may 2011 | Spiegel online | Katharina Finke
American Dream Job
How Germans seek their luck in New York
Part 4: Elias Meister, Musician: 'Don't be afraid to work your way up!'
“The mix of people who come to New York to create something has always fascinated me. Besides that the music scene here is incomparable to the one in German cities. Every day you can meet so many great musician, play music with them and be inspired by them. It’s simply incredible. I come into contact with people I would not have dreamt of ever meeting.
I came here four years ago, directly after studying music in Boston. I realized very fast that New York is an expensive city but there are also more opportunities to perform. That’s why I applied for an artist visa, because I wanted to play music and develop myself as an artist. The career opportunities are much bigger here, but the competition is also fiercer.
You have to prove yourself
After being approved for a visa I started living my dream more and more: I gave concerts at the Bowery Ballroom, Littlefield, Yale and Princeton Universities. I released my first Jazz CD, the vinyl with my rock band Mon Khmer and last year I toured through the whole country.
We are just finishing a new EP, simultaneously I am doing a video for my jazz CD. In the end of July I will record my new album.
It is not easy to live in New York since the rent and cost of living is so high. But don’t be afraid to come here and work your way up. I think in the US people are more open to new ideas if they prove to be successful.”