The Power of Community

I’ve been in Orlando for the last week, staying with my good friends the Solillaquists of Sound. For the last seven years, I’ve been coming down here multiple times a year; either playing a show, hanging with friends, working on some project, or doing what I’m doing this time around–shooting music videos.

Those who know me understand how active I am when it comes to getting things done, and while I can take some of the credit for my work ethic, I can’t take all the credit for what actually gets done. The truth, is that I wouldn’t be able to do nearly as much without the help of the community.

This weekend, we shot two pretty ambitious music videos in two days.

The first video was on Saturday and required at least 10-12 people. The director Varras Tower, Ed the Director of Photography, a wardrobe & makeup person, the two people who worked at the venue, five or six actors/extras (none of who were actual actors, mostly friends or acquaintances), and me. I arrived two days before the video shoot to help the director demo, clean out, and stage the warehouse location we were shooting at. There was no running water and no electricity and this place was grimy and hot (we are in central Florida). Despite all of this, everybody showed up in good spirits and didn’t complain about anything.

The second video, that we shot on Sunday, was similar. This shoot had Varras and Ed on the production side, 10-12 extras there, and the people. Many of the extras were artists from the hip-hop scene here and the rest were just fans who showed up to help out because I asked for help. Everybody did a great job and by the time we wrapped it up, we all felt proud of what we had created.

While I have been a part of many one man video shoots, neither video shoot would have been possible without the community coming together in big way. In both instances, a dozen people who could have been doing anything else with their day decided to help me execute an idea that I had in my head. And for that, I am feeling extremely humbled and grateful. No matter how many times I see people come together to achieve something, it always amazes me.

The point I’m trying to make here is that there tends to be a belief that we can do it our own if we just work harder than everybody else. This is false. Working harder doesn’t necessarily mean you will achieve more, only that you will be working harder. The key is to understand that you cannot do it all alone and that admitting that reality doesn’t make you weak. In everything we do, we are all much stronger together than we are apart.

I was able to pull off something so much greater than I would have been able to do on my own, simply because I asked for help. Just like there were people ready and willing to help me execute my idea, there will be people ready and willing to help you execute yours. Never underestimate the power of your community.

Can’t wait for you all to see the finished product.

Word is Blog.

My latest album Two-Headed Monster is out now.  Order/Listen here HERE