For the moment, firey Blues blondie Genevieve Chadwick is happily playing for pennies.
She’s making enough to keep herself on the road – or from worrying about day time jobs – and to be blunt, the life of a cash strapped musician has actually been good for her health.
“I quit smoking, I quit drinking and I turned into a hermit” she laughs of her winter hiatus.
“I took a break over winter, played some gigs sporadically and I worried how I was going to financially support myself for it.
“But I changed a few bad behaviours while I had this break, and it was about time that I did. It’s weird, I think I’ve been all right, maybe that’s just because it’s meant to be that way.”
As a dynamic but hard-up muso, it’s no wonder emerging international charity Playing for Change poached her talents.
Created by American producer and good friend Mark Johnson, PFC aims to provide a musical education for people all over the world; Chadwick came into play through Johnson’s vision of filming street musicians in their home countries performing the same song, which is then spliced into one heartstring-tugging music video.
“It’s a really awesome idea about uniting people through music,” Chadwick says, recently took part in recording and filming for the Australian leg in Sydney.
“It was a really cool thing to be a part of, it’s like a big family, they’re amazing people and we connect, so I want to keep them in my life.
“I’m a very positive person myself, so anything that is spreading good in the world, I’m going to jump on that bandwagon.
“If somebody asks me to play for charity, and I can fit it in my schedule, I’m more than happy to oblige.”
Johnson’s baby has been such a hit so far – with more than one billion views on YouTube – so Chadwick is accessing a whole new audience.
“Just to be looked at by a potential audience that large, is a massive thing for my career,” she says.
She’s also been progressing nicely through the stages of the Telstra Road to Discovery; the winners get some valuable face time with several of Australia’s best known acts.
“It’s a good opportunity to ask some hard hitting questions I need answers to,” Chadwick says.
“I want to know how musos are sustaining themselves when they’re not on tour. Are they holding down secret other jobs?
“I know a lot of musos in Australia who seem to be quite successful in their craft, but financially they need to find other ways to support themselves.
“I’m hoping a few people will give me some home truths about it (laughs).
With a passion to perform, Chadwick admits she’d be far from the model employee.
“I’m close to getting a job, but I don’t know how employable I am. I’d have to say I might not be around here, and I’m probably not available for three months” she laughs.
“As a solo act I’m able to get around and do what I do, and it pays for itself. I really feel like I’m on my right path and I’m enjoying my journey. It looks like the universe is providing (laughs).”
Genevieve Chadwick plays the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival November 8-11