Last week, I achieved a milestone that every artist dreams of: I won the Hollywood Independent Music Award in the Contemporary Classical Category for my composition "Kelton" (for piano and string orchestra). As I stood on that podium to give my speech, the weight of the crystal trophy in my hand was eclipsed only by the weight of the journey that brought me there.
The path of an independent artist is paved with challenges. While the music industry celebrates the grandiose blockbusters, indie artists craft their compositions in the quiet corners of life. Without the financial backing of big studios or the marketing might of industry giants, our creations often whisper in a world that's used to shouts.
Why is it so challenging for independent artists to survive? For one, the music industry is a fierce battleground, with a deluge of content being released every day. The competition is intense. Many times, the value of a composition isn’t determined by its artistic merit, but by its commercial viability or the number of fans/streams. But we, indie artists, persist. We create not for charts or profits, but for the sheer love of expression, to share a piece of our soul with the world.
Recognition in such an atmosphere, then, is no small feat. Awards like the Hollywood Independent Music Award aren't just trophies; they are beacons. By recognizing independent artists, they validate our efforts, fuel our passion, and pave the way for diverse, authentic music to flourish.
For me, "Kelton" wasn't just a piece of music. It was a journey, an emotion, a story waiting to be told. The delicate dance of the piano with the rich melodies of the string orchestra was my heart laid bare, and the award is a testament to its resonance with others.
To all the independent artists out there: your voice matters. Your creations are worthy. No matter how tough the journey, continue to compose, to sing, to play, to create. The world needs your unique voice.
And to those who listen, support, and recognize independent music: Thank you. By cherishing our work, you empower us to dream bigger, climb higher, and create with renewed vigor. After all, art isn't just about the loudest voice, but the most authentic one.
You can listen to Kelton here and watch the speech below: