Tips for the Expatriate Musicians

Thoughts & Tips For The Expatriate Musician

Being an expat is hard, but having a passion for music can make it easier. On the flip side, the blow to your music that moving countries takes can be disheartening. The key is to accept the sudden momentum stall, use your music to help build your new life, and trust that expanding your life to a new country will ultimately enrich you and your music.

The challenges of being an expat are shared by many, and some of them are universal. Your specific experience, however, will depend a lot on where you move to, where you moved from, why you moved, and what kind of person you are.

All expats experience loneliness, culture shock, and something like the experience of going to a public high-school for the first time in a new city, where everyone already knows each other and you’re the new kid who has to make new friends or else eat lunch alone every day.

This can be particularly complicated if your new country has a different official language than your home country, if the culture is significantly different, if you don’t have a day job (a place to go every day where you’re forced to be with the same people), or if you’re shy.

 

Expats are your friends

This may be a controversial statement, but expats are your friends. Before I moved to a new country I always heard that it was bad to move to a new country and only surround yourself with other expats. Some do this and create an expat bubble, never learning the local language or truly assimilating into the culture. While this is bad and I do think that you should start learning the local language as soon as possible and practice it as much as you can, the simple fact is that you share a culture with other expats that can be utterly invaluable. This may be biased on my part, due to the fact that I now live in a culture where it can be very difficult to form true friendships with locals. Depending on where you live, this can be easier or harder. No matter what, other expats (whether from your home country or not) share the experience of moving away from their families and friends as adults and trying to make it in a new culture where many of the locals’ bonds are already formed. They’re away from their families during holidays and celebrating days no one in their new country even recognizes (here’s looking at you, Thanksgiving), just like you. All of the close friendships I’ve made since moving have been with expats, and many of them not from my home country.

 

Cultural differences

Familiarize yourself with cultural differences, both those of your adopted country and your new country, as well as those of nearby countries and of the expats you meet. One of my closest friends in Portugal is from Austria. She is an entrepreneur working the field of intercultural communication and her boyfriend is Portuguese. She opened my eyes to a lot of things about Portuguese culture that were very alien to me as an American. “Now” in Portuguese really means “soon,” and, “I’m arriving,” can mean anything from, “I’m on my way,” to “I’m leaving soon.” Before she clarified to me these differences and taught me to learn and accept them, I was very frustrated. Additionally, I know that her culture and my culture share similarities around values of timeliness, which is one reason why our friendship works so well. We know what each other means when we say, “I’ll be there at 7,” and we can trust each other to satisfy the need to feel that our time is respected. So familiarize yourself with the cultural expectations of the people you meet and you’ll get along much better with people around you. In my experience in Europe, Latin cultures share cultural similarities, Germanic cultures share similarities, and Americans are actually somewhere in between. It can be fun to observe the differences and similarities and also can be a great topic of conversation, especially in Europe where people are used to being in close proximity with vastly diverse cultures.

 

Fearless networking

Music can be a great help to your assimilation and to finding like-minded people, especially if you work with a type of music that’s common in your country. Unfortunately for me, as a classical, cabaret, and performance art fusion artist, there’s not a lot of my kind of work going on in my chosen city. That made things very hard for me during the first year. It took me an entire year to find a suitable voice teacher. But if you’re a jazz musician or you’re moving to a new city specifically to further your music career, you will have it much easier. If that’s you, then you know what to do. But if you’re like me, and you’re trying to continue a musical career while living in a place that has nothing to do with your music, trust me, you can still have your career. Some countries have a more active online presence while others are more word of mouth. Talk to people as much as possible. Shamelessly ask them for their contact information and tap them for help getting into the scene. Research using Facebook, find venues, send them messages, find artists, follow them, go to events and talk to people. Use google translate. Accept that depending on where you are, this process can be slow.

Then, if you don’t already, make your presence known online. When looking for opportunities, whether local or international, having examples of your work readily available online is key.

 

Embrace the journey

It is going to be frustrating to be suddenly without the connections you had at home. It can make you feel that you’re going nowhere or that you’ve ruined your career. I truly believe that expanding your life into a new country enriches you and your career as well. Overcoming the adversity makes you stronger, and the networking required to get your life up and running again is a skill you’ll need to expand your presence in the world as a musician. Adversity is good. Embrace it and be patient.

 

A few resources that may be helpful:

Facebook – Good for finding events, venues, local expat support groups, and for connecting with other musicians.

Meetup – Good for finding events to help with making like-minded friends.

Expat forums – Great for getting questions answered in English about local specific or general expat questions. Google ones that are relevant to your new country.

Google Translate – Get the app and download the local language to use offline. Helps in daily life as well as online searches.

“Fluent in 3 Months” by Benny Lewis – An any-language learning guide that really helped me getting started with Portuguese.

– Guest post by Allie Mazon

Skid Row Joins Kaces Artist Family

In 1996 Skid Row had top ten singles, gold and multi-platinum album sales, and a No. 1 slot on the Billboard album chart. Skid Row returned to the big stage, opening for Kiss in 2000!

New plans to conquer the world came together in an Atlanta recording studio, but in a different time and a different industry, they decided to record a series of EP’s. The guerrilla burst of recording a concise EP fostered a focused intensity that was liberating. The resulting sound is rambunctious exuberance. They got older, but Skid Row never really grew up. United World Rebellion is still the youth gone wild, their musical spark still burning gasoline.

Skid Row’s second EP “Rise of the Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter 2” was released on August 6th, hot on the heels of their triumphant appearance at this year’s Download Festival. Their current 18-month long United World Rebellion Tour has blasted at full volume in over 30 countries and leaves no doubt that Skid Row is back on the battlefield in full force.

Kaces is proud to support Skid Row, and welcome them to our growing family of artists.

Kaces Goes Retro With Tweed Hardshell Cases For Electric Guitar

Tweed Tweed2Music accessory manufacturer Kaces announces the official arrival of the new tweed hardshell case for electric guitar. These vintage-inspired cases are the perfect blend of style and function, sporting a bold look, while providing dependable, comprehensive instrument protection.

With a rugged 5-ply wood exterior, a tough woven tweed outer covering, and reinforced outer valences stitched through the wood for maximum durability, the Kaces tweed guitar case is built to last. The interior features soft and striking red padding as well as a convenient storage compartment for all the essential accessories. Each case is finished with locking, gold plated latches, hinges and feet, and like all Kaces hardshells, the tweed case is backed by a 1 year limited warranty.

Kaces tweed hardshell cases are the perfect fit for guitarists looking for a little something extra.

To learn more, visit us at www.kaces.com

Get Ready For Back-To-School With Kaces Redesigned Percussion Line!

Instrument case and music accessory maker Kaces is now shipping it’s popular and newly redesigned line of school percussion bags. These back-to-school season favorites now sport a modern new look, and deliver the function, value and durability the product line is known for.

Kaces Cymbal PorterKaces percussion line includes a broad selection of everyday items such as marching drum stick quivers, snare drum porters, bell kit porters, snare and bell kit duo porters, snare drum backpacks and bell kit bags. All porters feature durable heavy-duty wheels, convenient telescoping double-handles and either padded shoulder straps or built-in backpack straps. The Snare Drum Kit backpack model includes heavy-duty handles, a handy zippered music stand pocket, 2 additional accessory pockets for ample storage and built-in backpack straps for easy transportation. The Universal Bell Kit bag features a rigid compartment divider with pockets for sticks and mallets, an interior practice pad pocket, a large accessory pocket, ergonomic backpack straps and an adjustable padded shoulder strap. Another school season favorite, the Marching Drum Stick Quiver is constructed using highly durable 600D polyester material and is designed to make quick work of stick changes on the go. The quiver attaches easily to most marching drums with the convenience of adjustable hook and loop straps, and can hold two pairs of sticks, mallets or brushes.

Kaces also offers a full line of graphic printed practice pads, and all Kaces percussion bags come with a 1 year limited warranty.

To learn more, visit us at www.kaces.com

Kaces Redesigns Popular Cello & Upright Bass Bag Series

Kaces_Cello_BagMusic accessory manufacturer Kaces announces the arrival of newly redesigned Symphony and University Series bags for Cello and Upright Bass. These highly popular bags now feature a modern sleek look, along with all the convenient and protective features cellists and bassists love about these series.

University Cello and Bass bags feature 12mm high density foam padding for day-to-day protection, a bow pocket, accessory compartments for easy storage, and multiple double-stitched handles for convenient transport. All University Cello bags additionally include padded backpack straps.

Symphony Series Cello and Bass bags are constructed using extra-thick 20mm high density foam for maximum protection, a rich velour lining and a rigid reinforced bridge panel for added stability. Symphony Series bags also feature an adjustable front handle, two bow pockets, three extra-large accessory compartments as well as multiple double-stitched handles for easy carrying.

Both series include a 1-year limited warranty, and models are available for ¼, ½, and ¾ sizes. The University Series also offers a 4/4 cello option.

To learn more, visit us at www.kaces.com

Back By Popular Demand – 5-Ply Hardshell Guitar Cases From Kaces

Introducing A Modern Take On Traditional Guitar Case Style

Due to overwheKaces Hardshell Guitar Caselming demand, music accessories manufacturer Kaces is pleased to announce the launch of their newly redesigned hardshell wood case line for electric, dreadnought, classical and bass guitars.

Kaces new hardshell wood cases feature tough 5-ply wood construction, with a durable PVC outside covering. Reinforced outer valences are stitched through the wood to provide maximum durability, and a soft, padded interior and wide neck block cradle the instrument to ensure optimal protection during transport. An ample interior storage compartment provides a convenient place for accessories, and the case is finished with attractive and modern locking black plated latches, hinges and feet. All Kaces wood hardshell cases are backed by a 1 year limited warranty.

Kaces hardshell wood cases are a true modern classic, delivering both the style and function that guitarists demand.

Click Here To Learn More


Kaces is a leading global supplier of guitar, fretted instrument and music accessories for musicians of all genres. All Kaces products are designed based on the latest technology and materials, and Kaces is dedicated to providing high quality, affordable accessories, for beginners to professional musicians.

 

The Perfect New Accessory That Every Percussionist Can Use

Introducing The Crash Pad Jr. Drum Rug from Kaces
Music accessory manufacturer Kaces announces the arrival of the new KCP-45 Crash Pad Jr. Drum Rug, designed for e

Kaces KCP45 Drum Rug

conomy, portability and functionality. At 4 feet by 5 feet, the KCP-45 is the optimal size for small to mid-size drum kits, electric drum kits at, and is the perfect travel solution

for drummers on the go.

The Kaces Crash Pad Jr. Drum Rug is constructed using heavy-duty polypropylene fabric for durability and performance, and features a non-slip backing for reliable grip. Weighted corners are included

for convenient and easy setup, as well as a 1 year limited warranty.

The Crash Pad Jr. Drum Rug by Kaces delivers the versatility and function that today’s drummers demand, at a price point every drummer can afford.

Click here to learn more!

New Kaces Razor Mobile Producer Bag

Good news!

Kaces is adding yet another product offering to their expanding Razor series with the introduction of a new Mobile Producer bag designed for musicians, DJs, mobile recordists, and portable studio enthusiasts.

Razor Mobile Producer Bag

The bag features a padded compartment capable of accommodating up to a 17″ laptop computer, with a separate large interior space designed to hold headphones, audio interfaces, hard drives, a Serato®, or other equipment.

Multiple pockets and pouches on the inside are strategically located for easy storage and quick access to cables, adapters, cartridges, CDs, iPod®, cellphone, and other accessories. A padded, messenger-style shoulder strap is also included, along with a soft but sturdy carry handle that comfortably conforms to your hand. The entire package is protected with a durable water-resistant ballistic black nylon exterior sporting the popular Kaces razor slash design.

When you’re on the road, you need gear that won’t let you down. The Kaces Mobile Producer bag features ample storage for the equipment you need, with a rugged, stylish design that will stand up to the challenges of the real world.

Main interior compartment (17”x12”x3.5”)

Padded laptop compartment (17”x12”x1.25”)

Model KXDJ