Music Producer

ADVICE I GAVE MY DAUGHTER

As an Absolute Shameless Plug for My Youngest Daughter, Ayana Symone, who just published her first novel, “How I Fell In Love With Myself”  late last year, I want to share some advice I gave her as we were entering the building for her to do her first TV Interview to begin her promotional tour.

It is Wise Advice Every EntreMusician Should Remember Always:

TALK TO EVERYONE! 

There is No Such Thing as an Insignificant Person. Ever. Absolutely Everyone Deserves to be treated with Dignity & Respect.

Don’t just Politely Speak and move on, but

TALK TO the Parking Attendant who Valets Your Car. Smile, Thank  & Tip Them. Especially if you’re in a hurry. 

TALK TO Them Again when You Return.

TALK TO the Employee who Greets You at the Door. Compliment them.

TALK TO the Security Guard who Takes You Up to the Elevator, even if you only begin with the weather.

TALK TO the Receptionist / Assistant that Shows You to the Green Room.

TALK TO the Technician who helps you with your microphone

.TALK TO the Host/Hostess who offers you Coffee/Water/Tea.

Take a Moment to TALK TO the Custodial Personnel who may walk in to Empty the Trash or Sweep the Floor while You’re Waiting.

Treat Each Person as Graciously and Genuinely as You Do the Person Interviewing You. 

Often, I’ve made a point to have an Extra CD or Download Card to Gift Someone who is in no way related to the Interview, whether they happen to be an Employee or is in the building on another matter, I Gift  as a courtesy – After Having a Light, Encouraging Conversation.

These Encounters have earned me Mileage that has taken me further on my journey than just“sticking to the task at hand,” and only Talking to Those Directly Related to My Goal/Cause/Project!

Ayana’s Book is Available on Amazon!

I am in a Crusaders zone, I’m listening to “Unsung Heroes” AGAIN on Vinyl!

OVERSTATING THE OBVIOUS

Music is Sacred. 

She embodies a Global Language, an Impenetrable Vehicle of Love, Harmony and a Universal Cadence for All Races, Cultures, Faith & Ages.

While Music has been employed to transport Opposing, even Offensive Ideas, she has more often offered Transformative, Unifying Emotions which have helped Change Laws, Suspend Unhealthy Mores and Transcend Generations.

The Purest Music and other mediums which foster her beauty have overtime become reduced to Mere Commodity, Shadowy Spectacle and Decaying Dogma.

Opinions, Suggestions and Propositions differ, as they must in a Completely Free Society, but the Purest Music, I’m talking about Art that Awakens the Mind, Encourages the Spirit & Stimulates the Soul; Inspiring Integrity is at best, is rarely created; or at worst, is strategically besmirched & buried, forced into obscurity.

Platforms for Salacious Sensationalism Rise above Rhythms of Inspiration. One’s Image, their Ability to Seduce and in many instances flaunt the notions of Success, Materialism, Murder and Vice incredibly overshadows Every Child who is introduced to their new instrument in wild eyed wonder, merely for the sincere Love of Learning How to become a Musician.

School Boards now routinely abandon Musical Instruction & Appreciation, yet Politicize Personal Agendas, ironically Wrapping their Maniacal Messages in Song. The Biggest Award Shows, Instead of Championing the Absolute Best Music has to Offer, cloak themselves in Social Justice Attire, Preaching a Global Construct of Vilification. Pure Music is Lost in the Conversation.

Ideas are Welcome, All Opinions for the Greater Good of Humanity Must be Honored, but the Sacred Grail of Pure Music Must No Longer be Contaminated by the Creators of such a Higher Calling; the Musicians, whose purpose is to Shine, to Encourage, to Build, to Connect.

If You Are a Creator of Pure Music, Lift Your Voice. Use Your Instrument. LOUD & Strong. For the Sake of the Next Generation. Do Not  Allow Your Artistry to be Mismanaged by those who wish to use it for anything other than Your Flawless Authenticity.

No Matter what they Offer, It’s Not Worth the Price of Your Soul.

I was Not Listening to Any Music while Writing this Post, but I met a Pure EntreMusician, Ron James, busking in Atlanta’s International Airport a few months ago. I bought his killer CD. You Should Too…

THREE C's TO LIVE BY...

The Most Valuable Reward for an EntreMusicians with a Great Mentor is the immediate ability to apply Their Knowledge & Wisdom into Your Life and Work.

Gratefully I’ve been under the guidance of Bishop David L. Thomas for 14 years.  His Leadership has helped Sharpen Me in practically Every Area of My Life. I frequently enjoy applying his pastoral teachings into my career with great success. As You Know, working with, for and around Creatives takes patience, diplomacy and keen people skills. Several years ago Bishop taught a series on ‘Three C’s to Live By’ that continues to impact my perspective. For True Collaboration to Reach its Highest Distinction, You May Do Well In Exercising these Three Treasured “C’s” as I have:

  1. Don’t Compare!

    Comparison is akin to a Two-Headed Monster which can actually consume you internally, although you are outwardly focused on the talents or skill of another.

    Firstly, You have that Big Head that says “I Am The Best,” “No One Is Better than I” and You develop an attitude that causes you to berate others, overly analyzing what or how they ‘destroyed’ a Song or Project and what YOU would’ve done to blow the thing out of the water. Unfortunately, we’ve all been around people like this and most of us have looked for the quickest exit to either leave the conversation or the room.

    The Little Headed Monster is More Subtle, but Equally As Dangerous. He whispers how horrible You are, compared to this or that singer – and recites the huge list of things you are horrible at. She whines that she didn’t go to music school, or can’t afford the $5000 guitar and can never catch a break while her counterparts are soaring. Eventually this person throws the Ultimate Pity Party which often attracts a full room of crybabies who should otherwise be grateful for the gift they’ve received and sharpen their skills to share it with the world.

  2. Don’t Compete!

    Healthy Competition is Great! It is downright Essential In Business and In Sports. There are Myriad of Stories of How Great Recording Artists would strategically either release their records in advance of, or several weeks after a Huge Artist, so they wouldn’t get crushed on the charts which proved to be a sound business move.

    But there has also been unhealthy forms of competition in the Creative World that seek to Steal, Kill & Destroy the Soul of their fellow Musicians. It’s Downright Hateful and No Self Respecting EM should continue to participate in that type of activity.

    Some Artists use their creativity to freeze out other Musicians – primarily out of envy. They won’t share information, resources or opportunities, preferring to hoard everything. This behavior emanates from a “Lack Mentality.” These Artists don’t understand that there is infinite space in the Entertainment Community and the World is always awaiting the Next New Sound, Look or Experience. True EntreMusicians operate with an ‘Open Hand.’

    We Look for ways we are able to  EngageEncourage & Empower Each Other!

  3. Don’t Criticize!

    This final behavior engages the Vocal Chords of the previous two. The Artist simply MUST make their observations known to anyone who will listen, often growing more venomous as the crowd swells. You & I have seen Tweets, FB Live Footage and Instagram posts of horrible and often unwarranted criticism of someone who is either out there doing their absolute best or taking a completely different approach to the muse – only to be hammered for their individuality. Remember Fergie?

    Regrettably, I have been around more seasoned musicians who will attend the show of a far lesser known artist and rip apart their performances as if they have always played perfect shows, sing on key or perform awesome solos every single night. They rip apart the newbies and feel great about it.

    Truthfully, there have been several times where I have found myself in each of these three camps. If I were not voicing my negativity, I was certainly thinking it – and to be completely transparent, I am sure my attitude at the time may have cost me a connection or opportunity to advance.

    By God’s Grace, I have developed a more healthy respect for every EntreMusician I encounter, even if I don’t necessarily agree with their viewpoint or values. There is a wealth of maturity in Staying in Your Lane, Improving Your Gift and Sharing the Most Positive Energy You Have the Capacity to Produce!

Don’t Compare, Don’t Compete, Don’t Criticize! (video)