Web Discovery: An interview with Shaun Martin


Note from Allen: I’m very aware that I’m not the first person to connect the dots between the world of ministry and the world of musical entertainment. So I was not surprised by this interview with pianist, producer and musical director Shaun Martin, member of the Grammy award winning band Snarky Puppy, in which he discusses his career working in both the sacred and secular arenas. Lo and behold, this year I was privileged to meet Shaun not once, but twice – at the NAMM convention in January and at the GroundUP Music Festival in Miami this February.  Hopefully soon we’ll be able to talk to him ourselves and let him share with this audience, but for now, enjoy this discussion he had with Forbes magazine last March.


Backline Burden: Why every show matters [Encore Post]

Often, an independent artist's career is in the hands of backline musicians

The gig is set, the band is called in, and the visiting artist arrives at the rehearsal. To everyone in the room, it’s pretty much a normal day.

Except one person has a lot more at stake.

For the traveling independent artist, every tour outside their area is a matter of life and death for their career. Many of these artists depend on local musicians to support their shows, since they can’t afford to travel with their own bands.  This means every new city or venue introduces them to an entirely new set of musicians.

Now imagine the horror of the visiting artist when she discovers that the band didn’t learn the music properly. They felt it was just another gig, and decided that they would work out the music on the fly.

Who has the most to lose?

The right way to walk away [Encore Post]

The story of Bill Withers reveals that true success sometimes requires tough choices

I’m very pleased with my life how it is. This business came to me in my thirties. I was socialized as a regular guy. I never felt like I owned it or it owned me. – Bill Withers, on why he left the music industry and never returned  (1)

A simple chord progression changed his life.

Bill Withers was an aircraft mechanic in California during the 1970s. Having never studied music formally, he taught himself to play guitar and piano, but didn’t think much of making a career in music before recording a small demo project. A few months later he was performing songs like “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me” nationwide. His sudden stardom caught him off guard.

He valued his independence highly, to the point that he rejected many of the traditional trappings of success, like hiring a manager and taking on commercial endorsements. He never felt comfortable with the industry’s impact on his life. When he noticed his music and his relationships suffering, he chose to walk away from music rather than hang on to his success. At the time of this post, he has not recorded a new project in 25 years.

Most artists would never willingly give up their dream of being in the spotlight.

However, if asked, Withers would likely respond that his life has turned out exactly the way he envisioned.

Artist Spotlight: A Talk with Stef Silva (Part 2)

An emerging singer / songwriter discusses the challenges of launching a career

As promised, we’re happy to present the second half of our artist spotlight with singer / songwriter Stef Silva. Stef recently performed as a featured artist on one of the stages at the 2017 Jazz in the Gardens festival, which is one of the biggest music festivals in South Florida.  In part two of this interview (part one was posted in February of this year),  Silva discusses the learning curve of being a new artist, finding her creative voice and managing to keep her family as a top priority while pursuing her dreams.  

Artist Spotlight Series: Stef Silva (Part 1)

A singer / songwriter chooses to accept challenges as she pursues her dream

This video marks the beginning of our Artist Spotlight segment. Once a month we’ll feature an artist who will share their real-life story, in hopes of inspiring other artists who are on the same journey. Some will be new to the industry, and some will be veterans, but all of them will have unique perspectives on faith, relationships, and the challenges of being a creative artist.

Our first artist to share her story is Stef Silva, a Miami singer / songwriter with an authentic, personal touch. As a relative newcomer to the mainstream music industry, she has learned to navigate the highs and lows of being a full-time artist, as well as the challenges of family life and parenting.

Here’s an example of her music: 

Her entire story is worth watching and hearing, so we split her interview into two parts. Your comments and feedback are welcome as we ask Stef the question; what does it take to pursue your dreams while dealing with difficult situations?

To learn more about Stef’s music, visit stefsilvamusic.com.