I love making music, but I’ve never sold a ton of records or sold out a big venue. One of the galling things about the music business is that the musicians themselves usually have little business acumen – they’re artists, not entrepreneurs. They follow their hearts, not the market. Ask a successful one how they pulled it off, and they usually respond “I have no earthly idea.”
If you put your music out there enough, though, you eventually connect with a person or two. There’s the couple from Oklahoma who saw us open for One-Eyed Doll and subsequently drove six hours to see us whenever we headlined in Austin. Or the kid with a mohawk from Sweden who pinged me on Facebook, and was flabbergasted that I responded.
I was recently reminded of two different times I made an impact on fans. If it sounds like I’m bragging, bear in mind that this two-part series stands as proof that I had at least two fans. Not exactly earth-shattering. I’m writing about them publically mostly just so that I don’t forget again.
I forget how Tanisha became a fan, but she reached out to me by Facebook and then text. She was under 21 and lived about an hour away.
We were at our peak of popularity and had a few opportunities to play the indoor stage at Stubbs, a great venue in Austin. It was an all-ages show, so I reached out to Tanisha to make sure she knew about it, and I found out that the day of the show was actually her birthday! Unfortunately, she had no ride and told me glumly she couldn’t make it. Feeling spontaneous, I told her I would call her during the show.
So in the middle of the set, I told the audience that our fan Tanisha had a birthday today but couldn’t make the show, and I pulled out my cell phone and called her. I held the phone speaker up to the microphone so the audience could hear her somewhat bewildered response. Then, simultaneously into the phone and mircophone, with the rest of the audience joining in, I sang “Happy Birthday.”
I had forgotten all about that, but on our Facebook friend-versary, Tanisha reminded me. I’m glad she did.
What unfamous musicians/artists are you a fan of? Have you reached out to them on social media?