To Beus or Not to Beus
I love music. I’ve been performing music since I was 3. So I’m at least a little aware that I can sing. And I love to do it. I’ve found over the years that nothing else captures the spectrum of feelings that surges through me quite like when I’m making music. I can do a full day’s work at the office, drive to the studio and put in another 8 hours non-stop making music. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven home at 4 or 5 in the morning after a session that started at 8 the night before.
Loving music and knowing that I’m good at it, an obvious question that’s presented itself several times over the years is, do I want to do this for more than my personal consumption or as more than a serious hobby?
Having been almost-famous (according to one of my closest friends) several times, I’ve come within reach of a “major career breakthrough” more times than I can remember. But always, just as the ink was about to dry, I would rip the paper up again, driven by the enormity of what I’d have to give up if I went the route of the typical singer/musician/artist.
Having been in artistic circles most of my life, I am “fortunate” to be friends with quite a few “famous” people. And I have seen first hand what price they have to pay to be who they are. The constant attention, the distractions, the hangers-on, the fake love (ask Drake) and the gradual or speedy suppression of their truest selves to adapt to a life that can at best be called unreal.
A big part of the “problem” is that I am also kind of badass at other things too. I run a non-profit (which some argue could greatly benefit from my celebrity should I choose to accept it, but I remind them that in the same vein, the non-profit would suffer greatly from any bad press its celebrity figurehead got), I love my job at one of the world’s biggest tech companies, and quite frankly, I love the ability to go anywhere I please at any time without the constant fear of becoming tabloid fodder. Would I really jeopardize all these things to become simply *insert whatever you think my birth name is*, the singer? Would the people I have to interact with in my day job still take me seriously if they’d read the previous night that I was at a rave or club someplace? Or if I had a music video on TV? Or whatever…?
I absolutely insist on having a life. A real life. A “normal” life. Not one scripted by a manager or publicist or a glam squad or any of the other star players of most celebrities’ teams.
So I recently called up a friend that I hadn’t spoken to in months to ask her advice. I’m bad at keeping in touch. I’m working on it. But right now, my friends can forgive it because I’m just me, the guy who’s bad at keeping in touch. If I became this big deal, I’d be that douchebag who’s suddenly too good for everyone else and doesn’t remember his old friends.
Anyway, back to my friend… She’s a badass too. She’s run social media and marketing for a number of lifestyle brands that you’ve definitely heard of, and she’s currently brand ambassador for a couple of brand names that are regulars at “good times” of any size all over the world.
I told her my dilemma: I love to make music. And I’ve recently picked it up again. And unless everyone in my life ever has been lying to me, I’m “kinda awesome” at it. So the music is bound to get people’s attention. And following closely on the heels of that would be “fame”. And I told her, “Look at Daft Punk, Gorillaz, Sia… Those guys have it made! They have the best of both worlds! They get to make awesome music and still get to do whatever they want as private citizens. I want that!” As Beus, I can have that if we manage it properly. But as me, say goodbye to a normal life.
She’s asked me to give her a week or two to find me an answer. She had a lot of questions: How would you manage your career with anonymity? How would you do promotions? How would you do radio tours and TV appearances? Could you get any endorsement deals as an anonymous singer? Do you even want any of these things? And could your fears be unfounded?
Needless to say, I didn’t have all the answers to her questions. So she’s doing some research in her world of marketing, branding and social media, and she’s looking for the answer(s) for me.
I’m waiting, but I’m nervous. I want to do this. Music is my drug. I recently released a new single and I’ve had nothing but great feedback. If the verdict comes back and it says I have to take a more traditional approach, the question would be: To Beus or not to Beus?
My single, In My Feelings, is on iTunes and all other major platforms.