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17

Cheryl Hodge: Chasing the Muse

Kathy Sanborn By

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CH: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—all are very, very important. I try to limit my time on FB to about 30 minutes a day. By nature I am a very politically motivated person. I have strong views. So I have to tone that part down. A well-known publicist got on my case about the fact that every time I voice my political opinions I am alienating myself from a large portion of my listening audience. So I mostly just use those platforms to connect with musician friends and great business acquaintances. The first time I realized how important social media was, I was at a gig in NYC. I had never gigged there before, and the place was packed—just packed—all because of my Facebook and Twitter posts. Hallelujah!

AAJ: What keeps you creating new music? What inspires you to keep going when times get tough?

CH: I don't want to sound corny here, but my audiences inspire me. Every time I see their faces light up when they get the message of one of my songs, I'm inspired to do more. Once a man came up to me at a gig and told me that he was going to commit suicide that night, but after hearing one of my songs about pulling through a personal tragedy, he was ready to give life another go. I'm happy when people sing with me, too. It's all about communicating and sharing our experiences in this crazy ride called Life. I only hire band members who believe in my music, and are willing to go through the dark and the light with me on the bandstand—people who are willing to chase the muse.

AAJ: Any other biz tips that you would like to share with our readers?

CH: Well, here's something interesting. If I had my career to do all over again, I would have taken a course in how to remember people's names. I was in the perfect position a few times for major breaks when I was a rock and pop musician. Not remembering who people were cost me a lot. Also, develop your social skills constantly. Never forget this golden rule: Always treat other people the way you would want to be treated. If you're on the radio or TV, never forget to mention the people who are helping you the most (recording company, manager, agent, whoever), especially when accepting an award.

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