Amrita Soon: Ticket To Nashville

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Raised by 35 people in 54 months
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My name is Amrita, I'm almost 18 and I have a crazy dream. A dream of being a singer/songwriter. It isn't really common career choice, I know. In fact, my grandmother has been trying to talk me out of doing music professionally ever since I told her that was what I wanted to do with my life.

Three years ago, I organised a couple of shows in Kuala Lumpur and released a little unplugged CD of my songs to sell as part of my fundraiser to get to Nashville. By June 2012, I had raised just enough money to get there and my dad and I got to visit Nashville for the Country Music festival (CMA Fest). It was one of the most magical experiences I've had so far. I also got to perform at Hotel Indigo and meet so many inspiring people. I learnt so much from that short trip, and I felt that I have grown a in my songwriting as well.

This year, I plan to go to Nashville again. This time to attend workshops, promote my EP that is due for release in May of this year. I have also been working on two songs that are being produced by a well-known producer in Nashville which I hope to release soon.

While in Nashville, I hope to develop myself through performing at open mics and also songwriter rounds. I've got a ticket "try again next time" for Bluebird Cafe's open mic stuck on my bedroom wall that I intend to try for too. A few of the main events I want to attend while in Nashville, and hopefully get to perform at are : The Nashville Songwriters Festival, CMA Fest and Teen Hoot. It would be awesome if you could help me get there.

I plan to stay in Nashville for at least a month, and the money from your contributions will help cover:
Flight (to and from): $1700
Lodging, food and expenses: $1500
Local traveling and transportation $300

With each contribution to my "˜Ticket To Nashville' fund, you would get a copy of my album (and more) when it is finished. There will be 5 songs on my there which I had written in the past few years and I can't wait for you to hear it.

I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement I've been getting so far, and I'm grateful for the possibility of you helping me get to where I want to go.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you have a lovely day :)


-Amrita

www.facebook.com/AmritaSoon
www.youtube.com/AmritaSoon
www.reverbnation.com/AmritaSoon
www.soundcloud.com/AmritaSoon
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Hey :) Thank you so much for helping me get to Nashville! I thought I'd update you on what has been going on this past week. I'll post more regularly on my page ( http://www.facebook.com/AmritaSoon) and on my blog ( http://strummingonsparklydreams.blogspot.com) after this. If you're friends with my mom on Facebook, you've probably already seen (and heard) a lot already. But these few days have been pretty exciting.
On the 1st of June, we left Kuala Lumpur and flew 12 and a half hours to Paris. I thought I could at least catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, but all I saw was fog, fog, and more fog. At least I got to watch some movies on the way here (Little Manhattan is great and you should watch it if you get the chance). The airport was architecturally fascinating, and so were their accents. The five hour layover at the Charles de Gaulle airport was long. Mainly because we were only allocated fifteen minutes of free wifi. I still hadn't gotten into rhythm of travelling, going through customs and all that, so we got a little lost before finding the right gate to wait at. Finally when it was time to board our next flight to Chicago, the gate changed and we had to walk all the way the other end. We had to go through a mandatory security interview before we boarded the plane. Even though we all spoke English, it was hard to understand what she was asking us about but we for through eventually.
Then, it was nine hours from Paris to Chicago. This flight felt a lot longer because they didn't provide us with individual screens to pacify our boredom. At this point I had no idea what time or day it was until the captain announced it as we landed. Even then, I wasn't sure if it was am or pm. Twenty one and a half hours of flying, and I still hadn't gotten the chance to sit by the window and gaze out into the clouds.
Chicago was quite a blur. We went through multiple baggage checks, went to the terminal and had it changed last minute again. The flight got delayed about an hour.
We arrived in Nashville at about 9pm local time, 4am in Paris time, and 10am KL time. It was confusing, but I was determined to beat jet lag. I guess constantly wondering if I'm crazy for doing flying to the other end of the world can be pretty exhausting. I went to sleep around midnight local time and woke up in the morning. Jet lag= 0 Me=1.
We met with the owners of the hostel the next morning, and they briefed us about what we were supposed to do. We would be volunteering at the hostel during our stay here. I'm quite excited. We didn't do much all day as we won't be starting our volunteer training until tomorrow, so we got some groceries and then hung out in our room. In the evening, we walked to the Belcourt Taps to see Megan and Liz. It was great. I've watched their youtube videos for so many years and finally got to see them live! After that, we stayed on to listen to Ira Wolf and Zack Joseph perform. They were incredible! It was quite a shame that most of the people in room left when Megan and Liz left. We bought their CDs and then took a taxi back. Now its 1am and we just Skyped with everyone back home. I'm playing my first gig here in Nashville on Friday!
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I've got so much to tell you, but days have been so busy that I'm trying to find time to write and journal every day. So far, I'm still stuck at Sunday. Monday marked the end of our first week. Its friday now so...
The sun played hide-and-seek with us for most of the week. It rained and then it stopped, it rained and then it stopped. I've been volunteering at the hostel, and I'm enjoying it a lot. Maybe I'm enjoying it more than I should. I fold the sheets, clean the floor and stuff like that. I learnt that its not always about doing what you love, but its also about loving what you do.
On Wednesday, a day before the festival, my mom and I went to Commodore Grille to try my luck at the Debi Champion's writers night there. We got there really early because we had planned to walk but Kodi, the person who was training us on working here offered to drive us there. While waiting we met a 'singing concierge' Tommy. He is a songwriter and, he talked to us about the music industry and gave us advice on what we should do. I ended up being the first to sign up.
If it is your first time playing here, they make you wait until everyone who is scheduled to play is done. It's like they are testing your patience, but at the same time you'd get to learn a lot about songwriting. There were 7 rounds the night, and it was 3 hours of awesome songwriters play.
I was in the 8th out of 9 rounds and I was so nervous. I met these two singer/songwriters, Camille and Anthony from New Jersey. It was their first time here too. Their songs are amazing, and you should totally check out their music: https://www.facebook.com/camilleperutomusic (I can't seem to find Anthony's page). At the end of the night, I thanked Debi and she gave me a hug. She is so nice and kind. We walked home and got home pretty late. I was too exited to sleep.
The next day was the start of CMA Fest. It was really fun. After I did my hours at the hostel, I walked over to the festival. Through all this, I'm learning so much about music and everything else too. I'm learning how to speak more, because everyone here talks a lot. They greet you with "Hi, hows it going?" or "Hey, how are you?" and sometimes, I don't even know that person but its just a general greeting.
On the first day, I got to see Charlie Worsham and Cassadee Pope perform at riverfront. He even came down and took photos and interacted with the people in front during soundcheck and Cassadee Pope is even better live than on TV, if that is even possible. I also went to the Martin Guitar booth where I sang at two years ago, and saw the same people I met then! They even remembered me, which I find very surprising because thousands of people pass by their booth each year. I sang a song and they gave me a t-shirt. They told me to come back again, and because my mom wasn't with me then and I wanted to show her this booth, I told them I would.
In the evening, we went to a place called Atmology. Ella Mae Bowen, Melissa Fuller, Hailey Steele and Lizzy McAvoy were singing in a writers round that evening. Ella Mae Bowen is my hero, and I was so excited to see her play. The show was set up like a living room and the atmosphere was very relaxed. Everybody's songs were so good, and so honest. I just sat there, amazed. It was the best writers round I had ever attended.
The next day after working at the hostel, I got to watch Danielle Bradbery perform. I got to riverfront just in time for her set. It's crazy to think how far she has come, because I used to watch her on The Voice on youtube and now she's one of the main performers at CMA Fest. I was walking downtown and saw this group of kids busking, so I gave them a dollar and took a picture. Mom and I made friends with a Japanese lady, Yukiko staying at the hostel, and I took her around broadway. It was really, really hot.
On friday, I played at the Martin Guitar booth again. I sang 'Dandelion Days'. After me, someone sang 'Wayfaring Stranger'. He later introduced himself as Steven. He plays the mandolin really well and his mom showed mea video of it. He even let me play his mandolin, but I didn't know any chords.
I also got to perform at Hotel Indigo that night. It was a full 30-minute set. I was so excited about that. I got there early but the organiser wasn't there yet. While waiting, I met Marta and her husband, Federock. They both make up the duo '12 Notes'. They were scheduled to perform as well. They flew here from Italy to do country music, isn't that awesome?
I was the first to perform. If was quite a rush, and was over before I knew it. Two
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Just arrived in Nashville. Thank you for all your kind wishes, and thank you for helping me get all the way here!! #doppelmyfund #nashville
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Today was the last Ticket To Nashville show. THANK YOU to Gourmet The Fruit 果妹 for allowing me to sing at your store, and to everyone for all of your support and encouragement. I'm leaving for Nashville tomorrow, and it still hasn't completely sunk in that this is really happening. ahgvdljebbajh
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Thank you so much for your support so far! I'm almost at $1000 funded! THANK YOU. Planning a show for next month, more details soon :)
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$3,296 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 35 people in 54 months
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Created February 4, 2014
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Have a blast!

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