Am I famous? No. Am I getting there? Eh. Is New Jersey typically where the magic happens? Not really. Perhaps that does, and will effect the growth my success. If it does, I can't say with certainty if it'll be for better or worse. All I know is that there are definitely worse places to be.

Mar 13, 12:16PM EDT0
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