“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” —Andrew Carnegie

A couple of hours ago I had my first weekly conference call with my ECR Music Group-labelmates Blake Morgan, Melissa Giges and David Cloyd. Here is one option as to how a record label can operate in this day and age, where many major-labels are closing or being folded into one another: have the artists “run the asylum!” We four are all part of each others’ artistic lives in one way or another. Blake runs the label and all the myriad tasks that it involves, David acts as a vice-president and designer, Melissa helps out with events, and has at one point or another been a fantastic bandmate to the rest of us. I myself have provided help with styling, makeup, photo-shoot production, etc. We all have more tasks and abilities than those I just mentioned, and new ones are being added to the list all the time. These weekly phone calls are a way for us to stay accountable and motivated, and also to connect with each other on an even more consistent basis.

I became a part of this crew soon to be four years ago, and I find that as we have all grown and evolved on our own, we have also gradually, collectively, risen to a new level. It has been inspiring to see the change happening in each of us in this period of time, and it even is quite a gift to have the opportunity to witness others’ evolution so close up.

Being an artist requires forward movement. Stagnation means the end of career in many cases, or at least a noticeable slowing down of it. That’s why it’s so important for us to continue to feed our brains, to feed our hearts and to feed our souls (….and this is not just true for artists, actually….). In different ways Blake, Melissa, David and I have each continued to ‘fill our wells’ during the time we have known each other. It is thrilling that now, as we are all about to release (or have already released–as in the case of Blake) our new albums, we are starting to work as an ever tighter unit for the benefit of all of us. There are ways in which we can all teach each other things, and it’s nice to not have to figure everything out on our own. Community is a great perk!

I have said it before, but I’ll say it again: I am so happy and proud to be a part of ECR Music Group. On a technical level, it is great to know that I own my frickin’ masters, that I have a fair record deal and that I am free to leave if I ever need to or want to. I’m free to express myself as an artist, I’m encouraged to develop and learn at every turn, and what’s more: I love my labelmates! It is invigorating to be surrounded by these great musicians and artists and leapfrogging it with each other we can all reach higher and higher, further and further. Fucking excellent!
(By the way–the picture above–not us.)