out perform // outlast // out work
Support. Prediction. Connection. This week marks the end of Out of the Woodwork’s third year, and I couldn’t be happier with what it stands for. Since 2013 this little network has taken about a half dozen forms. It looks different, moves different. People have joined and left. But what has never changed is my commitment to bringing us all together. Artists, fans, families- all of us. Out of the Woodwork has evolved beyond its blogly borders, reaching into social media pages, concerts, and real life face-to-face contact. It isn’t just about making people more famous or giving people more music to listen to. It’s about bringing them into symbiotic relationships with each other. This network is the kind of place that finds the photographer a model and the model a photographer. The dancer a musician and musician a dancer. For many this means our support runs far deeper than a single interview. I keep tabs on the careers of nearly everyone who has ever come into contact with this network, and nothing makes me happier than being there to witness their greatest moments as they move forward. I watched as Malece Miller danced for national television, cheered with the crowds as she performed in Raleigh with Lindsey Stirling‘s Music Box Tour. I was there selling T-shirts for Soren Bryce‘s debut EP, spreading it everywhere as she started on her first album. I stayed up all night when the San Francisco Globe turned Nathan and Eva Leach into a viral sensation, saw people swarm to their “Hero” cover video and push it over 12 million views. When The City Quill released it’s first issue, The Fringe broadcast its first episode, when Leah Rhyne released a novel, and when Elia Esparza joined #teamadam on The Voice, I was there. Offering artists a leg up has gone from an occasional hobby to an integral part of who I am. Out of the Woodwork may not be a major player compared to many other indie blogs, but it is always working for someone.
One of my favorite parts of writing for Out of the Woodwork is creating a list of “People to Watch” every year. The People to Watch list is less about what people have done in the past, more about what I predict they’ll do in the coming year. So far I feel like I’ve had a pretty good idea who would make major moves in the approaching year, and I’m always impressed by how these artists can take something I already love and totally overshadow it with their next creation. But there’s another reason I do these lists. It’s the same reason I make playlists and introduce musicians to each other at concerts. I want artists to see each other. I want them to know that they aren’t alone out there, that other people are at all different stages in their careers. I want fanbases to mix and cross, new creations to form from the relationships created here.
Now, here we are. Less than three months from 2017, and I am once again faced with narrowing my next “People to Watch” list to a meager 17. I’ve featured 33 different artists on these lists over the past years, with several returning multiple times. I’d like to expand my search this year beyond social media recommendations and submissions. Who do you think are next year’s “People to Watch”? Who has Out of the Woodwork been missing out on? Let us know!
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone reading this right now. Thank you for affording me the opportunity to do what I love, and for supporting artists before they’ve made their millions. We appreciate you.