We had the good fortune of connecting with Peter Fenn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Peter, what role has risk played in your life or career?
To me, you can’t build your own business or pursue your dream without risk. The cliche saying really is true, no risk, no reward. When I knew I wanted to pursue a career in music, I was working at Dropbox in San Francisco. It was a comfortable job and a lot of people (including myself) thought it was so risky to quit and go build a career from scratch in music. Even now that I’ve been doing music full time for 3+ years, I am still taking risks everyday. I’m saying yes to working with new people I’ve never met, or trying new production techniques I’ve never tried, or writing a line that’s maybe too honest. Risk plays a big role in my life and in music.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started playing the guitar and wrote my first song when I was 18. I had just broken up with my high school girlfriend and had a whole summer to myself, so i started writing break up songs (typical). I remember writing my first song, there was such a crazy rush and I was addicted. I went to college studying Philosophy and by my junior year I knew I wanted pursue a career in music but didn’t know where to start. I got a couple people together to play shows, and the whole time was writing songs. It wasn’t until I graduated college that I found music production and started recording demos of my own songs. When I turned 25 I quit my job at Dropbox and moved to LA to be a full time producer/writer. It’s been 4 years now that I’ve been doing it full time and I’m just proud of the fact that I took the leap. Now, everyday I get to wake up and make music for a living. I still cant believe it. Here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way: focus on your craft, always take an opportunity, one thing leads to another, find your tribe, don’t stop, don’t listen to peoples opinions, follow your gut, and don’t let the highs or lows rock you too much.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Mannn I love eating out. I’d take them to brunch at ChaCha Chicken and get Chilaquiles and mimosas. Then would hang by the beach, and walk around the cool neighbor hoods in Venice. I would also take them hiking, Los Leones is maybe my favorite local trail. So many amazing things to do here in LA. I would also bring them to my studio and let them freeestyle and have fun over beats.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been so many people who have played an important role in my journey. Definitely my whole family, my supportive girlfriend Sara Chung, my manager Eric Parker, Valentin Fritz, Zachary Knowles, Michael Einhaus, Aaron Glass, and so many others.
Photos by: Caity Krone and Sam Fisher