P.N.G. (People Not Gathered)

Being Only One, But Not The 'Only' One



So what makes me so special that write, produce, record and release my own music..even as far as creating a label with virtually no involvement from anyone else..

Is it ego? Am I Anti-social? Or am I self-serving narcissist?

It’s none of the above, really.  It has to do with adaptation. The music industry in its entirety incorporates and fosters no loyalty among its peers; not only from corporate entities, but also by individual artists and bands themselves. Much of this is predicated on self interest, which, to a certain level, is healthy…every band and artist is looking to establish themselves through fan acquisition and sales for both recorded material and live shows, and a certain amount of self-interest is necessary to accomplish this.

The music industry has become a sea of self interest by proxy of the conditions stemming from its collapse of the ‘old model’, to its rebirth that allows more control of content and access both through technology and outreach. It is no longer advantageous to just obtain a recording contract with a label: you can brand , record, and create  yourself on very little cost and overhead, while still controlling your content, product , licensing & profit.

I do it all myself not to prove that I have huge nuts. I have had the opportunity in the past to negotiate contracts and investments before.  When these opportunities fell through, I decided I was much better suited to go solo in ALL aspects. Not just because I can, because I had to adapt.
Famous physicist Stephen Hawking once stated plainly ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ To adapt is the most important modicum in forward momentum no matter what your station is in life. Not to get too philosophical, but stagnation and resistance to such change is a prolonged death, and brings with it fear, anxiety, bitterness and contempt.

If I didn’t adapt, I would’ve quit the very thing I love: making music.

The last time I tried to collaborate with another Artist, the result came out astounding for the most part. The song was fantastic, but something happened that made me realize that perhaps my being engaged with other hungry Artists may not be beneficial.

The artist I help to develop decided it was all about him. It never was nor promised to him that it would be. When the time came for me to focus on completing my own album after helping complete his track, he became vitriolic, obtuse and self serving. Rather than be ‘grown’ about it: communicate why his displeasure was so intense, he elected to go as far as attempting to subtlety sabotage me at a local job he and I worked together in.
The result:  he caused more damage to himself, and lost more than he had bargained by the sheer nature that he deliberately burned the bridge he once built with me.  This Artist didn’t understand what he was getting from me was quite unique, and nearly unheard of. A songwriter , producer, musician with an engineering background, coupled with knowledge and connections within the industry he was trying to break into, helping to write, compose  and perform his first song ever.

The only thing he had to agree to was percentages of profit garnered via a personal contract that he and I voluntarily signed. I charged him nothing upfront (although I could have), as many unknown producers who are attempting to make some kind of living mistakenly do. He had someone looking at a broader picture of such a creative endeavor and its potential, and the patience to walk him through and invest time in his material as an exchange of services. He stepped from it unduly pissed off with no warning nor attempt to reconcile with me directly…

…much like a toddler pouting and crying in the local sandbox because he couldn’t take another child’s toy shovel  home with him, because it didn’t belong to him.

 Without quarter: egotistical, self-serving..and incredibly stupid.

One does walk from such collaboration with another in such haste unless he has a better situation in which to walk into. And even then, one must not burn bridges. Having encountered situations with others I didn’t agree with, I never did such a thing, especially if I know I may have to cross that bridge again down the road.

No matter how angry I was, I conveyed that anger constructively. To this day, I still have solid repoire with individuals in the industry that I have argued and disagreed with intensely in the past. Why? Because it makes sense to do so: I could end up being involved with these entities on a future endeavor, and I might need their help, as they might need mine.

Another  dynamic this Artist neglected was a simple truth: My talent and ability does not equal to being his to claim. My ability is not his ability. There is no ownership of others talent by way of osmosis; merely because I put together a song from the ground up, does not transition ownership of my talent to him.
What I brought to the project was mine, and, when I left, I took that talent with me alongside all my tools of the trade.
No one belongs to anyone, and adaptation is paramount, especially when no loyalty exists at times. I maybe ‘One’, but I am not the ‘Only’ One…. 


RSS feed