How does it feel to come so close to grabbing onto an opportunity, only to miss out by the smallest of margins? Agonizing isn’t it?
Sometime early last year, I got called for a job interview. My luck had finally set in. the numerous applications and countless times when the door had been slammed on my face and then an opportunity had finally materialized. I prepared myself. I went through the rigorous aptitude tests and qualified for the final stage, the oral interview. Then when the day came, I realized I hadn’t read the instructions on the email carefully. I had forgotten to bring a copy of my ID. After coming so far, after bruising, and enduring rain and mud, I fell at the final hurdle. All because I wasn’t thorough.
Sadly the only thing I came out of that interview room was a lesson.
I missed out on a dream job not because I wasn’t qualified. It wasn’t because I am unable to communicate. I like to think I am a likeable person and work well with others. But it was the small leak that sank my whole splendid ship.
The worst thing about coming so close is that no one recognizes the near misses; the glances off the post or the child that was almost carried to term; almost doesn’t count. And the sting of failure is painful, the tears bitter and the heartbreak devastating.
If we look at our day to day lives, most of our failures are not on account of large discrepancies but small routine mistakes that set us back farther than the distances we’ve come.
With the potential we have as a rock scene, the enormous talent and dedicated fan base, it is still little failings that hold us back from being an unstoppable phenomenon.
Year in year out the same mistakes are repeated. We are lucky because for some reason, fortune keeps giving us opportunities to wipe the slate clean. And as is the fashion to start a new year with new resolutions, 2017 grants us the opportunity to stop doing these things that have held us back for so long.
There is nothing that destroys credibility faster than showing up late. People have lost grand opportunities just because they never appeared on time.
2016 was a year when we saw this numerous times. Bands and even djs would come to the venue 2-3 hours behind schedule. Sometimes they’d even come drunk, sigh.
It shows a total lack of respect to the patrons and even the fans who came to watch you play. The schedule has to be delayed. People start getting frustrated and this kills the hype. More importantly you don’t get to test the sound and this may have disastrous implications.
2017 demands that if we are to grab our destiny by the veins, that we be professional, dependable and disciplined. This will start with coming to the venue, on time or ahead of time. If you are to come late please call and inform the organisers promptly so arrangements can be made to remedy the situation.
Bringing your own equipment
If you have your own guitar then it only makes sense to bring it. Don’t just come to a show and expect everything to be made available. It reflects poorly on your character and paints you as unprepared and lazy.
Supporting each other
This scene is too small to be selfish with your “like” and “share” button. When we support each other we make it easier for each of us to succeed. If a band releases material, like and share it. Comment and contribute to the discussion. It keeps the momentum going and when your time comes you can be sure to expect the same treatment. With the numbers we have if we supported each other, the results would be overwhelmingly positive.
As artists/bands it is also upon you to take the initiative to share your released material or upcoming shows with other stakeholders in the scene. Tag as many people as possible. Don’t expect to receive support if you don’t tell people what you are upto.
This point also extends to attending shows. Bands have the habit of only attending shows where they are set to play. If we are to have meaningful and engaging events then we all need to take part whether you are performing or not.
Working As A Team
We have in place a Rock Society of Kenya, duly registered I assume. But in all honesty, I feel it is been underutilized. Ideally all musicians in the rock fraternity should be registered members with every active member having equal opportunity to perform at shows.
RSK regularly hold battle of the bands and Platform 7. But it would really be helpful if we could all sit down as a scene and plan out shows for the whole year with a confirmed list of bands and djs set to perform.
If we are to attract sponsors then we need to start acting with a certain level of uniformity that a stable industry requires.
Guys 2016 isn’t the time to sit aside on your own in a dark corner and brooding. You’re not batman.
In business people buy from someone they like. You will most probably frequent the shop where the owner greets you with a smile and asks you about your day than one that looks like they cant wait till you leave. So when you go for shows do the same because your personal brand depends on it. Move around, mingle with the crowd, exchange contcts and share drinks. The show may suck but talking to people in attendance will liven up the atmosphere and can really turn a languid show on its head.