Meet Tim Norton
I grew up like many suburban kids in Massachusetts – drowning in an elusive yet characteristically New England ‘sports obsession’ that I never got assimilated with. Rebellion drew me in. Music was an escape, so was pushing around a board. Skateboarding and music were my two huge creative outlets growing up; I’d lose track of time skating a ledge alone, or recording a song in my dad’s home music studio for hours. I went to Berklee college of music for three years, made incredible memories, friends and connections – while honing many of the professional skills I use today.
I then left Berklee and the fast paced North East and moved to CA, starting a jamband that focused on americana, songwriting and improvisational concerts. I was recognized for some awards and grew a local following, then changing the band a bit and heading out on the road to tour. 4 years of touring the Western half of the country taught me so much and as I sit here in quarantine, shit do I miss and cherish those marginally showered weeks, sleep deprived drives and new friends that you’ve known forever at every juncture.
Taking a break from the road in Fall of 2019 couldn’t have come at a stranger time. I had just built up residencies at multiple local music venues and started releasing music under my own name, while taking various digital marketing classes to help build my fanbase as an artist…….and then boom – covid19. No mo’ toh! No mo’ bars!
Sometimes things flow – yes. Sometimes you’re on a hot streak and you just have this magical sense of awareness, almost predicting things as you’re experiencing them….. But most of the time, it’s a flaming ball of chaos that you’re juggling with oven mits in the arctic. You need to keep warm so you hold on to the flaming ball of chaos, yet your mits are catching fire, so you have to have an extra set in your pocket to be sure you can continue on staying warm. That’s kinda like being a creative who doesn’t know any business skills. That’s kinda been my past 5 years. I wouldn’t change it for anything – burnt hands and all.
Well, I’m a musician. That’s a broad term in 2020 in terms of what I do. I create and intend to Inspire. I write, perform and market my music on my own. Since we have the ability to be an independent artist and operate sans label, I’ve assumed role of personal manager/booking agent/graphic designer/ tour manager/ merchandise manager/ performer / roadie / sound engineer / sales representative … the list goes on. I love the multi headed beast that owning and operating your own business/company/band/brand entails. It’s something I saw my mother do when I was young – start her own business from the ground up. I would watch her fail, then succeed then fail – so often that I got this sense of never giving up on yourself. That’s what I saw her do. Some have called me bull dogged for being stubbornly optimistic towards a ‘good’ outcome, but I find that a positive mind set re-enforces wins, gratitudes and all around reminds you of the best aspects of, well – yourself.
I’m proud to have released 3 records with my recent band Moves Collective and have a single out under my own name. I’m also proud and extremely grateful to have toured over 100 shows a year for the past few years, connecting with amazing people in places I never expected to feel at home. I’ve been told my ability to connect to my audience and read the room while improvising is what sets me apart from others, maybe my songwriting.. I’d say I’m still honing that all in…
In my opinion, success is found in the fulfillment of purpose that you set for yourself. Somedays I feel very successful and I certainly do not make 6 figures a year. Other days I feel like a failure, despite being surrounded by family and friends that love me. Completing a task or action, fulfilling a promise to my son, planning for something and executing well – all of this is success in my eyes. It’s not a simple definition because it’s always changing for me. I have a goal to support myself and family financially with my music and once I’m doing that each month, I will deem myself successful in that regards, but that’s only one small piece to the big puzzle of life. We’re encouraged to find as many puzzle pieces (fulfilling successes) as you can in this life, but many forget the more simple mindset of reflecting on the successes you’ve already experienced.