Updated: Nov 16, 2020
You gotta start sometime, so I chose today. I hope that everyone who is reading this is in a good place mentally and physically healthy. This is my first blog post. I’ve been putting it off for years, but this is something that I need to do. I don’t know if people wanna read my thoughts or not, but at least they’ll be here, in the event that anyone would like
to checkout what I’m writing. Today, I’m speaking about the week that started on Sunday, November 8th and ended Saturday, November 14th.
I released a track called ‘Fired’ on BandCamp, which is a message to Donald Trump. It all started when I posted an image that I found online, which showed Trump holding a gun in his mouth. It reminded me of Bud Dwyer, who on January 22, 1987 called a news conference in the Pennsylvania state capital of Harrisburg, where he fatally shot himself with a .357 Magnum revolver in front of reporters. Dwyer's suicide was broadcast later that day to a wide television audience across Pennsylvania. I was 10 years old and living in Pittsburgh. I watched it over and over again, off and on for 2 hours on different news broadcasts. It was shocking.
Remembering the incident, I designed an album cover using the image of Trump with the gun in his mouth, like Dwyer, and posted it on Instagram and Facebook. Within about 15 minutes, I had family and friends telling me to sample ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’ by Filter, for a track that I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to make. For those who don’t know, Filter’s first hit record is about Bud Dwyer killing himself on national television, and they called it ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’ as some sort of 'smart ass' nod to a political figure murdering himself live on television. I took the advice of the fans, who include my little sister, Cianna (who’s in college during the 2020 Covid Era), and made the track. You can listen to it right here:
On Wednesday, Michael Canton from ‘The Soul Show’ on WYEP in Pittsburgh, PA. posted on Facebook about the article that he did on my album ‘In The Bleak’ in the Pittsburgh City Paper. Soul Show Mike is the only media person to do a review of my album in a paper that has about 100,000 readers, give or take. This made me so happy because many friends shared it on the platform and I got a lot of congratulations texts. It made me feel good. I’m the type of artist that gets dark easily, so I used this as a pick me up. Big shouts and many thanks to Michael Canton and the Pittsburgh City Paper for the positive article and love.
Fast forward to Friday, November 13th which was Friday the 13th. A day made famous by so many, for so many reasons. I released the single ‘Custom Made Dreamin’ on all the major streaming platforms. I did it as a pre-save track, so that my fans could pre-save it and have it ready to be heard once it dropped. I was excited about it, so I put the track on a site called SubmitHub for it to get criticism and possible playlists placement. SubmitHub was created as a way to make the process of sending music to curators as easy as possible, by giving artists all sorts of stats and ways to filter where to send their music. My track got a couple of cool mentions, and I was happy to have that, but the track reviews made me rethink my entire career in music.
I had 3 UP-votes and 4 DOWN-votes on ‘Custom Made Dreamin’ and the people gave their reasons why. They made me go back and listen to it again and again, to understand what they were saying. After over 20 replays, I thought to myself ‘I can never post a track like this ever again’. It’s not the worst song ever,..or is it?
I made 'Custom Made Dreamin' almost 3 years ago, at the beginning of my learning how to produce music. I brought it back, and used it as my submission to test the waters of SubmitHub and to see what it would do online. The drums and abstract lyrics were done in a way that I thought was dope at the time, but not to the ears of people used to listening to today’s music that rules radio stations and playlists. I didn’t want to start with the music that I have been creating as of late. I wanted to see what ‘Custom Made Dreamin’ would do on Submit Hub because I was new to it and so that my feelings wouldn’t be totally crushed if people didn’t like it. The criticism put me back in the lab.
My goal is to have my music heard, and liked, by as many people as possible. I’m hoping that by submitting my songs to sites like SubmitHub, and having them critiqued, will help me grow as an artist. It’s not a good feeling being judged, but it’s what we signed up for becoming artists in the business of music.