While scrolling through my Facebook memories from this time approximately one year ago, I’d put out a blast status in support of my musical comrades who’d been nominated in multiple categories for the Annual 88Nine Radio Milwaukee Music Awards. The preface for that status was me stating how “it would be wonderful to one day be among the ranks of artists in consideration for these awards.” As a performing musician of nearly two decades, the core of my solo work has been within the last five years. While most of it had been positively received, I've endured my share of disappointments & hadn't reached the height of recognition that i'd envisioned from my local musical outlets. when the awards season resurfaced this year, i began to prep for the same mantra to be placed over myself. 

Last night I had the honor & privilege of attending this very same distinguished awards ceremony. A privilege of great magnitude as it was my first one – let alone as a nominee & finalist! I’d heard that the event was sure to sell out but nothing prepared me for the immensely great time that I experienced. upon my arrival, the line was out the door with attendees & one by one throughout the evening my friends began to surface. with sponsorship from the likes of the national recording academy, it was an event that turned out to feel like the city's very own grammy awards with professional photographers, video, interviews & media coverage. (the academy even provided complimentary earbuds - which will come in handy for this budding young musician who happens to like free sh*t lol) refreshments were flowing, the party was buzzing & i was enthralled with the amazing energy & belief that everyone was connected on the same accord - to have a good ass time. 

The awards were disbursed & I didn't win in the categories that I was a finalist for. But while there's always a slight tinge of disappoint in these types of situations, I was genuinely unbothered. I was out on a school night, jamming, surrounded by friends & watching them kill the stage & accept awards; which ISN'T something that I'm ever allowed to partake in as a teacher. And throughout the night, the most uncanny thing kept happening: people from all walks of life were coming up to me in adoration of my work! men & women whom i'd never met before expressed their fondness for my performances, music video, single & entire project. even the winners of band of the year recounted how they had the utmost respect for me & my music. i was completely overwhelmed with a myriad of emotions & absolutely certain that this would be the highlight of my evening.

After all that I'd endured with my vocal trauma & detours in my music career, I'd placed a lot of pressure on myself with the release of Ode 2 A Luv Affair. We as artists are our biggest critics & the discouragement that comes with that title can be incredibly overwhelming. But being able to take part in this wonderful event not only reaffirmed that I'm on the right track but subdued my fears of constantly being overlooked for my efforts. A wise person once told me that if any stranger comes to visit Milwaukee, inquiring about the best artists & my name doesn't come up in the conversation, my work is never done. This experienced showed me that I'm on the right track. Many congratulations to my friends & colleagues for their victories & amazing performances, as well as a sincere thank you to any & everyone who voted for me in the first place. You've given me the utmost confidence to thrive on & even though this is only the beginning, I'm extremely grateful to know that people are truly listening, & to see how much more attainable this dream of mine may be.