I used to watch the Grammy's to see my favorite artists perform and win awards - and then get mad when they didn't. So I stopped. I realize that what I like doesn't change according to whether or not the artist wins a Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, or Tony. It's nice for the artist, but for me? I'll see it on the blogs and my Facebook feed, which is sometimes more entertaining anyway!
Anyway, this year, it was on, but I was in the middle of a paint project and didn't give it much thought.
Except as I was painting, this girl/woman started singing. It was a familiar chorus. I don't listen to the radio much anymore, so I may have heard it in a commercial or something, but it moved me. So I went to the TV. A woman in a choppy blond wig (like the one seen above) was singing to the wall.
But wait. Her voice.
But I'm side-tracked.
The wig and the set are throwing me off. A set of strange muted colors like mauve; mixed with grandmotherly upholstery.
But the voice.
Is it Gaga? No. Apparently her name is Sia.
And she is singing to the wall while Kristen Wiig contorts and mimes interpretive dance. Definitely different.
But this voice!
I could not tune it out. I also cannot think of the right word to describe it. Pure? Raw? Angelic? I don't know. Mostly, I felt like Sia unwrapped a beautiful heartfelt gift and gave it to me. Thanks boo.
Then I had another thought. Would we share our gifts if we didn't get any recognition for it?
There are countless people who do this everyday, I know. But in a culture that seeks fame by any means, it's hard to imagine an artist doing this.
Full disclosure: Sia's reasons for not sharing her identity include wanting a private life for her herself, devoid of public interference.
As a songwriter who's worked with many big names, it's not like she hasn't seen her own work come to fruition. But I think (and I may be assuming) there was an undeniable urge to use her voice...without also personally suffering at the hands of tabloid news outlets, bloggers and blog commenters. The music, of course, is subject to critique, but not her daily appearance when "off the clock." I may be putting words in her mouth, but in essence she's also saying, "Pay attention to the music, not me." I like that. I like people who zig when everyone else zags.
What do you think would come of our recording industry, youtube sensations, and the gossip mills if more artists decided to go this route? In all honesty, when I was growing up, music was like watching The Voice. You heard it on the radio, and either you liked it or you didn't. Moment of truth: Sometimes, I'd fall in love with a song, but when I saw the artist on the album cover the love affair in my mind ended.
I said all of that to get to this.
If you had a major talent to share, that would touch millions of people, but no one would ever know your name, or ask for your autograph, would you be okay with that? Does your gift require that you receive praise and adulation? What if you knew you had no choice but to use your talent publicly, but that in order for you, your spouse and children to have a normal life, you, by choice, would have to sing with a paper bag over your head. Would you do it to share your gift? Or what if you understood that the sole purpose of the gift was to give God glory and someone else (apart from God) would receive the credit? What is your motivation behind sharing your gifts and talents? And if you haven't made it, could it be that perhaps your motives are why you may not have achieved success?
These are the things I think about.
I leave that at your feet.