From drilling oil out in the Gulf of Mexico to drilling out some serious tunes across the country, Frank Foster is an example to follow when it comes to class, entertainment, and fame.

But, for those looking to break into the music industry, Foster has some valuable insight as to what it takes to not just succeed, but to stay true to yourself.

Foster is currently kicking off his 2019 ‘Til I’m Gone Tour with sold out shows in El Dorado, Arkansas and Mobile, Alabama. Fans can also catch Foster as he tours throughout the southeast, or join him as he sets sails on the Blue Collar Cruise this February.

Read my edited interview with Foster below:

#1 –Some of Us Had a Tougher Journey Than Others

For the majority of us, we aren’t born in a palace. We have to work and work hard for what we want in life. In today’s era, it’s expensive just to live, and not necessarily comfortably.

Unlike many artists who may have been born into music since they hatched, Foster didn’t start out in the traditional sense.

When I was done with college, I was broke just like anyone else and wanted to make some quick money. I went to the Gulf of Mexico and worked on a drilling oil rig for six and a half years. In about the last 2-3 years of working on the rig, I was touring for about two weeks and then back in the Gulf for another two weeks. It was a tough time but it was the boom paying time and we always look back on those days.”

He emphasized to me that without the strong and dedicated support of his wife, he would not be where he is today:

When I was working at the shore, [my wife] was working as an RN. But then, when we were on the road, she would go with us on the weekends. Eventually, we got to the point where the money started to balance out on the music side, so she was able to leave her job and throw herself full-fledged into my career. Once she did that, it jumped ten-fold and then a year later I was able to walk away from my job. From there, it was all systems go. She was and has been my biggest cheerleader and supporter.”

# 2—We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

Since the digitization of music, the 21st century music industry is nothing like its predecessors.

It’s a great time to break into the music business,” said the country star, “because you can almost do it on your own through social media and other resources. You can post a video on social media and become famous within a week, if you know what you’re doing.”

But even with growing popularity of social media within the industry, Foster wasn’t convinced, initially. It wasn’t until he began working on the drilling rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico, that he realized it’s powerful potential:

It was a YouTube video that put me on the map. My buddy uploaded a video of me playing the guitar in the break room one day when I was working out in the Gulf, and it went viralI didn’t really understand YouTube or social media at the time, but I quickly realized, thanks to my wife, the powerful effect of it. We approach social media 100% and I’ve grown to enjoy the process.”

#3 –Stick to Your Guns!

One of the pressing questions today for up and coming artists or even established performers, is whether you want to give up your soul (and music rights) to a major record label, or doing with an independent label. For some, a major record label is the structure an artist needs. But for others, like Foster, that was never a goal.

“No matter if you’re going the independent route or chasing a record deal, stick to your guns as much as possible. What I mean by that is just be who you are and let the artist in you come out as honest and true as it can be. Don’t let anyone throw wrinkles in that if they don’t think it’s perfect. That mentality has made us as popular as we are with our fans. I’ve never claimed to be the greatest singer, but we go out there and be honest and true with our performance with the goal of entertaining people. Us being ourselves is further than anything else.”