When the Going Gets Big - Musings on a Modicum of Success
There are small and simple movements going on around you when you're at the grindstone, carving your dream, craving success, shaping a vision to share. Amazing, likeminded people are attracted to you because they share your vision, whilst short-sighted, competing or downright shady people tend to shy away, simply because you have nothing to offer them.
When we smashed onto the Sydney scene with the enormous success of our first official "Surveillance Party" early this year (2015), we experienced the next level, where once again we attracted some truly astounding support from creative people who deserve to go far. The difference this time was that our undesirables decided to try and join in the game too.
First thing I should mention is that we very very rarely shut the door. If you want to work with Surveillance Party, there is a good chance you can. There is just one thing you should know about us: we only work with trained professionals, eager learners or seasoned workhorses. For example, if you submit a demo to us, we are looking for slick production, some understanding of chords or melodies, some idea about how to translate raw creativity into a finished product. Similarly, when it comes to events, half baked ideas, poor grammar, bad manners, undeveloped business ethics; these are all things that drain us and ultimately make us seek out more agreeable partners.
I'm not saying we are perfect as individuals or an organisation. As our latest event, Surveillance Party #2, drew near, our concepts narrowed down to practical truth whereby budget limits, communication breakdowns and understaffing led to a degree of post-event bruising. But I think we walked out of there with our heads held high that we'd put on an undeniably wicked party. We have certainly gained some very strong allies who want to help us fill in the gaps for next time, and who will see a clear benefit.
What's on the horizon for Surveillance Party in 2015? Well, to let you in on it, this year was supposed to be the year of audience-building and we've smashed up this goal already. We haven't really planned the next phase yet. Certainly, we have another runaway event on our hands in the form of Surveillance Party #3 in November, and we have some amazing people involved to make it happen, but what happens after that?
Personally, I'd like to see us stick to our ultimate goal of building value into music. I think it's going to happen by combining our existing strengths and just re-circling around that beautiful interplay between playing live and releasing music. I think it would be ace to see our releases - which artists pour their souls into - get the same amount of hype as our parties. I can definitely see why people get more excited about a party. They're a part of it, they're necessary to make it happen. I think I would just like people to realise that every time a song is written, it's written for an audience, and listeners should definitely always feel that they are inside the process.
... And that is our wonderful strength as a label - the people we welcome as audience members. The hidden treasures, the folks who don't find connection with exclusive scenes, who feel left out of beautiful clubbing palaces, who don't feel cool enough to participate in alternative music. Well, here's a real alternative for you: what if there was a label that pumped out amazing music of all stripes? Something to fill every playlist, something for every occasion, whether you're dancing in the lounge-room, going for a run, chilling with someone special...
We welcome you to Surveillance Party, every one of you. We are inclusive, we are friendly. When you come to our parties we personally say "hey welcome to the party, hope you have a great time". When you buy music from our website, we see your names come through on the list and we know exactly who we need to thank down the track when the awards start rolling in ;) So, if there was one point to this rant, it's this: we hope that you enjoy listening to the music as much as we enjoy making it. Peace out, see you in November.