The hard-working mule spirit is not lost with musician & solo artist: Mr. Austan Found.
Although he spends his current days bouncing between the San Fransisco bay area and Oakland, Austan was originally born in Sheboygan, WI.
He works for himself while performing shows, producing artists, and doing design work on the side. He began pushing his online presence about a year and a half ago when he moved to California. He is willing to travel in a van full of musical instruments for the chance to perform and follow his dreams of reaching new listeners with his unique sound. But Austan has not spent all his days in cool hats, long hair, and ripped up rock-&-roll jeans......
When he was nineteen he decided to join the United States Navy. In his own words he tells us of the very different life he has lead after his time in the Navy. “My experience in the Navy definitely made me feel like I could do anything afterwards. Any success I've had has come from spending a long time developing my talents and the courage to consistently put them out there for people to connect with. The biggest obstacle has been adjusting to couch crashing and homelessness. There were times where I would be working with really big artists and music industry people and they had no idea that after we got out of the studio recording session, I might be headed to the bus to sleep! It's been a struggle trying to find places to store my instruments and belongings so I don't have to carry a ton of stuff everyday.”
Compassion and cleverness keeps Austan inspired. He told us he is attracted to people that are either really smart or really nice. He continues to move forward even when things get tough because he believes something great will come out of his own unique struggle. “There have been so many times where I was really down and I just held it together long enough for something good to happen and recharge me to keep moving.”
Austan also told us that being compassionate is the most important thing. He said; “It requires the other two most important things, intelligence and strength. You have to be smart to understand that at any moment you might need someone's compassion so you should show it to others. It takes strength to actually commit to doing it in your life because it can be scary, inconvenient, uncomfortable or just difficult. Basically, if you try to be compassionate you're going to be smart and strong and there's nothing more American than that.”
Austan is working to fulfill his dreams as a musician and that is what we salute here at American Mule. We asked him if he believed in the American Dream and what he thought his own definition of the American Dream was. He responded with: “That's a little tricky for me. I'm very concerned about the concentration of wealth in our country and the fact that we spend so much money on military while veterans sleep outside in our own country. Despite all the bad though I do believe that you can inspire people through your actions and can attract the things you want with a bit of intelligence and hard work. My definition of the American Dream would be to take care of yourself and loved ones with the things you're passionate about. To make a living off your talents and to enjoy it.”
Austan Found has a desire to help fight homelessness in the United States. His latest project he has been working on for the past year is an album titled, “No Place Like Home.” He wants all proceeds to go towards fighting homelessness.
“It's cold where I grew up in Wisconsin but it's colder here in SF because everyday you have to decide if you're going to ignore, acknowledge or give to a homeless person.” His album will feature a lot of great artists he has met since his time in California and will be a mix of acoustic and hip hop music. “I never planned on doing hip hop but being in the Oakland scene, I would always meet rappers so it's something that happened very organically. Other than that I'm really excited about the young woman I'm producing an album for, Golda (insta: @fullgolda). She has a phenomenal voice and I couldn't be more proud to be a part of her new music. Last but not least, I recently started working with Fantastic Negrito (insta: @musicnegrito) on his new album and that has been inspiring because he has so much soul and passion. He won a Grammy this year for best contemporary blues album, won NPR's tiny desk, and was recently featured on Jimmy Kimmel. In my mind, he's a legend so I'm trying to soak in all I can from my experiences with him.”
Whatever your hard-working mule spirit may be fighting for. We are excited to see you reach your goals Austan Found! Cheers to a great 2017 and may your album become a success and may you help many homeless Americans in the process!
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