I’m writing to myself today.
When Phil Kells last visited the United States from Australia, he spent some time at my house and we drove around listening to my favorite satellite radio station, Sirius XM’s The Coffee House. It features accoustic originals and covers and often broadcasts exclusive content recorded in their studios. He loved it as much as I did and when he returned home, tried to find it. Unfortunately, he can’t get it in Australia.
So, when SoundHound released an update to their popular music identification app that allowed me to automatically add songs to a Spotify playlist, I decided to do Phil a favor and curate songs from The Coffee House into a SoundHound playlist for him. It’s simple enough to do. When I hear a song, I open the SoundHound app and let it identify the song. It then instantly adds it to the playlist. Painless.
Hears the flaw in my plan. More often than not, SoundHound can’t identify the music. It’s not the fault of the app, it’s because the music on the station is often truly unique. It’s why I listen in the first place. So, if I really like the song, I try to remember the artist and search for it on Spotify later.
Yesterday, I heard this song by Matthew Mole.
I popped open the app and let it spin. The response was, “there were no close matches.” So I searched SoundHound… nothing. Then I searched Spotify… nothing. When I got home I searched the web and found the YouTube video above. I went out of my way to find that song. Why? I think it’s great. And instead of feeling like this wasn’t worth the effort, or that someone should have done a better job of placing this content everywhere, it felt like I was finding a hidden gem.
The fact that I couldn’t find it easily actually made me want it more. Would it be better for Matthew if his music were easier to find? Perhaps, but I certainly wouldn’t be writing this post right now if it had popped up in SoundHound at the click of a button, or easily found on search in Spotify. As it turns out, lots of people have found him just fine. ‘Take Yours, I’ll Take Mine’ is from Matthew Mole’s No.1 selling iTunes album ‘The Home We Built‘ and it’s also an iTunes Exclusive EP.
Call it the velvet rope effect or whatever else you might want to call it, but that feeling of, “this is rare” served to make me want it more. And it compelled me to write. In truth, however, what really makes it rare for me is not really how hard it was to find, it’s the special quality of the music. I appreciate the skill required to write and perform a song like this. I gravitate to singer/songwriters. And it hit my musical sweet spot.
Obviously I believe there is a message for me embedded in this experience. It is this: If what you create is special, if what you deliver is great, rare, and valuable, people will seek you out. In fact, people will go out of their way to find you. And people will talk about you. Like this.
Making something special requires effort. Things that are easy are not rare. Delivering a quality product or exceptional service requires a focus and attention to craft that others will be unwilling to achieve.
I’m writing to myself today.
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