Joel Vaughn, a singer/songwriter from Amarillo, Texas.

Dream Label Group recording artist Joel Vaughn recently shared his honest and candid advice to artists and musicians. We are blessed to share this with our listeners and readers with permission.  Look for an upcoming interview with Joel where we will expand on this conversation, talk about his music, songwriting and what it’s like to grow up in a musical household. 

Joel shared via Facebook (emphasis added):


PSA to Artists and Musicians*

(* I’m preaching to myself here as well. Some advice to myself I wished I had heard a long time ago.)

Do you know what people care more about than what brand of in-ear monitors you’re using, what kind of guitar you play, or the kind of speakers you mix with? People care more about YOU. I know that’s hard to believe, but they care about YOUR story and YOUR music. That other stuff is fun, but we creatives tend to get hung up on some pretty silly things that can enhance what we do. But more often they become a big distraction.

You don’t need a major brand name endorsement or a $3000 compressor to get started. You need community, support, and the gifts God gave you. I struggled with this for a long time, and, often, I still find myself explaining to people why I use the cheaper/not as cool thing versus the hip new gear that all the top artists are using. It’s probably a form of people-pleasing in a benign way, but it’s not to say it isn’t harmful.

Don’t bog yourself down into debt in hopes that other people will think you’re cool. It isn’t worth it.

Be You. Jesus likes you. He loves you.

Do the best with what you have and move forward.

It’s OK to write a song on GarageBand and play a Yamaha acoustic.

Get to the meat of what you want to communicate with your art and do that.

Don’t worry what people think about your musical style either. If you secretly love polka, and you can shred on an accordion, then don’t hide it.

If you love pop music but you’re afraid of what your friends will think, then stop worrying about them and be like Max Martin.

Life is way too short to worry about what your peers think about your house, car, clothes, or musical instruments.

Someone out there needs to hear what you have inside your heart much more than they need to know what kind of strings you use.

Go do that.


We appreciate the honesty and raw direction in this post. Thanks, Joel, for sharing a much-needed reality check for new or existing artists who are charging down a path – a path that may ultimately bring absolutely no satisfaction, or even worse, self-defeat. 

We look forward to hearing from you as well! Does this resonate with you? Comment below.

More about Joel Vaughn:

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