At a networking event last Friday night, I met a guy named Zack who was promoting a band named Madison Rising. This band, unlike any other I personally know, is extremely patriotic. He handed me a CD (I love free stuff!) and I immediately flipped it over to go through the song titles. I was impressed and felt refreshed to see a group of people who aren’t afraid to wave our flag proudly and sing about what the American dream represents.
A few song titles:
One of the people standing with me instantly scoffed at the title “Right to Bear”. I was quick to defend that right. I grew up shooting guns and actually own two. I understand that gun control is a controversial topic, but my personal belief is that we have a right to protect ourselves. I digress.
Later in the night, another guy asked to see the CD. Taking it out of my hand, his face became smug and with a sarcastic tone said, “this band is obviously from the Midwest”. My immediate reply was, “well that was an ignorant comment. I am a Midwesterner and anyone in this country could be singing about patriotism. Don’t pigeonhole these beliefs with a region of the country.” He stopped with a stunned expression.
He continued, “well they are foolish to be singing about something so controversial.” Adding that they would gain popularity more quickly if they first put more neutral music out there to gauge their listeners’ reactions.
I, of course, added my two cents. I explained that it is smart for them to sing about something that they are so passionate about, identify their niche audience and share their music with like-minded people who agree with their message.
I added that it isn’t always about fame and notoriety. Making a bunch of money doesn’t have to be every musician’s goal. In my opinion it is admirable that they find success in sharing their message. It seems like singing about what they believe in is their primary goal.
I watched the guy’s face soften as he contemplated my view. “Well said, that was really well said” added the woman next to me as she held up her glass of Chardonnay.
For me, that was the most satisfying compliment I could have asked for. I smiled, thanked her and politely excused myself (to get the last mozzarella stick).
I hope I helped him open his mind. I love doing that.