Lately I have been thinking about what makes success for an artist, and after watching the release of the new Twenty One Pilots music this past week it really struck a chord with me (no pun intended) what is actually important. Twenty One Pilots has made it a habit of always making their success not about them but about the people who support them. "This is YOUR music" or "This is YOUR video" terms like that are used often with them and I think it's worth noting how much more devoted their fans seems than anyone else. Hell, their fans even call themselves a clique. I'm not necessarily suggesting that this is the end all way path to success but it seems to me that there is something to it.
A few years ago while out shopping I ran into one of my favorite bands. They were out shopping and with some friends and initially I felt uncomfortable with the idea of approaching them. Honestly I didn't want interrupt their time out together, but at the same time I wasn't sure when I would ever have another chance like this again. After a few minutes of pacing around the mall I mustered up the courage to go say hello. After introducing myself I apologized because I didn't want to be rude to their friends, it was then the lead signer hit me with some truth when he said, "look man, without fans we wouldn't be where we are today. It's special to us each time someone stops to say hello. It let's us know we are doing it right, so thank you."
I left that interaction with a changer perspective. I left thinking they were more down to earth that I ever imagined, but I also realized how important it is to appreciate your fans and in a lot of instances it's important for us to celebrate our friends. It feels like lately a lot of time and energy is spent online showing the best versions of ourselves. A lot of artists like to post about how hard they have been working to make this thing, but seem to forget to thank other's for taking the time to check out what they made. In the same vein some of us get jealous of other's success and forget to celebrate them when they finally get their break. I've been guilty of this a lot.
I think for us to be successful together, as a whole, we need to celebrate our friends and support them when they are small so we can support them when they are big. Support your friends like you support Drake. Give them your money, brag about them, share their work, tell them how much you appreciate their hard work. Those who create in the dark so others can see the light are those who have that something special and are going to change the world. So with that I'd like to say thank you for always supporting me, loving me, and helping keep me moving forward as I create. My favorite thing as an artist personally is entertaining, so I make things for you. Your reactions inspire me to create more. I create for not only myself but I create for you. Thanks for reading.