“You can just skate by in this city. A lot of people prioritize going out to shows, starting bands, drawing cartoons — [stuff] that isn’t respected by society at large but is totally up my alley. It’s a good community, even though that word is a little bit corny. A lot of the bands I was into had been skipping D.C. on their tours and here, there’s a really great house-show scene. It’s more about people having fun. The Mean Jeans, we’re into people having fun.”
→ Mean Jeans are touring the West Coast.
●Moved to Nashville in 2008.
“I loved growing up in Potomac, but being at an all-girls Catholic high school — I went to Our Lady of Mercy [for grade school, and Georgetown Visitation for high school] — it was really demanding, and people didn’t have a lot of extra time for being in a band.
“I went to Clemson and majored in vocal performance. But I left for Nashville the middle of my sophomore year because I just felt like I had to put myself in the best position possible to make my dream a reality. All the resources that I need are in Nashville. There are so many talented people here, it pushes you to evolve as a musician more quickly. I had so many opportunities to write with seasoned songwriters and that helped me hone my skills. My producers are in Nashville, the studios are here and there are so many opportunities to perform.
“D.C. has changed in the five years I’ve been away, and there seems to be a more creative side to it now. I think if it had more venues, it would flourish even more — medium-sized venues for newer artists.”
→ Maggie Rose’s album “Cut To Impress” is out March 26. She performs March 8-9 at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.
●Moved to Brooklyn in 2011.
“The best place to make your name in hip-hop is anywhere outside of New York, but I still found myself one too many times being asked, ‘When’s the next time you’re coming to New York so we can schedule this meeting?’ Or, ‘my videographer is in New York, so if you can do it up here, we can do it half-price.’
“I realized that D.C. is a great place for lobbyists, for IT people. But for the photographers, graphic designers, videographers and everyone else that propels my industry, it’s not necessarily the best place.
“I’m still constantly back and forth between New York and D.C. — one of my most successful records was called ‘Rock Creek Park,’ and I produced it in Brooklyn. My ties to D.C. are unbreakable and unquestioned.
“I’m not mad that D.C. isn’t a place where I could stay. This is a country built on job specialization. When you want to get into the computer industry, you go to Silicon Valley. If you want to make dairy, you move to the Great Lakes. We’re already fortunate enough in this country where artists have two cities to choose from — New York and L.A.
“To ask for every person’s home town to be on the same level is almost unfair.”
→ Oddisee is preparing for a tour of Australia.