In the fall of 2015, I did something I had never done before. I was clicking through channels, and I started watching The Voice, just as a middle-aged rocker was belting out my favorite White Snake tune, got a 4-chair turn, and a standing ovation by Adam Levine. I followed that artist after he left the show, and the next summer, I tuned into an all-indie radio station to hear that artist give a long-awaited interview.
The DJ that hosted the interview was comical and engaging, and I began tuning in weekly to hear music from artists I had never heard of before. Later that year, that same DJ, started his own all-genre, independent radio station, and he asked me to help him by recruiting artists.
That was the beginning of my education on what it meant to be an independent musician. When I agreed to help him launch his station, I honestly didn’t know what “indie music” was. In fact, to be truthful, I thought it was some strange music genre that no one listened to. But over the next few years, I learned what it meant to be “independent.” I forged many friendships with indie artists, and learned of the monumental struggles and challenges those artists face in today’s uncertain music industry.
Once I knew what an indie artist really was, I realized that my love for indie music went back decades. To 1984, in Colorado, when I saw Chris Daniels & The Kings perform one of their very first shows. I became a devoted fan, and have been for the last 35 years. Chris was the first artist I reached out to when I started recruiting for the station, and they still play his music on that station today.
I realized that all of the artists we were spinning, were local artists, just like Chris Daniels, who were making great music within their community, but few knew of them outside of their stomping grounds.
Over the next few years, and hundreds of independent artists later, I realized my passion for indie music went much deeper than just listening. I wanted more than anything, to help these amazing unsigned artists, make their music, find success, and be heard all over the world.
Artists were reaching out to me on a daily basis, asking for assistance and guidance, and I realized I didn’t know anything about what it takes to make it in the music business today, so i got busy.
By the end of 2018, my time at the previous radio station had ended, and I started 2019, uncertain of what direction I would move in.
Because I’m a writer at my core, and had been writing about the artists I loved for years, I decided to start my own Arts & Entertainment web magazine, which I launched on February 1st.
In January, as I built the web mag website and began writing articles, that deep yearning to support and promote artists, resurfaced. And as it did, a new, bigger, brighter vision began to emerge.
I wanted to offer the artists I love so much, feature articles, radio airplay, education and training in music business, financial assistance, as well as assist them in building a web and social media presence. The things major labels do, and mainstream artists take for granted. Would it be possible to build an all-encompassing promotional platform like that?
I went ahead and launched the magazine, but this bigger, brighter vision kept percolating in me. Then one day, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post by renowned producer Dave Hillis. I thought, “Wow, this guy has quite the resume. I would love to write about him,” so I messaged him and asked for an interview.
To my surprise, he responded, and we set up a phone interview. Dave was easy to talk to, and he told me stories of producing albums for Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, James Blunt and many more. I was in awe of this guy, and felt an instant connection in our passion for music and our resolve to help unsigned artists.
Then Dave asked me to tell him more about my new venture, and for the first time, I expressed my vision out loud. He was enthusiastic, supportive, and offered to help me in any way he could.
I hung up from that phone call that day, and for the first time, I realized that this is something artists needed and would benefit from greatly.
It was Dave Hillis, who gave me the confidence to change my dream, to a plan, and I will be eternally grateful to Dave for that.
Now, six months later, Virtuosity Worldwide has already made great strides. The more I present this plan to the world, the more people are responding, and we now have a dedicated team of partners, working together to see this plan to fruition.
Virtuosity Worldwide Arts & Entertainment Magazine now has a total of eight writers on staff. We celebrate artists of all mediums, as well as offer informative articles to help guide new artists on their road to success.
Virtuosity Worldwide Radio was launched May 5, 2019. #VWRadio is licensed, has a live chat room and 24/7 stream, as well as two live shows, and we’re working on adding the world-popular Colorado Phil Show to our line up as well. We are also in the process of adding some popular podcasts and syndicated shows to our programming.
We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but our passion is deep, and our love for emerging artists is strong. I have no doubt that next year, as I write in this blog, I will be reporting on the many successes of the artists, that Virtuosity Worldwide was able to help. That just makes my heart smile.
That’s why I do what I do, and that’s what makes it all worthwhile. There is enough good things and success in this world for all of us, and we have a better chance at making great things happen, if we all work together. Join us, won’t you?