Meet Diane Durrett. She’s a multi-careerist based in Georgia. We’re both in the music industry, and I’ve known her for many years. I recently saw her perform live, and she blew me away with her artistry. She is a terrific singer & songwriter who deftly manages her careers.
- Singer & songwriter
- Producer & engineer
- Music Series curator
- Vocal Coach
On her motivations for having many careers
Survival mostly. I do like juggling.
But seriously I am driven by a my purpose.
I naturally have creative, technical and community-building interests.
These usually fall within the music or entertainment industry. Like wearing “different hats” with the same outfit.
On how long she’s had many careers
Started out as singer/songwriter over 30 years ago and that lead to producing music. Then recording technology changed I shifted with it and learned to engineer in ProTools about 20 years ago.
Coached vocals between recording sessions about 10 years and in the last 6 years I’ve become a Music Curator for city concert series.
Advice to aspiring multi-careerists
It’s a way to always keep doing what you love. I’ve noticed that focused time on each ‘hat’ or career can be helpful.
I look at it in sort of a seasonal way even though they can overlap.
Winter is good for songwriting and recording.
Spring and fall are good for playing live shows, for example.
On overcoming obstacles
Getting pulled in too many directions. I will just stop and sit down, get in a meditative space. Go back to the basics.
Why am I here?
What season am I in?
What is my priority right now ?
On how a multiple careers are mutually beneficial
It has given me more financial stability. Also more control of doing what I really want to do. As an artist it keeps me from accepting offers that will burn me out so I can always give my best.
On personal time
When you’re doing what you love you often feel like that it is personal time.
Having family and friends that understand why you have a portfolio career really makes a difference.
On what she wishes she had learned earlier
I’ve always had a dual career but it’s more common now.
I think more people accept it and see the benefits.
On the stigma of having many careers
In the past there was but I think the ‘gig’ economy seems to have made it more acceptable.
I’m sure on some level it remains but you got to be yourself.
On sublimating ego
I’ve done many a “side gig.” Driving a limousine in Nashville was one of my jobs. I didn’t want to be driving a limo I wanted to be riding in one! I was bored as I waited for my clients so I started writing about the day. Later I turned that journal into a book called Driving Music City.
Since I was a teenager I have known that I have a “calling” to sing, write and share my music. Having a portfolio career helps enlighten, develop and sustain me on my journey.
A Day in the Life
The only constant in my schedule is my morning quiet time!
It is so different every day depending on the season but here’s an example of one of my “office” days:
8:30 walking the dog
9:00 – Noon – working on a song or editing a recording
Noon – 1pm break – spin / eat lunch
1:00 – 2:00 zoom call
2:00 – 3:00 catch up on booking calls, emails and socials
3:00 – 5:00 listen to artists, contact agents to book artists for series and send contracts
5:00 pm – my dog comes in the studio to remind me to feed & walk the dog
6 pm dinner
7 pm – 10 pm band rehearsal or recording
Where to find Diane
Kabir Sehgal is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner, as well as New York Times bestselling author.