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The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned: Invest In Yourself and Follow Your Passions

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I’ve been making music my whole life. I started playing piano at age five, guitar at twelve, and started writing songs around the same time. I used to get in trouble when I was young for drumming on my desk or singing during class. All I wanted to do when I was young was write songs, sing, and play music. I’d sit in my parents’ basement for hours fiddling with Garage Band, recording, making beats, and playing with ideas. Time was irrelevant — I got lost in the creative process. At 15, my dream was to become a famous songwriter and producer. However, over time, I saw how difficult it would be. Logic prevailed and I dismissed my dreams, thinking “I could never make this happen…I’m not good enough….I don’t want to struggle….it’s not possible”.

I took the practical route and went to business school. Music took a backseat as business, marketing, and sales became my future. Upon graduation, I was lost. I knew I wanted to be involved in music, so I pursued the business side of it, working in A&R, music marketing, sponsorships, and advertising. In 2014, I ended up working at VEVO in NYC. Artists cycled in and out of the office, performing and promoting their music. These concerts left me sad, angry, and frustrated — envious that they were following their passion while I was too scared to do anything with mine. And then something changed. I admitted to myself that all I wanted to do was make music and I committed to making that happen.

I quit my job and moved to San Francisco. I started to set small, important goals that would contribute towards my larger mission. I got a restaurant job to pay the bills, made sure to play guitar every day, forced myself to play one open mic a month, and started writing again. Shortly after moving to the city, I started playing music with a few guys I had met and I was eventually on stage again.

I moved to Los Angeles in 2015 to turn my hobby into a career. I knew that the city was filled serious musicians trying to make a name for themselves. I wanted that for myself but continued to struggle with self doubt. I took a deliberate effort to move past my insecurities. Over the course of a few months, I read self-help books, listened to podcasts, TED talks, and meditation recordings to try to retrain my mind. In 2016, I met producer Louis Bartolini. Lou invited me into his studio where we began writing and recording together. He mentored me and helped me work through all of my roadblocks, allowing me to open up and record great music for the first time in over eight years.  I found myself in the process. Now, a year later, I’m releasing my first single as an artist and I’ve signed a licensing deal with Lip Sync Music off the songs I’ve recorded.

At the end of the day, the most important thing I’ve learned is to invest in yourself and pursue your passions. It’s very cliche, but you need to listen to your heart. You need to do the things you love and work hard at them. It might mean making a big change, taking a step back, gaining perspective. It might mean holding down a day job in order to support your creative ambitions like I do. You have to ask yourself, “What is it that I want to do? Why am I not doing it? How do I get there?”….and then make a decision to take action and work for it.

Doug DeLuca is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist living in Los Angeles, CA. His sound is textured by big backing harmonies, raw instrumental riffs, and an intentionally imperfect live feel – capturing rhythmic elements of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s soul music. He’s represented by Lip Sync Music for licensing and has begun performing locally in and around Los Angeles. His first single “Hit Your Mark” was released on September 1, 2017. His debut EP is scheduled to be released in February of 2018. 

Follow Doug DeLuca:

Twitter: @delucadoes






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Angela Mastrogiacomo

Founder of Infectious Magazine & Muddy Paw Public Relations. Lover of passion, ice cream, and books.

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