Well, we’ve blasted it all over our Facebook page but now that all the details are settled, I wanted to give you the whole story. Here it goes:
After updating my neglected and nearly defunct page on Reverbnation, I started receiving the expected and ubiquitous solicitation emails to my inbox that usually come from these kinds of sites. After deleting a few that are offering fame and fortune for a nominal submission fee of $30 (#JimHalpertStare), I came across one with no huge delusional promises and no fee. Quite refreshing. This was a contest promising the chance for the winner to be called Verizon’s Indie Icon. Verizon? (Hmmmm. Seems legit.) Although I NEVER do this, my page WAS all up to date and there literally was no purchase necessary. I’m indie. I want to be an icon (I guess). All I have to do is click the “submit” button and I could be considered?
(shrug). . . (click)
Fast forward to a few weeks later. I started receiving emails from something called Velocity Management Group, claiming that my band was selected as a semi-finalist in the Indie Icon competition. I thought to myself, what was this again? I kind of remember submitting to be in a contest a few weeks ago but I couldn’t really remember. It turns out, after sifting through thousands of submissions, the (qualified and obviously highly intelligent) folks behind the judging curtain (who, no doubt, have the acutely-tuned ears of tasteful musicians) had listened to our music and passed us through to the next round.
I thought, well, that’s really nice. I should probably look up this contest and see what it’s about. Maybe there was some huge cash prize. Maybe we could actually win. Maybe. . .wait, what did that say? I finally read up on the contest and realized that it was for hip hop, R&B and gospel acts. Well, although we are heavily influenced by all of those genres from my intense love of that music, I don’t think anyone has ever called us a hip hop group or gospel act. I’ve heard people say that we sound R&B influenced but I don’t think anyone would call us an R&B group either. All I knew is that I felt honored to be received in such company with other independent artists who were creating the style of original music that I love the most. But I thought, surely, we have been selected as the token white guys here and there is no chance we are going to win. I showed my chick, we laughed, I moved on.
Before I knew it, we received another email that let us know we had been moved up again to the finals, being the only act chosen from our region to face off with the finalists from the other four regions. CRAZY! So, before we realized, Verizon flew our whole band to Chicago to film a video and perform at Buddy Guy’s downtown. The four other performers, who were very talented, were extremely kind and we all bonded a bit like family in the short time we were together. All of our videos were posted on the Verizon Insider page for two weeks and in an amazing show of love from the incredible people who have been supporting our music for years or who have just recently discovered us, we won the whole competition by a landslide of votes. We were told that they were counting thousands of votes for us ahead of the competition and that is completely due to our amazing support from all around the country. THANK YOU!
Now, it’s grand prize time. We are being flown to New Orleans to perform at Essence Festival, not to mention we will receive all-access passes to the main stage performances. I anticipate this being a special experience for our band and yet another episode in what has been a pretty awesome adventure of a life in independent music. Thank you to Verizon for setting up this competition, to the judges for selecting us as finalists, and again, to everyone who took time to vote for us over those two weeks. We feel very loved and hope we can be embraced and accepted down in New Orleans.