Highlights From Maddi’s Shoutout LA Feature

This July 2022, Shouout LA interviewed and featured Maddi Mae, the owner of Sound House. Read excerpts from the piece below or read the full feature by clicking here.

One of Maddi’s Favorite Pieces of Advice for Folks in Arts Businesses: “Treat Yourself Like A Friend”

“In a business that constantly challenges our self-esteem and self-efficacy, it’s easy to get swept up in the hustle or to get knocked down by the stress. I’ve seen too many folks drop out of the music industry because of physical, mental, and emotional degradation. We’re pressured to market our suffering, advertise our bodies, and promote our crafts in increasingly brief intervals of instantly gratifying content for the entertainment of others. Constantly engaging in that work can program us to think of ourselves as commodities, as objects, as products. […]

That’s just not the way we work though. Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Our end goals as musicians often center around self-actualization (creativity, purpose) and esteem (respect, recognition, freedom), which are the two highest tiers of Maslow’s pyramid. Before we can genuinely access those facets of our development, we’ve got to first meet our physiological needs (food, water, shelter, etc.), then our security needs (health, resources, etc.), and then our needs for love and belonging (friends, family, intimacy, connection).

If we’re treating ourselves like products, we’re often ignoring those first three levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy in pursuit of “success.” But by treating ourselves as friends, we treat ourselves like humans, in need of – and deserving of – care and compassion.

When I’m treating myself like a friend, I take time to rest, to heal, to refuel. When I’m treating myself like a friend, I pay better attention to my personal growth, my career progress, and my victories – no matter how seemingly small in comparison to others’ big expectations. When I’m treating myself like a friend, I reframe success to be less about fame and fortune and more about health and happiness. I’ve been doing this for a decade now, and I continuously learn new ways to be a better friend to myself.

I’ve achieved more in my most recent years of treating myself as a friend than I ever did before. I’ve been investing in my health and happiness outside of my career, and my career has blossomed because of it.”

How Doing and Teaching Form a Mutually Beneficial Dynamic

“While I’m actively navigating the music industry – constantly challenging myself to earn new skills and knowledge – mentoring other career-oriented musicians gives me the opportunity to synthesize and share what I’m learning effectively. And with students who aren’t hell-bent on a music career, I’m genuinely happy to just spend time sharing music with them because I understand firsthand how music can be a safe space for big personal growth. Whether a student is exercising their brain and body by learning a new instrument, digging deeper into their thoughts and feelings through songwriting, confronting fears to find their singing voice, or just trying to make more space for peace and joy in their life, I take pride in offering Sound House as a safe place for that growth.”

Photo by Bob Adamek, 2021