I don’t do music. In middle school band, I would bite my clarinet reed before every big performance and then mime along. It was so bad that at eighth grade graduation, I was asked to emcee rather than play.
This doesn't mean I don’t listen to music. I am at my most zen with iced coffee in hand and Spotify in my ear. I have even penned lyrics to songs that will never be developed because people probably would rather pay to not listen to tone deaf me sing.
Thankfully, other people produce music – including some of my friends. College is a time ripe with opportunity, and as a scheming opportunist, I’ve only ever aligned myself with people like that. Just kidding. But I do have a friend who has been on a conference call with Beyoncé. I say this as someone who’s not that impressed by Queen Bey (put up the partition, please), but like, he was on the phone with Bey. I don’t think it’s coincidence that rhymes with #bae.
A different friend happens to be working with a “new artist,” Russell Elliot. I put that in quotes because Russell had a following at my undergrad, but now he’s breaking out on the mainstream aka he’s in NYC. *mic drop* And his name is two first names, which is like having two letters for your name, which means you’re already famous. Case in point: Jay-Z.
For months my friend Carolyn has posted about Russell, and I have liked the stuff because that’s what a Facebook friend does, but now Carolyn is running a Kickstarter for him. A Kickstarter, for those who haven’t heard of this very 2014 term, is a fundraising website where people can donate to your cause and you generally receive some sort of incentive for donating. The Kickstarter in this case is for making a music video for one of Russell’s songs. Me: “Do you need background vocals?” Fortunately, they know better.
The song is called “Around” – and oh my gosh, it’s actually really catchy. I played it four times while analyzing some data. And I played it while writing this blog. And I might – just might – donate to the Kickstarter so I can download this song. And I wanted to share all this with you just so you’re in the know when Russell Elliot makes it on the Tonight Show or SNL. I’m also a fan, because as an aside, one of Russell’s platforms (for when he runs for president) is making music that respects women – and that’s something lacking these days (looking at you, Robin Thicke).
Here’s a video of Russell performing at the Bowery Bar in NYC: