Collaborative Life

I like watching music competitions shows like The Voice in the United States and Show Me the Money in South Korea. I don’t really care about the competition part, because so many people who get eliminated are actually good. These shows are not the final arbiters of good music. However, the competition aspect provides a forum for opinions on different artists, and these opinions help me learn about music, performing, and human nature.

These shows are themselves necessarily collaborative, and some of them offer some kind of record deal or contract with a label as part of the spoils. The process of making an album with producers, other writers, and other composers and having it approved by management is also collaborative. There’s a necessarily process of collaborative creation.

However, not everyone wants that. Many times you don’t hear about the winners after the show unless you make an effort to personally follow them. I did that with Season 8 Voice winner Sawyer Fredericks. I follow him on social media, and I’m still listening to his music. I even went to his concert when he came to town.

Sawyer had written, produced and performed his music on his own before the show, but while he was on The Voice, he discovered the joy of being with and learning from other musicians. Sawyer is one of the Voice winners who put out an album with the record label that was part of the prize (not all did), and I remember him saying that it was an interesting process for him to write songs with other people. After the first album, he and the record label parted ways amicably he said, and in one concert video I saw, he happily noted that his upcoming album was completely written and composed by himself. He sounded quite happy about that, and he isn’t the first winner of The Voice to go out on their own.

I also work in a collaborative creative environment in which the content I produce always has to go through edits and approval by others. I also have to review and comment on other people’s work. Sometimes, we brainstorm together. This process is great for learning and making better content. However, sometimes it doesn’t satisfy my desire to express myself, especially my true self. Sometimes I want what I make to go out into the world exactly as it is. Hence, this blog. Unedited. Uncensored. I think that’s why I don’t mind that this blog is also unnoticed. If people actually read it, could I be so free?

I would like to be, regardless of who is looking. That is the next step for my growth—to put myself out there in a vulnerable way and stand up for what I have to say, even if it may be wrong two seconds later. I don’t agree with President Trump’s philosophies or policies, and I think consideration for others is important, but one thing I don’t mind about him is that he freely says what he thinks without fear, even if it brings him constant criticism. I think a happy balance between consideration and candor would be best, and I know people who are able to do this.

Now, back to making things that are hopefully marketable, approved by others, and, if I have a miracle, popular.


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