If you’re anything like me, you probably started the day by recognizing that the start of a new work week had indeed arrived and then immediately began shaking your fists at the sky in anger. Monday is rarely anyone’s favorite day, and from what I have seen firsthand it feels safe to say it’s the one day of the week some people outright hate. I guess to them the arrival of the work week symbolizes the end of their quote/unquote freedom, and as a result they head into the office/factory/restaurant/store with a negative outlook already on their mind. This leads to bad attitudes, which only makes the experience of being at work worse, and for some reason it also seems to make time slow to a crawl. We’re not about that life, and we hope this post can do the same you that the song contained within it did for us.
Over the last three or four years there has been a surge in the number of aspiring entertainers finding their way onto the national stage through digital media sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, or the like. Some have said this path to success is the new norm, but as someone who spent the first half of their life living in a world where the internet wasn’t in everyone’s pocket there are times I find that idea very hard to believe. After all, anyone can upload anything they want to the internet, so how could anyone hope to stand out?
Enter Charlie Puth. Having been born in December of 1991, Charlie is a little more than four years younger than myself, but if you were to see him or hear his music you might swear we are closer to a decade apart. Puth has the kind of croon that brings to mind the dancehall singers of yesteryear met with the ultra-clean, yet undeniably slick fashion sense of today. His music straddles the line between pop and soul more often than not, though that was not always the case. Puth actually built has brand through YouTube. He would upload performances recorded in front of his computer for the world to see, and slowly members of that ever-important young female demographic began to take notice. That attention was followed by the attention of major labels, and now Charlie is just days away from sharing his Atlantic Records debut.
But why should we care? More importantly, why should you care? I know some of the people who read this column are no doubt young music fans already familiar with Puth’s talent, but many of our subscribers are industry professionals or those attempting to become professionals, and those people tend to have an average age somewhere around 25. While Charlie Puth no doubt has the skills needed to pull in twenty-somethings they are certainly not his core audience. In fact, I would wager that very little marketing money has been spent on winning the over 18 crowd for Puth, but still I argue his name is one we all need to know, in only because he deserves to be the future of pop music.
You see, despite all the money Atlantic may be throwing at Puth’s brand and the high caliber producers enlisted to help make his debut album great, Charlie Puth’s moment in the spotlight is one he himself earned. Puth is the one who took it upon himself to initially post videos on YouTube, and it was Puth who took the time needed to refine his talents to the point that the music industry at large took notice. He may have an army of helpers around him now, but all of that is only possible because he first took it upon himself to be something special. Puth knew he needed to engage the world at large even if no one ever gave a damn and he did just that. I don’t know about you, but I could certainly use that kind of confidence in my own day-to-day endeavors.
Many people will be quick to write Charlie Puth off as another label made success story, but that could not be further from the truth. Charlie Puth is where he is at this point in his life because he took a chance. He felt a calling deep within his soul and he made a decision to see where it lead. He accepted that he could fail, just like he accepted that no one may ever give a damn, and still he pushed forward. Before anyone believed in him Charlie Puth believed in himself, and it’s because of that faith in what he was doing that Puth continues to find success today.
This week, spin Puth’s music and ask yourself what it is you feel compelled to pursue. Think about what makes you the happiest and how you could work to make that activity the thing you do each and every day. Apply yourself, believe in yourself, and never stop trying to improve until you are absolutely exhausted. You might not succeed, but you will learn more about yourself, and that is a reward that is all too rare in our crazy world.
James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also a professional entertainment critic, covering both film and music, as well as the co-founder of Antique Records. Feel free to tell him you love or hate the article above by connecting with him on Twitter. Bonus points if you introduce yourself by sharing your favorite Simpsons character.