Taking a break: a note from Brady Gerber, founder of Headphone Nation
Dear reader, wherever you are in the world:
Goodbyes are always weird, and, in my experience, rarely final. So instead of saying goodbye, I’ll say that Headphone Nation is taking a break.
At this moment, I no longer have the time it takes to give this website the attention it needs or deserves. If I were to continue at my current rate, my posts would get shorter, my writing would grow lazier, and I would only post just for the sake of posting. Headphone Nation is entirely a labor of love, a mostly one-man effort and an ad-free, SEO nightmare that, with just me doing pretty much everything, is not sustainable. I still believe in this website’s mission to share excellent music from around the world outside the United States missed by the major publications – if, for whatever reason, I don’t return here, I hope someone will pick up where I left off and make it even stronger. And if I do return here, it will be after I’ve learned the best way to come back and make the website what it needs to be.
Though I’ve never been so busy, I am busy with exciting new opportunities; I’m continuing to write through freelance work and my weekly newsletter, and I am working on a few writing projects that I can’t wait to share once they are ready. I’m writing more than ever, but, ironically, I’m not sharing as much as I used to. That’s OK. Writing and creating content are two separate skills, as much as social media has blurred those lines. They can both be related, but I want to dig deeper into the former. (It doesn’t require Wi-Fi.)
When I started this blog, I was 18 and had too much to say, with no place to say it. The Tumblr boom and the novelty of having a blog had passed, but a blog was exactly what I needed at the time. I decided late that I wanted to write and did not pursue writing in college, and I didn’t know the first thing about getting published anywhere. But I knew I wanted to write, so I made my own platform to write, and I wrote. At first, I wrote about whatever I wanted, whether it be two sentences about a song I liked or, like my very first post, a poorly written review of my favorite album at the time. I wasn’t a good writer! I was still learning how to write well. I’m still learning how to write well, and this blog has been a huge part of my growth. I cannot overstate the importance for any writer to have a place to have total control and where you can write “bad” in order to write well. My place is now journaling, but everyone is different.
Seven years ago, I would have never guessed where Headphone Nation would take me and the doors it would open for me. I’ve always written these posts for myself, the artists, my family, and my friends who paid attention to stuff like this, so to grow an audience with pretty much zero marketing and to introduce people to new music has been fulfilling and an honor. To anyone who has ever read a post, interned at the website, contributed words, shared this website with someone, liked or followed one of its social media platforms, or heard music that made you stop and go wait wait, what is this, thank you so much. I’ll gladly take another email from an artist thanking me for taking a chance on their music over any number of likes.
You, reader, are the reason I’ve kept going here. You’re the reason why I’m stepping away, so I can grow as a writer and share with you something even better. I’m taking a break here, but we’ll talk soon.