No matter if an artist is fully established and already kicking major goals or literally just starting out on making beats and playing gigs, there’s always some things that have to be given up or sacrificed for their music careers. Whether it’s skipping birthdays, losing friends, or missing big family moments; life in the studio or on the road comes with thrilling highs, but also the lows of missing out on a normal life with its creature comforts.

PEDESTRIAN.TV sat down with Col3trane and X Ambassadors as well as Interscope Records’ new signings ren and Johnny Utah about what they’ve had to give up to chase their dreams, and what they can’t live without while on the road.

“I wanna say my phone, but that’s so obvious,” said Johnny Utah, when I asked him what he can’t travel without.

“I gotta have tea. I have that everywhere. I’ll make sure I have tea everywhere that I go, because I’ve suddenly gotten into tea. I’m a tea guy now, I guess.”

As for what he had to give up, he said he doesn’t feel like he had to sacrifice much to pursue music, because it’s something he’s always just worked into his daily routine. He did have to give up his day job at a fried chicken shop in Philadelphia, though.

He credits his chill approach to the fact that he can’t just focus in for a big block of time to create and mix his own music (which he does in his bedroom, btw) and honestly, isn’t that just the dream.

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As for X Ambassadors, it was more about losing out on precious family time and having a normal home life that was the biggest thing they’ve sacrificed to pursue music, which now involves things like casually writing for Lizzo.

“Social life. Literally everything,” said drummer Adam Levin.

We all have wives and girlfriends. Casey (guitar/keyboards) has a son now. We were gone for six weeks at the end of the year last year, and then we were home for a month, and now we’re gone for seven. So you miss out on a lot.

Lead vocalist Sam Levin said he felt like settling into life was something he just can’t do as a touring musician and that short stays at home between tours are like a “tease” of a normal life.

“I mean as much as we try, I feel like you’ve sacrificed being able to settle into your life routine,” he said.

Because life gets turned around every month or so doing something completely new and having to figure out a new routine.”

It teases you. You get little like teases of normalcy, and then all of a sudden, something happens.”

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For 17-year-old ren, who’s still in school while now on the world tour with her label buddies, said that she feels like she’s lost a lot of those schoolyard friendships a lot faster than her peers back home in Canada.

“The thing with that is that I can try my best to be with people,” she said.

But I know that the people – my real friends that I’ve been friends with for a long time and actually care about me – have always stayed on my side, and been there for me.

As for what she can’t be away from while she’s travelling, it’s her pillow, is she can fit it. And hell, if that ain’t a mood.

“If I’m able to bring my pillow, it’s my pillow,” she said.

Actually, I’ve got this mask. I’m like, really allergic to dust mites so the recirculation of the air on the airplane makes me super congested and gross and disgusting. So I’ve got this Humidi-flyer, a humidifier mask, and I don’t think I’d be able to sing without that.

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Col3trane, the North London rapper and singer, agreed that friendships are the number one thing he’s sacrificed for his music career, but said he’s found friends in different places instead.

“I think I don’t have as many friends as I would if I didn’t do what I do,” he told me.

“There’s people that I know that aren’t really my friends, but I know them and it’s cool. Then I also have the people that I love, so maybe it’s not really a sacrifice.”

He’s always gotta have his toiletries bag with him on tour, too. Which is extremely understandable considering his skin is FLAWLESS.

“My washbag. I’m very specific, I’m not like…I just have very specific things I use to take care of myself,” he told me.

For those playing at home, yes I did absolutely ask him to tell me his skincare routine.

I use a lot oh Kiehl’s stuff. Kiehl’s is my shit. I have this body wash that my stepma gave me that’s really good. I can’t remember what it’s called but I used that Kiehl’s face wash and the moisturiser. This deodorant that I like, my aftershave that I like. Just simple shit like that.

But if one of those things is missing, it’s just like a long way to go. That is like a staple thing from home. If I didn’t have that, I’d be smelling.

Which explains why his skin looks like this:

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Brb going to update my skincare regime stat.

Image: Jess Gleeson