I’ve signed on to Facebook about 3 years ago. I did not have too big an idea as to what it was – and specifically, if it was good for anything. Coz that’s how I usually roll: I wanna see things happen. And I make them happen, if I must. With the music, though – you can’t go about things with this approach. Because most of the vital aspects about whether things happen for you or not – are not in your hands. They are in YOUR hands. The listener. The fan, the friend. And collaborators. In one word: Supporters.
I have met some incredible people on Facebook. I had and have major support from my friends and fans as well as from radio hosts. I’ve also had my share of those prying on me and draining me from the get-go. In hindsight – that part was my own fault. But I’m digressing. Back on the subject: With my very first self-produced release ever – something I had been dreaming of since age 17 or so-, I got internet airplay from a growing number of stations. I was being interviewed multiple times. The number of Facebook friends grew from one week to another, some times by the hundreds. I was like: “What the f… is happening?” I really couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Now, in hindsight and in analyzing it, I think, what has happened were two or three things: After having collaborated on Dreams in Color with Brian O’Neal, he gave me lots of credit for my little acoustic guitar track I’ve added to his composition. That attracted some of his following to my wall. Technically, I didn’t really have a finished release out at that point, but some material to listen to. And the fast paced dynamics of nowadays’ ‘word of mouth’ or ‘going viral’ – to some extent – seem to have kicked in. Which motivated me to release more tracks. And somewhere along the way, the interest ebbed away to an extent. I did my best in staying active on the social media sites, which are available for musicians, but not to too much avail. As far as downloads are concerned… I barely sold enough to budget the upload fee that Tunecore are collecting per song. To this day, the sum total of downloads between January 2009 (when I released my first track via iTunes, Amazon etc.) and today, maxes out at 94. No. This is no typo on my part, there isn’t a zero missing or anything of that nature. On my part… I may have been too inconsistent in promoting myself. And I wasn’t able to complete a full length album in a reasonable amount of time nor do I have an option of getting booked for tours abroad (and without an album, these don’t make much sense, either, do they?). There are very profound reasons for all of the latter, having to do with me having been largely dysfunctional since July 2007, but frankly speaking: Who cares?
Considering the insane amount of time I’ve been spending on Facebook and elsewhere – sometimes up to 12 hours per day – and going at quite some lengths in building ‘real’ relationships… this is not a very encouraging result. Plus – it’s not fun to do. Not at all. Actually, I’m missing out on most of the fun stuff from trying so hard to get somewhere.
So I’m pulling the plug for now. Well – not completely, at least not just yet. I’ll explore, what I can do locally. Reconnect with musicians, whom I can actually go and meet in person or gig with… Opening up to other genres of music as well, again, because I had to find that the large majority of music listeners – and even musicians – around here don’t really know, what Smooth or Contemporary Jazz was to begin with – let alone care much for it or play it. Most of all I feel a need to weed out ambition and – replace it for fun. Fun and not much else for a long time (even money CAN’T be too big a concern right now, as I wouldn’t get to keep it anyway). Don’t expect me to release any new music any time soon. That album I’ve always meant to complete – might not happen at all. And while I’m typing this and before you go “whimp” on me: I’m doing all this and have been doing it from a place of needing to battle quite a number of debilitating conditions, where I’ve been shackled with some of them for my entire life. I’m really proud of myself for not having gone postal on someone, for not having lost it completely, for having managed not to give up on myself and in between all the insanity that my ‘life’ has spiraled down into – managed to write a few tracks some people like. I’ve proven a point to myself and the world – to use a big word – again and I’m telling myself that this is better than good enough considering the circumstances (which are nothing shy of grim at this time).
I have no idea, what the future might bring – or if can bring anything beyond little more than – hopefully convenient – survival, at all. And… I will no longer care too much for that, either. Here’s to giving myself a break from it all.
wesbound, September 2011