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Meet TJ Moss of Mojo Jackson

Today we’d like to introduce you to TJ Moss.

TJ, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Back in 2010, I was living in New York City. My band was playing shows on the weekend, but I was working as a cater waiter to pay the bills. I was cold and tired of barely getting by. So I bought a van on Craigslist and hit the road with two friends. We headed straight to San Diego to escape the NYC winter.

What I found here was so much more than just good weather. I found a place where people saw the world like I did. A place where people were more interested in connection than the competition. A place where my music could make me an honest living.

I began as a busker, a street musician, singing on the PB boardwalk and at various farmer’s markets. It wasn’t easy to make ends meet, but it was worth it because I was finally “living the dream.” Many of the relationships I made busking on the street, I have maintained to this day. I learned over and over that if you just show up, you might just make a connection that will change the course of your life.

Eight years later, I’m still here. I kept showing up. I’ve gone from surviving to thriving. My band, Mojo Jackson, plays 8-10 shows a month. I recently received my yoga teaching certification with Corepower Yoga in North Park. I play music at restaurants, bars, nursing homes, churches, yoga classes, weddings, & every other week at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market. I play music wherever people want to hear and feel something that will help them connect more deeply with themselves and others. It’s taken me 36 years to realize that I’m not just a musician, I’m a healer.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think the biggest struggle with being a working musician is that a lot of people don’t realize the time, effort, and energy it takes to do this for a living. We have to pay for expensive PA equipment, instruments, mics, cables, strings, etc. We have to drive to a gig, set up, play the show, break down, drive home. And yet, we only get paid for the 2-3 hours we’re actually playing music.

Part of the journey as a musician is to realize your worth. To recognize your own value. To recognize the value that you bring to the party, event, bar, restaurant that you’re playing. When you finally begin to see that for your yourself, people start to pay you what you’re worth.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mojo Jackson story. Tell us more about the business.
My band Mojo Jackson is made up of three singer-songwriters. We all sing, write, & play multiple instruments. What sets us apart is our ability to sing three-part harmony.

People LOVE harmony! They don’t just hear it, they feel it. Some of the best moments of my professional life have come when we step away from the microphones and step out into the crowd and sing unplugged.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The music industry has changed so much over the past 10 years. The internet has been a double-edged sword for musicians. It’s allowed our music to become much more accessible to the public, but it’s also created a much more saturated market. It’s also driven the culture. A lot of people don’t feel the need to pay for music anymore because they can get it for free.

I think eventually people will get tired of staring at tiny screens all day. People will get back to connecting with people on a more personal level. And I think music can play a huge part in this. When Mojo Jackson sings together, we connect on a very deep level. When people see this, more often than not they want to get involved. Our mission is to not only connect with people but help people connect with themselves. Life is hard. There is so much to process in each moment. When you can lose yourself in something for a little while, it is such a gift.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Christian Taylor, Rebecca Dunn, Pamela Moulton, Diva Hammond, Vanessa Mills

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