Reality is wrong… Dreams are for real.
Recently, I had a meeting with a record executive from one of the biggest record labels in the world, right here in LA. I was feeling a lot of things that morning… nervous, excited, anxious, thrilled, ecstatic… but most of all reflective. After all, musicians dream of this moment their entire lives. I thought about everything that had led me up to this point… going against the grain, all the hard work, all the bold decisions… The sleepless nights, the hours of writing and recording, the brutal and tedious hours of mixing records to get them to sound just right. I felt that it had all accumulated to this one beautiful moment.
The meeting begins. We start talking… “The music’s good. But you’re Indian. You can’t blow up in America. Go back to India…”
And just like that… with four sentences my story almost ended.
Until I realized, that this man might represent a billion dollar company… He might be in charge of signing new talent for them. But his opinion doesn’t define who I am. And it never will. So without saying much… I kept pushing onwards.
Since then, my new singles have gone into rotation on MTV & VH1 and even more recently… I was nominated for my very first VH1 Award (for “Best Hip-Hop Act“) at the VH1 SoundNation Awards.
No record label.
Just me… writing, recording, self releasing music.
That meeting inspired me to create the HumbleHustle project. A project for artists to come together and create music for the love of creating music. Everybody who worked on this project from the artists, to the engineers, to the cameramen all worked on this for free because they believe in the music. I want to clarify though, this wasn’t a low budget video… It’s a no budget video. We had people volunteer and bring over a hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment including multiple Red Epic cameras. The Red Epic is a top of the line camera used for major motion pictures in Hollywood.
These are professionals from the film, television, and music industry, who took time out of their schedule… Because they dig the music. The video was directed & edited by Carlos Haynes (from VICE media), along with motion graphics and titles by Michael Colby (Mikey Cheeze). Michael was an amazing talent! He did visual effects for campaigns on HBO promoting: Avatar, True Blood, The Dark Knight, The Simpsons Movie, amongst others. Unfortunately, Michael and his girlfriend, passed away the morning after he finished working on the Humble Hustle music video. This project is the last thing he worked on.
A few days following Michael’s departure… A good friend of mine, and also a vital member of the HumbleHustle family, welcomed his first born son into this world. The last one year has been quite a journey. A journey that’s redefined the meaning of humble hustle in my life. I feel privileged and lucky to have been able to work on such a beautiful project with such amazing people. Carlos, Hitt, Chris, Rob, Tero… We did it fellas!
Please visit the Michael Colby Art Scholarship today.