A not so classic "Don't Give Up" story

I had a moment today as I was talking to someone on the phone. One of those moments when a whole encyclopedia of emotions on one feeling wash over you in a instant. Beliefs and emotions that collect over time, conscious or not……about success. About what success really MEANS and if it is actually achievable. A black hole of questions.

I won’t deny it, there have been more days then I like to re-count where I question my career, my own path in life. Have I chosen the right path? Have I made the right decision?

Then a question came to me that really cuts the wheat from the chaff on the issue so to speak.

When you hear of someone who after years and years of pursuing their respective career, breaks through and finds great success, do you think:
1> WOW – that took FOREVER for them to find that success, maybe it’s not worth it
2> I bet that was one heck of a ride
3> Hard work is success in itself

Then the idea made me think of a wonderful man I know who is an incredible musician and producer, Philippe Cohen Solal. About 4 years ago (I was living in LA at the time), he came through town on his way home to Paris, and stopped by my office to catch up. Turns out that he had been not more then 20 miles from where I was born and raised in Columbia Tennessee recording and producing a Bluegrass record. Now, mind you, this man comes from the Parisian electronic side of music sensibility and this was 4 years ago, so this was LEFT FIELD.

This record moved me so deeply. It tapped into moments of my childhood, sweltering southern summers where you are lulled to sleep by the sound of the crickets. It was also drenched in the feeling of something modern and sultry. Moonshine Sessions. It is an extraordinary record.

No one knows about this record. It seems impossible, but it’s true.

Then I moved to Nashville and I met and became friends with one of the Producers of the record. Chatting at a Holiday party,  we got to talking about Moonshine Sessions. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, it didn’t happen, so no matter how great a record it is, it’s never going to happen, so…whatever.”

My smile must have seemed incredibly snide. “Do you know the story of his last record?” I asked him. “Well I know it was really successful, but that’s all I know,” he replied.

Phillippe had his humble beginnings as everyone does. He worked at Virgin France for a decade and then decided to Producer records and start a label: Ya Basta. He had an idea. He made a record. He released 3 singles on vinyl. His friends loved it. Nothing happened. Then his label released the album, and it got major radio play on BBC Radio One.  Small blip on record sales. Then another version on the release. Same thing.

THEN he did it AGAIN, and this time………2.8 million records worldwide…which lead to sold out shows all over the world. The group he created is called GOTAN PROJECT and the record is called La Revancha del Tango.

He never gave up. I think in many ways, some people are just ahead of the trends, “ahead of their time” we say……but you can’t give up because if you believe in your project, eventually the flow of the collective conscious will catch up to you.

So I have no doubt that my Parisian friend will release his Bluegrass record again…… until it catches fire. Not your standard marketing plan, but hey it worked.

My reflections today led me to a really important place both for myself and for anyone who reads this blog and is a seeker like myself. Just don’t give up. Change your game, sit back, take a breather, but DON’T GIVE UP. Don’t worry about the people around you who seem to fly through life’s hard knocks, that is their journey. Just concentrate on your own journey and the day will come that you will be asking yourself, “Am I successful? Have I chosen the right path? Have I made the right decision?”

But this time it will be from a completely different perspective.

…….and so it begins again, the wheels of creativity.

I wax poetic.

Enjoy the music…..

Find more artists like Gotan Project at Myspace Music

Find more artists like Moonshine Sessions at Myspace Music

Find more artists like Moonshine Sessions at Myspace Music

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