Alma Cook interviewing Betsy Ezell about parenting as a musician

Madison-based singer Betsy Ezell sat down with me in July to chat about her musical journey. She shared the story of how, born into a family of mathematicians, she fell in love with music early on and later found a home in jazz. Betsy also shared what it’s like to balance singing, songwriting, a PR job, and parenting—something I can’t imagine having the energy to do myself. But I left feeling fueled and uplifted by her perseverance, and I hope you do as well after listening in.

We talk a little about fighting the negative voices in our heads, the enduring nature of jazz, how Betsy scored her all-time favorite gig at Madison’s gorgeous Memorial Union Terrace (two words: bomb threat), and some of the joys and sacrifices that come with parenting two little ones.

“My kids were young when I first started songwriting [six years ago], but I didn’t do any gigging. There was definitely this sense of putting my art, putting my dreams, putting my ambitions on hold intentionally, very much as a result of the demands of parenting. … I see it as healthy; I see it as sacrificial. And that doesn’t make it easy—I think both [my husband] and I have a sense of loss and some grief around what you have to give up to be a good parent. So there is sadness in it, but it’s worth it.”

Recorded on July 22, 2017, in Madison, WI. Original theme music by Alma Cook. Additional songs featured: “Worn” by Alma.

Relevant links & mentions

Find Betsy Ezell online


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