petersumusic - The Adventure Begins…
What I Will Be Blogging About
Since this is my first real Tumblr post - I’m just gonna set the stage really fast. In this blog - I’m going to be writing to express myself, share what’s on my mind and any opinions I may have on any subjects that I find interesting. A lot of it will be about my journey, from suit to musician. If you’re reading this, I hope you get some value out of this blog and enjoy it.
petersumusic - The Adventure Begins…
4:31pm PST, 7/23/11 - San Francisco, CA
Wow, so it’s really happening. Yesterday was my last day as a suit - maybe forever. Leaving behind the world of venture capital, finance, stability, straight lines…
Basically my thinking is, if I’m only going to live once - what’s the one thing that I have to do? What do I want to do, and what can I do (but the former is much more important).
I was thinking about creating a startup for a long-time (which is very cool btw), but I realized I actually have wanted to do music for even longer and that’s really the one thing for me. I thought about different options:
1) Work and pursue your passion on the side
2) Work until you make a ton of money and pursue your passion
3) Just go after your passion
I’m choosing door #3. I can’t believe I’m really doing it. I’m going to actually go full-time to write and play music. Craziness. As you can imagine, there’s a lot on my mind.
So after saying goodbyes to my co-workers (awesome people) and writing last day emails late into the evening yesterday - I slept pretty late last night.
I woke up today - with a light, easy feeling. I was slow to wake-up, like I usually am in the mornings - but for some reason I remembered this inspiring scene from Jerry McGuire and hopped out of bed, clapped my hands and said “TODAY IS GOING TO BE A GREAT DAY”.
My Musical Journey Up Until This Point
I’ll save this for another time, but long-story short - I’ve always loved playing and listening to music. I’m classically trained on the violin and piano - but my main instrument of choice is the guitar. I’ve taught myself how to play basic drums, bass, and ukulele too. In terms of voice, I’ve sung in different choirs and acappella groups - and love harmonies. It was in these groups where I learned how to beatbox.
I’ve played in front of audiences, but nothing super formal. I’ve jammed with people - but again nothing ever super formal. I also have notepads full of lyrics and poetry I’ve jotted down - but never shared with others.
These are all things I’ve been meaning to focus on for a long time, but just “never got around to it” because I was too busy chasing the golden ring, or too afraid to really chase after my dreams.
A friend told me a good quote recently - “make time, not excuses” that I really like.
What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?
It’s been my pipe dream to be a musician for so long - since high school actually.
Back then, my dad, as any good father would do, (I love you dad) kept asking me, “What are you going to do with your life?”
I kept saying “I don’t know, I don’t know”, until one day I half-jokingly told him, “I want to be a rockstar.”
To my chagrin, when my hs counselor asked my dad a few months later, “What does Peter want to do?”
He said, “Peter wants to be a rockstar.”
Make a Wish
Funny, now that I think about it. I’m starting to see a trend in my life - when I put stuff down on paper - it usually comes true later on.
For one of my college essays I wrote about wanting to become an investment banker (what was a I thinking??). 5 years later I found myself as an analyst at Goldman Sachs.
For my Haas essay (UC Berkeley’s undergrad business school, you apply your 2nd year) - I wrote about wanting to become a venture capitalist - “to fund people’s dreams”. 5 years later I found myself on Sand Hill as a venture capitalist.
Now - I hope whatever I write in this first blog post will come true too :)
1) Create good music that I believe in, that others can believe in too
2) Make a living so I can continue to play more and more music
I could die a happy man - if (in addition to having great relationships with those that I love), I wrote songs that I thought were awesome that >1 person connected with and if I could travel the world playing for people and they actually want to come listen and see me.
If I could do all this and be able to support myself and my family - I would be very happy.
Other Things I’d Like To Do Musically Before I Die
Right now, I recognize I’ve done nothing in terms of music - or close to nothing. I’m like a speck of sand, stuck to the ABC gum under someone’s sandal - melting in the trunk of his friends car. But I’ll shoot for the moon here (hey, why not?)
It’d be great if during my lifetime I could:
-Hit a millions subscribers on Youtube (or some other platform)
-Win a grammy
-Tour the world
-Play and record music with musicians I really respect and admire
(Rivers Cuomo, Brian Wilson, Prince, Brian McKnight, Wang Leehom, David Tao, Jay Chou, Stevie Wonder, Boyz II Men, David Choi, Bruno Mars, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Billy Joel, Jesse Barrera, Kina Grannis, Legaci, Traphik, Dumbfounded, Jin, Clara C, Jenny Suk, Jennifer Chung, Cathy Nguyen, AJ Rafael, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, RHCP, Lady Gaga, Rain, George Clinton, Daft Punk, Jay-Z, Eminem, Tiesto, etc. - haha, this is turning into a real wishlist)
-Write at least one song that when it comes on on the radio, or in the club - people can’t help but get up and start dancing (i.e. a “Billie Jean” or “Don’t Stop Believing”)
-While we’re at it, it’d be great if they played my songs in stadiums and one day I could lead the crowd during the world series or superbowl (like Steve Perry did during the World Series last year in SF!)
-Play one of my songs, while standing on the moon
-Rebuild the music industry from scratch - so that listeners have access to the best music possible, and artists have the means to create the best music possible (not sure which is harder, this - or my previous goal)
Until Next Time
Alright, that’s it for my first post. I wrote a line in my “Last Day” email to friends and colleagues that rings especially true for me, that I’ll re-post here:
"For the first time in my life I don’t know exactly where or what I’ll be doing in 3 months - it’s scary, but exhilarating."
Yeah, so I have no idea what’s going to happen or how it’ll all play out - but one thing is for sure though - it’s going to be an interesting adventure!
Until next time…