Today we’d like to introduce you to Juan Luchini.
Hi Juan, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I am a musician and performer, born & raised in St. Louis.
I have parents who are immigrants from Argentina, and I spent four years living and working in Argentina as a performing musician. I was also a contestant in 2016 on a nationally-televised PBS show called “Song Stage” where songwriters would compete on a big stage for a secret grand prize.
I currently play in a couple of local St. Louis projects including 18andCounting TheOnlyEnsemble (hip-hop/experimental) and Drangus (indie-electronic/dance). I also play keyboards and percussion and sing in an up-and-coming touring funk and soul band based out of Chicago called Sneezy.
All of my experience as the son of Latino immigrants and a self-taught multi-instrumentalist playing in different projects, both as a frontman and as a supporting musician, has contributed to where I am today.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have been plenty of struggles in my journey so far. In fact, I am still in what some would call the “paying your dues” stage of my career. I have experienced loss, rejection, and hearing that my skills or music would never amount to anything.
I had a two-year hiatus from music while living in Nashville, because, at that moment in my life, I let the idea that I had to look or sound a certain way, or have a certain amount of “success” in my craft, stop me from being my most authentic self as a musician and songwriter.
I struggled deeply (and still do at times) with comparitis (comparing myself to others in my field, regardless of vastly different styles or upbringings), and only as I’ve gotten into my 30s, have I realized that my journey as a musician and artist is unique to myself and that is what makes it special.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a multi-instrumentalist and singer.
My journey as a growing musician and performer has developed around the desire to feel comfortable playing or writing with almost any instrument you see in a band (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and singing). I am thankful for years of experience as a performer and touring musician because it’s taught me to bring something special when the time comes to share music with new ears.
I love to produce and help fellow artists with their productions/arrangements. Over time, with those with that I’ve developed a musical rapport and trust, I am known for bringing new spice and flavor to a song or live performance. I enjoy thinking about the progression or a story a song can tell us, and I have a special ability to tap into what gets other people excited in music.
People often come to me to gain a fresh perspective on a song or an arrangement they are working on. I also take pride in my ability to curate song setlists and develop an exciting, dynamic flow in a live-show setting. Currently, my role in Sneezy is as a keyboardist/percussionist/vocalist.
I also help with behind-the-scenes things such as tour logistics, booking in new cities, writing/learning new songs, and creating an exciting setlist for each show.
Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
Risk-Taking is essential as an entrepreneur working in the arts/music/creative industry.
Now more than ever, there is an abundance (maybe even an over-saturation) of people trying to put themselves out there as artists but unaware of where to start or how to hold onto their individuality in a world dominated by image, popularity, and social media clout over talent and originality.
Those of us who aim to stay true to our artistry and identity are going against the grain when we refuse to make art or share our talents with the world for recognition instead of true expression.
As a touring musicians in an up-and-coming band, we are constantly taking risks. We risk playing for an empty venue in a new city, losing money on tours, and our friends, family, and peers judging us while we take the non-conventional route to a life of fulfillment.
On countless nights, I have slept on random couches or floors in random cities, skipped out on breakfast or dinner, and drove more than 10 hours in a day to get from one city to the next. But with great risk comes the possibility of great reward, if you choose your risks wisely.
It is certainly easier to take on the challenge of being an aspiring musician/artist/performer in this day and age when you have good company to take on the world with you. Luckily, I’ve met some very special, unique, and talented people on my journey that have reminded me at my lowest points that I too am special and have something magical to offer the music fans of the world.
I’m excited to see what the next year holds – we are finally getting bigger festival and show offers, and if we continue growing at this rate, we might actually be able to call doing music a full-time thing!
- Sneezy Live Show ($2.5k)
- 18andCounting Live Show (1k)
- Drangus Live Show (1k)
- Website: https://www.sneezyband.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sneezymusic/ https://www.instagram.com/luchinijuan/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sneezymusic/
Russ Boxer and Tom Farr