Because every origin story needs a plan and because I’ve recently discovered life is easier when organized in a Word doc.
Some of you may know me. Most of you may not. And if you’ve already read this far, you might be wondering why on earth you should keep reading any farther.
Well, I want to invite you to join me on a journey.
I was recently accepted into an Arts Mentorship alongside 90s songwriter/local folk star: Erin Benjamin. This comes at an interesting point in my life.
I’m 27, male, homosexual (with zero patience for intolerance) – I’m a self-published Young Adult Fiction novelist with books available for sale in Chapters Pinecrest and Coles Bayshore (#shamelessselfpromotion) – and I’ve become utterly disillusioned by the life that exists today.
I have a steady office job which allows me to practice my writing in a non-fiction setting but yet I constantly find myself pining for a beautiful life. A life made up of art and hope and change and human rights and all of that other Liberal left-wing propaganda that everybody says is just a fairytale.
I want that life. And I want to lead a revolution to change this world with that art.
When you come down to it, it’s not that unrealistic a goal. The world has been changed by music for decades – from disco and the 70’s civil rights movement, from grunge and the anti-establishment movement, to more specific examples of Michael Jackson and Beyonce demonstrating the sheer power that can arise when a symbolic voice uses their music to send a message.
This mentorship, while straightforward in nature, I now look at as an opportunity to move toward that life.
It is what you make it.
That’s my slogan for the next five months. And now it’s time to come up with a gameplan.
I decided to think outside of the box a little bit.
While I, of course, plan on recording a demo of music before the end of the year, something that I’ve been dreaming about since I was 19, I want to do more to ensure that it doesn’t just become another installment for the shelf (both figuratively and literally).
When you think about the artists that have made it and the ones who seem to maximize their status into celebrity, the one thing that drives them all is influence.
They have hordes of people swearing allegiance to them and as much as it begins and ends with the music, music for the last 40 years has never been the most important part of a musical career. It’s the person creating it.
We fall in love with our pop stars. We croon over our songwriters. We glorify our rappers.
And it’s not just about image. If that were the case, I could make a point to hit the gym 10 times a week and invest in plastic surgery on top of trying to launch the demo forward.
No, the personality of the individual behind the music has influence. They have the potential to either catch your attention or not. They have the potential to sell you a story that you can believe in. And they have the potential to lead a musical revolution.
And so the question is put forward… – am I that person?
Well, as it presently stands, probably not. Sure, there are bits and pieces of me that I like and that others might find admirable but how do you put that forward 100% of the time? And how do you maximize that so the largest audience of people are able to see it and become interested?
My idea is simple but strange.
If you don’t like the life you are living, create a new one.
I feel like I’m advocating lunacy but it’s not entirely that absurd. You look at the successful artists who have done this (Eminem – Slim Shady, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, KISS, etc). These are some of the most successful music artists of all time and they each consciously decided that they needed something eye-catching to tell the stories they were putting forward. And what’s more is that they knew their alter egos could do a better job at it.
Influence is a unique concept and one which has evolved tremendously since the dawn of the internet.
We have internet celebrities now – people who are literally famous for talking to a camera or a blog with hundreds of thousands of followers that care about them and what they do. How crazy is that?
Some “do it for the vine” and others just take sexy selfies on Instagram but what all of these people have in common is that they’ve found a way to capitalize on people’s interest. But how do you stand out? And how do you ensure that you use this power for good and not evil?
Well, I’m fairly certain that if Lady Gaga had an Instagram account at the beginning of her era, people would begin to pay attention.
And so I introduce to you the idea: Johnny Famous.
He’s the rockstar I’ve always wanted to be and he can be the rockstar everyone else wishes they knew.
He’s smart, he’s cool, and moreso than anything, he’s kind and considerate to all human beings. He believes in love and human equality. And he isn’t afraid to be himself and wear his heart on his sleeves for you. He stands up for what he believes in and would never say or do something that downplays the sensation of love he wants to put forward across the Earth.
He’s here to save the world with music.
He’s there inside of me but a much more private version and this mentorship is a great opportunity to let him out into the world in a way that ensures he won’t get hurt and gets his full shot at what is to come.
So, over the next few weeks. Expect to see him come out a little bit more. He’s ready to show himself.
I hope you come along for the journey.