I watched the CNN Films production, “Chicago-Now More Than Ever” this week and really enjoyed it.  I was an early Chicago fan…loved them since their first albums and have seen them live several times. As good as the show was, the thing that has stayed with me was a credit at the end to the legendary record producer and engineer, Phil Ramone. Phil was an icon in the entertainment business and his influence still runs deep. His passion for the art and artistry of music was evident in everything he did.

I recall an article about him years before he died in which he challenged his music industry peers to listen to more music. His paraphrase suggestion was something like, “On your next long flight, instead of playing a game on your computer, listen to some music.  Remember why you got in the business.”

Ramone’s dedication to craft brought us, among other monumental songs, Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are.”

Then, just this morning, in Rob Bell’s book, Velvet Elvis, he asked the question, “..are we moving so fast and returning so many call and writing so many e mails and having such long lists to do that we miss it?”

Here’s my point: as a creator, songwriter, artist or musician you have a unique gift.  It’s yours and no one else’s.

As you (and I) enter this new year, let’s set aside some daily time to listen to and enjoy music. Let’s get lost and be moved and immerse ourselves in the joy of music. Let it make you laugh, cry, dance or sing along. Take the time to remember and enjoy those songs that stay with you and then figure out the little things that made them special… that single turn of phrase… that killer guitar lick… the vocal. Then translate that to YOUR songs and what makes them (and YOU) special.

Here it comes…..pay attention!

Yes, it’s a business and should be treated as such. But it’s also music and we are all SO blessed to be able to play a part in this business.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day grind and forget the real reason you’re here. Maybe you need someone to handle some of the business for you so you can get back to the joy of creating. Maybe you need another set of ears and eyes on your horizon. I’ve helped many artists keep their focus and move the needle on their career, and I can help you, too.

Contact me and let’s get focused on making your music, everyone’s music. chris@chriskeaton.com