We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Turner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
If you show up consistently and treat it professionally, you CAN and will experience success in your dream job / entrepreneurship. In my case, being a full time musician felt impossible when I started. But I’ve treated my journey with as much professionalism as I possibly could. I’ve used my spare time to develop my craft rather than lazily binge media. I showed up every single day in whatever capacity I could. I nurtured my network contacts and relationships with respect and honesty. When I perform I arrive on time, I give it my all, and practice awareness towards everyone involved. These are all traits that one would exercise in a professional workplace, so why wouldn’t I apply them to the personal project that I would love to be my profession? It’s paid off, and though it’s taken me ten years of hard work, I’m finally cruising as a full time musician. It’s tight sometimes, but the work I’ve put in keeps showing up for ME now, by way of more gigs and support, as well as side hustles from the skills I’ve developed in my own pursuits (website development, graphic design, marketing, video editing, writing, composition, lessons, etc).
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a self-taught upright bass player, singer, writer, composer, and trumpet player. My current music project / brand / business, Free Creatures, has been experiencing great success… What sets it apart, I believe, is that we are entirely authentic in our presentation; no fancy outfits or gimmicks, just purely ourselves, and that’s created a brand image that’s fully and easily sustainable. Our band consists of me on bass and vocals and trumpet, my fiancé Marv Ellis on vocals and MPC, and Skyler Squglio on upside down left handed electric guitar. There is a combined experience of 45 years between the three of us. The fact that all three of us have dedicated so much time to developing our skills and networks is what contributes to our success as well, but when it comes down to it, our unique combination is what really sells the project. The music is really great also, which really helps. Sometimes it feels like luck that we’ve found ourselves here, but we are quick to recognize the years of hard work and struggle that brought us to this point. It has NOT always been easy; we’ve each faced our own setbacks and obstacles. Overcoming challenges has really all come down to one thing; PERSISTENCE. Bad gig? Practice more. Bad pay? Communicate more, promote more. Band sound system? Plan ahead more, study and understand what is needed and how to fix it… build your network, be kind to the industry professionals youre working with, build relationships, and be patient and willing to show up, and KEEP showing up, even when it was a hard day.
I want the world to know that my band, Free Creatures, has something amazing to share that is unique and refreshing; both in quality of music but also in the warm welcoming authenticity and grassroots community that is our brand.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I currently live in Southern Oregon in a rural town called Applegate. If it’s a week long visit, I would focus on outdoor activities such as rafting on the Rogue or Applegate Rivers, checking out the nearby Redwoods grove, or hiking one of the several mountains in the area. I’d take my guest to visit Ashland for a day of Shakespeare and culinary treats, or perhaps to visit Crater Lake for the afternoon. A lot of the noteworthy aspects of our area lie in nature more than culture, in my opinion.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to my partner, Marv Ellis. As a professional musician for 20 years before we met, he’s been a huge inspiration and mentor to me, as well as a massive source of support and guidance. He builds me up when I second guess myself, he explains other perspectives in the music industry, and also serves as a vita role model for ethic, hustle, and networking. Our band, Free Creatures, and the success we are enjoying, is in large part thanks to him and his dedication.
Other: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0LpduwmWlGEjMowPWrRc0R?si=sx2WmUXbQZO256jwD9QL6w https://music.apple.com/us/artist/free-creatures/1487711257 https://www.pandora.com/artist/free-creatures/ARjlj4j36xf23v6