A lot of artists look back at their early work and cringe. When they do so, they’re usually being much harder on themselves than anyone else would be—critiquing what now seems like overly simple or supremely precious work through the lens of hindsight. But Gallant says his early work was “objectively bad”—like, legit terrible—which is a sentiment even his professors at NYU’s Clive Davis School of Music agreed with. 

But Gallant did not go gentle into that good night. He didn’t give up on the dream. Instead, he locked himself in a room, day in and day out, and willed himself to get better. If Malcolm Gladwell’s assessment that 10,000 hours is the number it takes to achieve greatness, then odds are, Gallant has achieved greatness several times over. That’s how hard he was working at improving his skills.

Despite all his effort, things still weren’t jelling for him. Part of it was his feelings about his location, which could best be summarized by how James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem) once put it: “New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.” Discouraged and depressed, Gallant left New York for sunnier skies in Los Angeles.

It turns out this was one of the smartest moves he ever made. Soon after arriving in L.A., things started to click for Gallant. He caught the attention of the music management team at Th3rd Brain and got to work on a record. This year, he achieved a milestone that all musicians yearn for when he not only performed at Coachella, but shared the stage with one of his idols: Seal.

While Gallant’s raw talents, like his breathtaking falsetto, and his learned skills, like his deep songwriting ability, are what make him stand out to audiences, the truth is that his defining quality is his ability to endure. To not give up. To find a way.

You can learn more about Gallant’s journey in the newest episode of Uncharted in the video above, presented by Honda.