The Find Your Grind Podcast, Episode 10: Daniel Armbruster of Joywave on how far self-awareness and belief can take you


The Find Your Grind podcast is a weekly series hosted by our founders, Nick Gross, Natasha Gross, Mike Smith, and Luke “The Dingo” Trembeth. Each week, we speak with special guests on the first 10% of their personal journey, decisions that led them where they are today, and how they built their ideas from finding their grind. In this week’s episode, Nick and Dingo sat down with the CEO and frontman of Joywave, Daniel Armbruster.

Innovator and Entertainer, Daniel Armbruster, always held “delusional,” bigger-than-life dreams about music and songwriting then pursued it with an analytical approach. From having self-awareness and belief that he was meant to write and perform music, he invested in himself and his dreams to become exponentially better. This took quitting a steady full-time job and sacrificing a good part of his 20s towards creating and writing. It took some time but since then, Daniel has written several charting hits, has toured with bands, and is the frontman of the indie-rock band, Joywave since 2010.

Growing up in Rochester, New York, Daniel was heavy into music growing up. By high school, he played piano, flute, bassoon, and guitar. Although he wasn’t the best in playing instruments, he used them as creative tools to write songs. From exploring his passion for music, he knew that he just liked to create and be innovative with songs. While the competition is less in Rochester versus Los Angeles, Daniel believed he was the best at what he did where he was at. 

“You should do the thing that you’re exponentially better than the next person.”

Daniel knew he had to pay for college and was aware of the debt it can cause, so he worked while attending school. He worked many odd jobs at first such as a brand ambassador for a rollerskating rink, car wash attendant, and then eventually an associate at Staples. Graduating college during The Great Recession, Daniel realized after calculating his annual wage that working full-time at his retail job was taking away valuable time towards pursuing what he was really good at and passionate about. Because what he initially invested himself in, a secondary education wasn’t paying off — he wanted to leave a manufactured way of thinking and move towards his creative ways which valued time over money. Strategically he quit his job, applied for Medicaid, and lived with his parents which allowed him to focus on writing and creating music. He sacrificed a lot of his 20s to this work, instead of going out or partying. But his self-awareness towards what lifestyle he wanted to live and the strong belief he was meant to write and perform music carried him through.

“Everything that I was raised to believe — you grow up, you get good grades, you go to college, you get the job . . . I wasn’t able to have that. And most of that was The Great Recession.”

However, working full time on music didn’t automatically lead him to success. It took years, persistence, and patience before Daniel got signed at 29 years old. Since then, he’s written hits such as “Dangerous” and “Tongues,” toured with bands such as blink-182 and Bastille, and is the CEO and frontman of Joywave. With anecdotes and a stream of advice from what you need to get started in your music career to what motives it takes to make it, Daniel openly shares his story. Daniel’s roadmap focuses on how far self-awareness and belief can take you, and how to get your way while combating popular opinion. 

Check out the episode in full and be sure to check out The FYG Podcast on Apple Podcasts and YouTube.

This episode’s references can be found here:

00:52 – Daniel Armbruster

01:46 – FYG Lifestyle Assessment

03:54 – Joywave

04:02 – blink-182

04:20 – Sir Sly

04:35 – Rochester, NY

09:25 – Kyrptonite – 3 Doors Down

10:29 – Wild Wing

14:10 – Monroe Community College

16:00 – ObamaCare

16:30 – Medicaid

25:57 – Income share agreement

27:54 – Bernie Sanders

30:40 – Soundcloud

30:41 – Hype Machine

31:14 – Pro Tools

31:25 – Tongues

36:04 – Great Recession

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