Sometimes you have to admit your human-ness as an artist, so today I’m going to do that.
And before you read this, please know it is written with a smile on my face and a laugh.
I’m not normally a competitive person when it comes to music. I think every artist brings something unique to the table and I would rather be up there on stage with them than trying to one-up them. Particularly when it comes to us composers. Because what I compose is not going to sound like what John Doe composes. So what is the point in trying to compete? I admire so many of my musical collegues.
However, for goodness sake, I keep having run-ins with an artist. Not personally. Or maybe a better way to put it is he keeps one-upping me. Professionally.
When my album first came out, my album was compared to his quite often. Friends and fan would listen to my music and say “Have you heard of….?”. And then everywhere I went I would see his album.
Last fall I travelled to Idaho to give a concert near my alma mater, Brigham Young University, when I found out this other artist was also performing at my college the SAME night I was. Different venues. Obviously his venue seated about 2,000 where mine seated about 100. LOL.
Both of us solo pianists, both of our styles similar, both competing to for the same audience, same town, same night. He’s with Warner Brothers, I’m with my own independent self-started label. I guess there really is no competition – haha. (But I do have to say I did fill the house! With people standing in the back).
And then last night, I was listening to his newly released 2nd album and all of a sudden I look up from what I’m doing and realize he has a song on his album that is an arrangement of a classical Spanish guitar piece…A song, which, I want to add, is a piece that I had picked out months and MONTHS ago to arrange for solo piano and THERE it was on his new album. So scratch that song arrangement. Everyone would think I copied him LOL.
I was actually a little miffed over that, I will admit. My husband had to listen to me go on and on for like 20 minutes at the dinner table last night about how I was mad I wasn’t going to be able to use that song on my album now.
So I’m sitting here laughing about this all, somewhat annoyed, somewhat feeling extremely competitive with this artist. The thing is though is I LOVE his work, I think he’s amazingly talented but I keep finding myself unwantedly competing against him. And honestly he is the only artist I have ever found myself having competitive feelings with.
Actually, I think it is just in my own head that I feel competitive with him since I don’t think he actually even knows I exist. Haha!
So I’m going to admit my own human errors and let you all know that I, Jennifer Thomas, do experience feelings such as these. But I want to get past them because it has bugged me for a long time.
So William Joseph, if you ever happen to read this, let’s shake hands and acknowledge each others existance and be friends. LOL And maybe next time we do concerts in same town on the same night, we can just do some duets instead.
P.S. I’m not annoyed or mad. Just amazed. Check him out – he’s amazing. www.william-joseph.com