We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam Rochelle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I have a hard time deciding where the boundary is at this point. I’ve met most of my friends through gigging and working together on stage or in the studio, so our time spent together is often in the context of music regardless. Most music performing I’ve done goes on at night as the entertainment for others’ free time; but rather than seeing it as work while others are having fun, I generally see it as hanging out with my friends on stage. As a producer, I always have an artistic interest in whatever client’s project I am working on, so I enjoy being expressive through that medium as well. Though I don’t spend a lot of time not “working” at this point, it doesn’t feel out of balance with life because I’ve surrounded myself with friends and projects that are personally fulfilling as well as productive for my career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think I have a really flexible combination of musical backgrounds, allowing my career to stretch from jazz gigs to pop production. It’s helped me learn that while intense focus is important, constantly incorporating new diverse ideas and influences keeps things fresh and keeps creating value for others. I regularly take time to listen critically to music from different areas and take notes on things I’ve never noticed before; whether performing or producing, it always finds its way in so my stuff doesn’t get stale. One of the skills I’m proudest of that sets me apart is my ability to reverse-engineer musical concepts. When a production client shows me some examples of what they want their track to sound like, I can very quickly get us to a really authentic demo that sounds like their influences and then we go from there to make it unique. Similarly in the keyboard half of my career, I love to be observant listening to a band I’m about to perform with or record for in order to calibrate the exact keyboard playing that fits with their music. My interest in nuances in the sound people are looking for me to create is something I know is always appreciated.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve loved living in LA for the easy access to beautiful hiking–I’m originally from a much flatter part of the country! I enjoy taking friends to some of the more remote gorgeous views in the Verdugo mountains and Topanga State Park. My favorite restaurants in the city are all along Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park & Silverlake. Mohawk Bend, Millie’s Cafe, and Triple Beam pizza are a few of my faves that I always try to bring friends to. And finally of course I’d take people to my favorite music spots (when concerts are around!). Bluewhale in DTLA always has really great modern jazz from both pros coming through the city and people that are friends of mine working their way up in their careers! And there are some amazing late night psuedo-secret jam sessions in Hollywood that really show the collaborative and supportive nature of the LA music scene (and the incredible musicianship!).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Of course, I have so many individuals and organizations that have encouraged me in my career so far. I’d specifically like to shoutout the Six Figure Home Studio podcast for the ways they’ve shaped the way I maintain my business as a musician. They have so many great discussions on how someone can build a functioning business out of a musical skillset without losing the artistic passion, as many do once they have to worry about turning something they love into reasonable income. They focus a lot on many aspects of mental health and self care, taking many episodes to talk about healthy work/life balance practices for the self-employed. Because a self-run business will only suffer if the life around it isn’t managed properly! They also have recurring themes that have changed the way I work for the better, like valuing systems & software that automate rote tasks so I spend more time on the thing I love.
Justin Urban, Wyatt Winborne, Kiyo Vigliotti