It's sort of funny. As I was putting together my thoughts for this blog posting, I realized that "Thanksgiving Day" wasn't that long ago and, maybe, this would have been more appropriate then. Still, I think that regardless of that, it makes the most sense to me that I post it today.
You see, I almost quit making music.
Something that is generally true, despite not being stated really often, is that creative people do what they do so that OTHER people will experience it. Writers want their work to be read. Actors need an audience to see them acting. It's that way for every kind of creative expression. All of it, ultimately, doesn't exist if nobody experiences it.
I'm sure many other creative types have had times where their work or talent went under appreciated, viewed with heavy skepticism or out-right ignored. I was under no small illusion that this was part of the struggle to establish yourself in the craft you do. However, it was taking stock of the time and money put in on that pursuit, weighing that against the interest of others for my work, that brought me to the conclusion that my inability to gain a growing audience was the final say.
So I decided to stop. I had my artwork and that was having a bit more traction these days so...that was that.
But then, it wasn't.
And it was because of a very very small but vocal set of people who've taken, what could be a small gesture on their part yet was HUGE in my eyes, to tell me just how much they appreciated and want to hear what it is that I do.
So, here are some special thanks to the people who's interest fuel me to continue, who's true support is more than just expressed from a sense of obligation:
Cary, my good friend and photographer, who has continually asked about both my illustration and music endevours and has expressed on NUMEROUS occasions how a full listen to every one of my projects has been not only fun but worthwhile listening.
Randy, who gave me my first "review," one that encouraged the sort of writing that goes on in my music. His love of great music and understanding of quality, makes the statements he gave hold such a weight to them. To know a listener like him can find my work as quality...there aren't words for that.
Laura, the first woman to give me feedback on my music and, for the most part, not a huge listener of hip hop music. Her words, as a person who doesn't take in a huge amount of the style I use, have been very encouraging. My target audience was for people who like lyrics that have depth to them, not just fans of rap. The fact she enjoyed it and her fav songs where my favs, is a huge encouragement.
Colby, many people may never experience this man's truly heartfelt music and lyrics. I often refer to him as a man I wish I could be, both in content as well as delivery. Colby has for YEARS now, been a good friend and fellow emcee, taking every chance to encourage me, telling me to keep making my music. I can't say how many times but...Colby loves my music. And someone like him loving my work still floors me.
Jordan, one of my bestfriends in the world, he's championed my music in a manner like no other. Without Jordan, I'd likely have never been able to record anything. I've never been a man of means nor one to have the extra funds necessary for paying for any form of record engineering. Jordan started a label, had me fly out west several times and record all of the best sounding recording I've ever done. His passion for me to make music has breed the few scant amount of projects I've done. He's been a brother to me on a level I can't compare with anyone. And he's another guy who does AMAZING music who, for whatever reason, LOVES what I do. I have a hard time believing what I do is that great but his exuberance for my stuff makes me feel as though it could possibly be.
Tabitha, I've known her for over a decade and this author/singer is an amazingly articulate judge of what works and doesn't in very many forms of music. She understands prose and poetry, lyrics and song structure, sarcasm and comedy. I'd wager to say that of most women I've ever met, she's someone who can say intelligent and worthwhile things about most subjects. She listens to my music frequently. There's a world of things that she could listen to, by people far more talented than I. Yet, she likes and listens to my music. It must mean what I'm capable of is something good.
Honestly, there's a few more people and that's not including my mum and sister. There's not a lot, though. But I thought of those above and the few others and, if it were just those dozen or so people whom ever heard my music and enjoyed it, isn't that enough?
I feel like it is. So for the ones I listed and...heck, here's some more: Liz, Dove Wonder Why, Mum, Dave, Paco, Natasha, Cornell, Earl...
I wanna create and YOU are my audience. I want to share my thoughts, ideas and words with you. Anyone else who comes along can join in but even if they don't, I'll continue to share with you. Thanks for encouraging me, thanks for pushing me, thanks for being open enough to really listen.
I hope you like what I plan on next.
- Conduct Lionhardt