23. Delilah’s Friends

Feeling not-good-enough is kryptonite for so many of us. Emma was told to stop making music because “her talent wasn’t big enough” to make it, but Emma didn’t care! Ms. Emma Honey-Badger don’t give a shit! She just carried on making super happy music, and for that, she is my new spirit animal hero. In her Married in Las Vegas music video, you can see her laying down her own vocals, uke, bass, and drums. In the short time I’ve known Emma, her Spotify monthly listener count has continued to soar. Thank goodness her chutzpah was bigger than their doubts because her talent is more than “big enough”! How can I raise my kids to have that kind of spunk? Here’s what Emma remembered when I asked her, “what about your childhood contributed to your passion and tenacity?”

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The first memory I have is from when I was in kindergarten. I was so happy whenever we had learned a new children’s song and I couldn’t wait to sing it to my mom. Even at this early age, singing made me so happy and filled me with so much joy and energy. My mom used to work as a teacher and whenever she had brought me to bed in the evening, she then started to prepare her lessons for the next day. Through the crack in my bedroom door, I could see that the light on her desk was on and I knew she was working. I wanted to comfort her and so I sang every song I knew for her. My mom always laughs when she tells this story, because she adds that at some point I would always fall asleep while singing.

My parents supported my interested in music and so I was able to spend almost every free minute in our local music school. But there was always that one condition, that if my school grades weren’t good enough I would have to quit my music lessons. And so whenever there was time, I tried to study for my exams. I guess you can say that this is one aspect of my childhood that taught me to work hard and continuously for the things you love.

When I was a teenager I learned a lot of instruments and whenever I had the idea that for example the bass would be the perfect new instrument for me to learn I would have to pitch this idea to my dad, for he had to pay for it. And his standard response was: “No, you already have enough instruments.” But somehow I didn’t accept this and I knew I just had to do a better presentation of my idea. And that is what I did. I collected facts about one’s musical improvements through the bass, famous female musician playing it etc. After that I did another presentation in front of my dad, told him everything I had learnt and asked him again. And usually then he said “Yes”. This, I would say, is another aspect for why I always continued doing music. “No” was never a word I wanted to accept and what even pushed me more to convince the person to give me a “Yes”.

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I get to receive messages from musicians like Emma all the time. They inspire me with their talent, passion, and hustle to get their music made and heard. In order to help shine a light on them, I recently added a weekly feature at the top of my Hey There Delilah playlist. It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to the first six! Just for fun, I asked them, “What is your go-to song when you need encouragement and inspiration?”

  1. Jared Lee — Professional Lovers: Jared is super savvy and inspired me to create a platform to feature more artists. Thanks Jared! His go-to song: Eminem Lose Yourself.
  2. Josh Taerk — Learning to Let Go: Max Weinberg (Drummer with Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band) calls Josh “the most exciting new talent I have come across in years.” His go-to songs: Bruce Springsteen Born to Run and Fall Out Boy Thriller.
  3. Matt Bednarsky — Grand: Matt’s been playing instruments since 4 and writing music since 12! Love the soulful lyrics and gorgeous vocals. His go-to song: Phil Collins True Colors.
  4. My Sun and Stars (Emma) — You Make Me Happy: This track is hot out the oven — just released today. Congratulations!! 🎉 Her other song You Stole My Heart is also on the playlist, right next to one of her favorite artists, Ingrid Michaelson. Her other go-to artist: Alanis Morissette.
  5. Mohand Baha — Mathilde: Mohand brings much appreciated International flair to my list… he’s a French rapper/ producer born and raised in London to Moroccan and British parents. He just released a new album this month: Primate. His go-to song: Dr. Dre What’s The Difference.
  6. Ryan Harris — Tell Me Who To Be: Ryan’s was the first message I answered after 10 months of receiving requests because his song Home Again was perfect for my playlist. Super excited to feature another song by him. Ryan and I talked about his music and his go-to songs in our last conversation: Mixtape Menagerie.

Jared, Josh, Matt, Emma, Mohand, and Ryan — thank you for your talent and passion. You’re creating something out of nothing, an awesome feat on it’s own, made harder by the critics and competition. I hope you can find great satisfaction in your creations and that your fans make you feel cherished. Much love and appreciation to all of you!

p.s.-You’ll find all of these featured songs together at the top of the playlist Delilah’s Friends.