I learned a lot about publicity this week. And human nature. And Madonna.
I've been trying to build a music career, mainly as a one-man operation, for 2 decades with varying degrees of success. In the early 2000s I finally landed a record deal, but it crashed and burned Behind-The-Music style in the wake of MP3 sharing. Essentially, the internet wrecked my career and, of course, I was heartbroken. It had taken so much life energy just to get to that point; I quit music altogether and took a cheesy job on a cruise ship in South America.
Flash forward a few years, I found myself again. Then, the strange beast of the internet began to give back what she had taken away. I now had a new way to spread my art and find new fans all over the world.
I managed to cause a stir on the web this week. Major coverage in Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, New York Magazine, The Advocate and many more for a video I made for a song from my new album. It's been online for maybe 4 or 5 days and I just woke up to 63k views.
An indie artist dreams for this sort of publicity.
I've heard people say that if you don't have haters, you aren't doing it right. Now, this video has caused hundreds of people to reach out to me for the first time telling me they enjoy seeing themselves represented in a genre where gay voices have been absent. I suddenly have enough orders for T shirts and CDs it will take me a month to catch up. (Again, I'm a one man operation without help. It's all coming out of my spare bedroom.) But boy does the video also have it's fair share of haters. Like, really vocal devout haters. "You're setting the LGBT community back.... reinforcing stereotypes... I hate this song with a passion... you can't sing... this is shit..." Like, thousands and thousands of trash talkers. It's fascinating me. (Don't worry, it isn't getting me down. I have an impenetrable Advocate/Comso/Huff Po shield around my ego at the moment). Strangely, the noise isn't coming from religious conservative people. The harsh critiques are coming almost entirely from the gays.
Internalized homophobia much?
I went to see Madonna Monday night. I'm a latent fan, but it's not really a show i'd go out of my way to see and I really didn't know what to expect. Well, It was amazing. She was amazing. The dancing. The lights. She looked and moved like she was 35 and her stamina was otherworldly. It made me think about her in the 90s. When she put out the Sex book and was making racy videos. She always managed to find that sweet spot where half the people loved it and the other half were so outraged they couldn't stop talking about it.
The "Madonna dynamic."
I'm not trying to compare myself to her, but her song "Justify My Love" was one of the style inspirations for my new video. And I love to think that her essence is also behind the little media storm I've got going. Thanks Madonna.