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L.A. Weekly publisher Brian Calle and podcast co-host Sara Tariq sit down with Singer/Songwriter CJ Tate to discuss what it really takes to make it as an artist in today’s world and the struggles we all face as we grow up and chase our dreams.

After being kicked out of his house, CJ had a hard choice to make: play it safe and stay in his hometown or make a big move and risk it all. He gambled on his talent and took a step out on faith, moving to L.A. to start what would become a fast rise to the upper levels of the music industry. From sleeping on his best friend’s couch to a viral record, this artist truly knows what it’s like to fight your way up from the bottom. Have you ever Googled how to do your job? Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it to ensure your dreams come true.

Identifying as an R&B and Pop artist, CJ talks about the talent that has influenced and guided his career. Sarah encourages him to share what inspires him, including his complicated relationship with his parents. Growing up is never easy – the group highlights some of their struggles, including Brian crashing his mom’s car in his very early teens.

The conversation turns to industry secrets, including Nicki Minaj’s supposed retirement and if Britney Spears is really being held hostage.

Headed to Vegas soon? CJ and Brian have some suggestions. Tip: it’s not all about the partying.

When you have a dream, you have to work for it. By staying true to his roots and putting in the time, CJ has enjoyed a meteoric success. What does the work week look like for a musician? Our guest shares what the grind looks like from his perspective.

Interested in what’s next? CJ gives an update on his upcoming project, as well as some uncomfortable truths about how his past guided him to the point he is today.

Tune in to this week’s podcast to learn tips on how to plan the best Vegas trip, why you shouldn’t steal your mom’s van, and what it’s really like to be a young recording artist trying to make it in today’s cutthroat world.

Listen to the podcast here or find it on iTunes here.