It’s a generation where young people have a strong sense of entitlement. ” I deserve to be successful because I am talented and smart.” I see this in many people I meet online and in real life. It is a tough competitive world out there. You need all skills and how bad you want it to get where you want to be. The musical life of Canadian singer/songwriter Layne Greene is being written. It means we shall see ten years from now where he’ll be and how far he’ll go. But as a friend for a few years now, I can say that he knows his stuff.He knows how to get it (even if it means braving the cold Autumn winds to busk outside Walmart), help organize multi-media shows or record Christmas tunes everyday from December 1st up to the end of the month( because he set the goal and must finish it).
To polish his production skills, he worked as a sound tech at the deCoste Centre, which started as a summer job and has now extended as a part time job while attending his studies. In between academic pursuits, he still had time to say hello to know how I was doing. This was when tragedy struck home and I was crippled in spirit. ” You don’t have to be the best. Just good enough.” That’s what his mentor told him. And it rings true because apart form the talent, one has to have a sense of community and strong marketing skills to navigate the dynamic world of music. And just be you regardless how the world wants you to be.
When Scott Jones was attacked due to his sexual orientation, Layne Greene was the first to stand up to the horror and turn it into an inspiration. He started sending invites and emailed people who would be willing to help organize a fund raising program at the Eventide Art Hub. He worked day and night planning on how things would go. And this was in the middle of his term exam. The fund raising was a success.
Busking is not for all. But one has to do it in order to break away from the confines of solely promoting music through the internet. It has taught him how to play non stop for eight hours, memorize many tunes at such short time, mix tracks for other bands, uploading the same song in different formats(youtube, soundcloud etc), practicing every day and so much more. I asked him why he drives himself to such extent. His answer was: “So that I can make a living through music. If I am a good guitar player then bands will hire me. If I don’t end up as a musical artist, then I can always make a living on the marketing side of music-maybe as a record exec or building my own recording studio for commercial use by artist.”
Yes he is talented and a straight A student. But most of all he’s my friend. I am learning a great deal from him not just in music but also about motivation. When you want to get it, you have to work the sweat out.
I made this Q&A an hour ago before working on this post:
How was the feeling uploading Christmas tunes from the start of December until Christmas day?
It was actually a lot of fun! I wish I hadn’t missed the last few days though, but there wasn’t really anything I could do about it.
Do you think you learned something important this year and what is it?
Probably the biggest thing I learned this year is that anything worthwhile takes time. I’m getting antsy to get the album done and start playing all the time, but it’s not really as simple as that.
Music is such a ‘rugged’ career as you experienced busking under harsh weather. Care to share the positive results that you got out of being vigilant about sharing your music to the public?
It’s all about the results! I’ve adopted a “say yes” policy when people ask me to play. At this point I can’t really turn down any gig. The most positive results I can get at this point is more exposure, and I definitely think that its slowly coming along.
How are you going to welcome 2014?
Not entirely sure yet! I think I’m just going to stay at home and work on some tunes though, it’s been a busy month!