I had a conversation with the homie Señor Gigio earlier tonight that helped me verbalize some of the realizations I've had over the last few weeks.
Day one of my album release was bad. I had a few people digging it, but I wasn't really getting much feedback from it. I didn't know if it was a good record or not. I mean, I thought it was good, but when you coop yourself up for months without bouncing ideas off of other people, you start to not trust your own thoughts. That is why we need other people in our lives, but that's a topic for another time.
By day two of the release I was already giving up on it. Twenty years of making records and I still naively believed that a record, if strong enough, could find its way to listeners. No one was listening, so it must not have been strong enough. Keep in mind that this is day two! I know I know. Its embarrassing how thick I am sometimes.
A few days later I'm laying in bed, contemplating the rest of my life, when my phone gets a buzz. I check it and see that the group Atmosphere had tweeted something about my album on twitter. I jumped out of bed and ran down stairs to my girl like "WE MADE IT!" In that brief moment, I really believed my life was about to change. With a quarter of a million followers on twitter, how could this record not blow up right? It unfortunately did not. A book could be written on how much I don't understand marketing. Shout out to Sean Daley tho. What a nice guy.
Over the next few days, as reality came gently back down over me like a blanket, I started to get it. My career, this thing I think of as a music career, is a big slab of marble waiting to be shaped into something great. The problem is, I chip a few pieces off here and there and take a step back to look at it. I end up looking at it for a year, annoyed that it doesn't look like a sculpture yet. I wish I would've had a mentor. Someone to yell "Stop looking at the damn thing and keep chipping away, asshole!" I imagine he or she has a french accent.
Anyway, my realization is this. At least at my level, no record dies in its first day. No record blows up in its first day. A release at this point in my career is not an event, it is a process. A few people discover it each day (with the right promotion). I am able to talk with them about it. I am able to convey to them just how important they are to me. They should know that they are more important to me than my music is to them. Without them, I am just yelling into the wind.