A few of us got to open for Mike Peters of the group, The Alarm, last week. We not only had an amazing time, but we listened intently to story after glorious story of this man's journey. One of the stories he told was of the generosity of U2. While on tour U2 would often go into radio interviews and promote The Alarm, asking the interviewer to play one of The Alarm's songs and talking about this particular music movement that was happening.
Jaw-dropping stuff. Honestly, I've never heard of such a thing in my time in music. I don't find it easy to get others to actually listen to records and assist in promoting and sharing them. In fact, I've spent uber amounts of money and time trying to recover losses from artists who have stolen songs, or promoted them as their own. I've sat in managerial offices with guys who couldn't look up from their phones long enough to complete a sentence, and I'm fairly certain those folks barely know what I look like, let alone what I create. Or the inevitable opposite situation. So obsessed with looks and age that the music is an afterthought. Promotion is king, if you can get it. We have a little band inside joke that, for every 100 emails you send out a whopping .5% might return your email within a year or so. I bet that percentage isn't actually far off. But that meme is coming friends, be on the lookout!
Selfie-laden, fear-driven, promotion-obsessed. I wonder at how far behind these trends we are as a band in posting, promoting, marketing, pushing, pushing, pushing. I know, it has to be done, but I think it would be so much easier to do it for someone else.
And that revelation is changing me inside and out. I meet a few folks here who are as happy to embrace other's musical genius as they are their own. And I love it. This beautiful oasis. This water in a desert. This kind of support laden with all sorts of drive to become better is dwindling so quickly that stumbling upon it creates a lightning bolt memory of that individual in my mind. I want to be that individual for others. Truly, there is room for everyone, even if the gatekeepers only want to press artists out of the same mold. If we all could inspire each other to better, love each other to more, maybe we could have a few niches of our own. Start a movement like U2 and The Alarm and so many others did. But they didn't do it alone. And that is my point.
Collaboration. True collaboration is a mindset. It is generous but recognizes there is nothing but freedom on the other side of that generosity. Honestly, after years in the business it is easy to feel jaded. But today, I feel renewed (let's pray that lasts!). And if I can promote the best in others, maybe the business won't matter. The lack of money for artists, writers, the whole thing. Maybe we do it for fun again, and for the love of what we experience on the other side of inspiration.
So here is one of the many collaborations we hope to promote with gusto this year. Cody Qualls is one of the best live performers and singers we have experienced, so having him sing on one of our songs with us was an incredible honor. This guy is seriously going places with his own projects and his band, FACE. So many harmonies on this song that it gives me chills when I listen to it now. Listen to Cody's music, go see him play a show, and buy his records. This guy is talented, driven, honest and inspiring. Just the sort of person we need to lift here. Our collaboration with Cody will be coming out over the next few weeks and we know you are going to find something great in it.
Yes! Working with Cody and watching him perform has raised my bar. So grateful for other artists and what they bring to my artist soul. It's a lonely business, but it doesn't have to be.