When I was 23, I went to Los Angeles, California for the first time in life with the naive goal of getting a record deal…within a week. And I did it. Well, sort of.
I got a publishing deal. Then, the publishing company distributed the music I made, with me as the artist, through a newly created vanity label.
I was alone during the initial introduction to the publishing company, the first meeting, and signing the contract. However, I technically did not accomplish this ridiculous goal alone. No, the other person was not God. His name was Jay.
Jay is a talented producer that I met a few years prior through another producer friend, Kumar. I met Kumar through Myspace, and he was friends with Jay in high school. For a few months, the three of us would meet up at Jay’s college dorm and make music.
Eventually, Jay and I started to do more work together and before we knew it, we created several random songs and two EPs. One of the songs from the EPs landed me my publishing deal. There was a catch with the deal…the publishing company wanted Jay out.
I was hurt and torn. At the time, I saw that publishing deal as my big shot and possibly my only chance to fulfill my dream. However, my partner, who I had been collaborating with for years, was not part of the deal. To top it off, I had to personally present the news to him. That sucked. I presented him with a short concise contract, a portion of my advance, and my word that he would be with me as I became the world’s biggest pop star.
Fast forward years later.
I am in New York City and I am not a pop star.
The songs that were released during my deal made little to no traction and I self-described myself as a true flop.
Oddly, a little bit of me still believes that I will find marvelous success with music. Everything that happened to me up to that point would not have happened without the special musical partnership that I had with Jay.
I think I am great on my own. I have a profound imagination with the ability to bring my creative ideas to life (still waiting on the big one). But my various life experiences, especially with music, have made me realize that with a compatible partner, I can be more than great.
I came to New York to write a musical. As of now, I am doing it all alone, but my eyes and ears are open and waiting for a great collaborator. I know he or she will be a catalyst to new possibilities and will bring something out in my work that is unequivocally monumental.
The last time I saw Jay was at his wedding. I was so happy to be a part of that day. We are still friends and mostly keep up with each other through social media. We haven’t talked about music in a while, but maybe our paths will bring us together again to create our best work yet. Undoubtedly, a more mature version of success…as partners.