I’ll start by getting all the disclaimers out of the way. Yes, I’ve known the founder and president of ISSA, Tamanie Dove, for a number of years and have been an active supporter of both her music and efforts to lift indie artists up with ISSA. Yes, I have been a published ISSA supporter since like day two of the organization, and Music Mafia Radio contributed to the organization in the early days as a way to help the cause move forward. Yes, because of what I do with Music Mafia Radio I have come to know a number of the ISSA representatives and artists on a personal level. And yes, Music Mafia Radio took top honors in the Radio Station of the Year at the ISSA Awards Show.
I had the honor and privilege of being a part of the recently concluded 2019 International Singer Songwriters Association Awards Show. For those that aren’t familiar, it is the brainchild of indie artist and mentor, Tamanie Dove. It was created to be an avenue for independent artists to showcase their talent and for them to learn how to navigate the industry. The response from artists has been overwhelmingly positive, and ISSA has grown to become a great platform for emerging indie artists.
Let me start off by saying this was the inaugural show for the organization, and as anybody would expect there were hiccups and lessons learned. For those there to show support of the great music being recognized, these speed bumps were a small price to pay for a day of celebration. It made for a much greater showing of the community being built and I’m sure the lessons learned will make for an even better event next year. But enough about those small things.
On a personal level, the entire weekend was spectacular. On Friday night, a pre-party was held where a number of great musicians showcased their talents and even more artists showed up to show their support and finally get to meet each other face-to-face. I met many artists we’ve been playing and supporting at Music Mafia Radio and even got to check off a few of the bands that have been on my bucket list for some time. More importantly, the feeling of fellowship and camaraderie was impossible to ignore. Handshakes, hugs and a million pictures occurred as people were finally getting to meet those they had created an online relationship with. Musicians became fans and gave their encouragement to each other. As somebody who was removed from the business for a number of years, it was so incredible to see the outpouring of love amongst the artists.
Saturday was the main event, something many of us had been waiting months for. It did not disappoint. Prior to the event, a red-carpet event was held, which gave the opportunity for many special moments. Musicians being interviewed, pictures of artists with their family, fans and friends. For many, it was an opportunity to finally put the name to the face of some of their own favorite musicians. It was something special to watch.
The awards show itself was the highlight of the weekend, as artists from a wide variety of musical styles were recognized for their talent and ability. Each one of the acceptance speeches came from the heart and the musical performances left the listener wanting more. Again, the support of other musicians was obvious and created an atmosphere of pure celebration. It was impossible to walk away without feeling a sense of excitement for what the next year holds for those artists and ISSA itself. The awards show was followed by an after party, where even more incredible talent was given the opportunity to perform before a very receptive audience.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my humble review of the 2019 ISSA Awards Show. Well, almost all the review, that is. You see, while the awards ceremony was a great thing to be a part of and to witness, it was the ability to meet and hang out with such great talent for two days that was the most special part of the experience. Don’t get me wrong- the ISSA Awards are going to become an important part of the indie landscape in the years to come. I’m honored beyond words to have my name etched on one of those awards. The music industry is in for a number of collaborations created out of this weekend, and the friendships made this weekend will have an effect on the industry for many years to come. More importantly, the community of support for indie musicians grew exponentially this weekend. I’m honored to a part of this movement and excited by the endless possibilities I see in the months ahead.
These last points will be lost on those that view the music industry as their potential personal cash cow, as well as those that falsely put themselves in a position of imagined importance. I hope I never reach a point in my musical career where my vision is clouded and jaded like that, because I would have missed so many of the wonderful things that occurred over the weekend.
Finally, to Tamanie Dove and her incredible staff, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this weekend. Your efforts are so greatly appreciated by this small-time broadcaster and I only hope for continued success. I cannot wait to see what’s next for everyone involved!
Follow the International Singer Songwriters Association at http://ISSAsongwriter.com.