It was a day like any other during my week at SXSW, but while sitting on a picnic table in front of the Austin Convention Center and scrolling facebook, I happened upon the picture above. This picture was posted by Tracey Shulz and captioned “The streets are littered with broken dreams”. The street was 6th Street and like most every street near downtown Austin, Texas during one of the biggest music festivals in the world I could absolutely agree with it being littered, but with broken dreams …that part I’d have to disagree with.
After looking at the post and then again at my immediate surroundings I decided to pick up some of the promo material that scattered the streets and sideways. I got IG names from flyers and followed … I put Cds in my purse and today I’ve listened to several artists from all over the country that I’ve never and may not have ever even heard of. It was an awesome and extremely humbling experience.
I’d like to thank Tracey for making that post which motivated me to try to be a part of the solution. I was actually walking from one of the concession stations when I noticed OG BENO’s “Stopped Trappin” lying on the ground. Instead of walking on as I had done all week I made a conscious decision to stop and pick it up. I said to myself this might be some heat. It was. I enjoyed @LadiesLoveBeno ‘s 4 tracks. I’ve followed him on social media and have plugged him in my most recent blog. I’ll add his song into my rotation which happens to be on a Diamond Award nominated Station and in a market outside of his own.
I say all that to say I don’t believe those streets were littered with broken dreams Mr. Schulz. I belive those streets were littered with hope. I think any artist with enought sense to take advantage of the promotional/networking opportunity that a festival like SXSW can provide is aware of the gamble. A Cd placed in someone’s hand isn’t guaranteed to be played either. It probably has as much chance as one that lay unclaimed in the middle of the road. I plead with artists not to get discouraged. If there is a 1 millionth of a chance that you can come up.. take it. Especially if it’s not going to cost you much, and nowadays CDs are extremely cheap. Make sure your contact information is correctly listed so when an internet radio show host/ music connoisseur/ blogger picks your material up from the street she can contact you and tell you how dope you are and how she’d love to interview you.
I challenge everyone who reads this: next time you see a flyer on the ground or even hanging … follow some of the contacts. If you see a CD on the ground, pick it up, listen to it or pass it to someone you know may be interested in that type of music. If you’re handed a CD check it out. Be a part of the resurrection of these so-called “broken dreams” don’t just trample over the graves. Artist, “Opportunity” doesn’t mean “guarantee” or “fool proof” but means the conditions are in your favor and anytime they are you go for it. You can’t win the game if you’re not in it. Continue to invest in yourself and take educated chances on your dreams for they can’t be broken by anyone other than the dreamer.