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The New YOU For ‘22

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

By Justin Gray (Songwriter/Producer/Founder MDIIO)

Firstly, I hope that when you look back on the past year, you see the last 12 months as a year of personal and professional growth, a year of abject humility, a year of well-earned lessons, and a year of significant creative success. Creative success doesn’t have to mean whether you had hits or cuts, or even earned a dollar from your songs. It really means a reflection on…are you a better songwriter? Are you a more empathetic collaborator? Are you just generally better and more in tune with what it is that you’re doing? Did you stay true to your vision, or did you stray off the path? Is your vision clearer? If you were to go back in time exactly 12 months ago and project while reflectively looking at what would happen to you over the next 12 months, would you be satisfied? If I were to say to you… “You will write X amount of songs” “Be a part of X amount of new collaborations and creations” “You will get X amount of cuts or placements” Would you be happy? How did the last 12 months compare to the 12 months before? Did you make any advancements? If you didn’t, what are the reasons? If you did, what are the reasons? As long as we can measure our growth meaningfully, then we know we are headed in the right direction. Don’t believe the hype! Despite popular demand, the people that make it overnight, are the same ones that disappear overnight. Chris Rock once famously said during the Oscars “here today, gone later today.” See TikTok…aka “going viral” Andy Warhol (circa 1960's) opined that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." He was 1000% right. Remember the cranberry juice guy? That’s not the success we should strive for. At least I don’t. No solid ground is built on unstable footing. Even if you write a song and nobody hears it, or it doesn’t make the impact that you hoped it would, consider the whole process a learning lesson. It will inform you for the next time how to do it better in order to find and achieve more success. Try not to be demotivated by “failure” or feeling like whatever you’re doing is just not connecting. The truth is, it just hasn’t connected yet. YOU just haven’t connected yet. “Yet” being the operative word. My 2021… Personally speaking…I placed myself in positions of immense discomfort knowing that growth comes from struggle. I guess that’s why they call them “growing pains.” Emphasis on the word “GROWING” de-emphasis on the work “pain.” For me, the pain is worth the growth. As doors closed, new ones opened. As relationships ended, new ones blossomed. As ideas fizzled, new ones developed. This year has been amazing and painful and transformative. At least for me. What about for you? My 2021 represented unparalleled growth. Hard to say that after doing music for 25 years. Sheesh. But it’s always been my personal strategy to grow year over year. For the most part, I can say confidently that I have. Thankfully. Let’s have this chat again on Dec 31/2022 and see how you did! How will you do? I’m personally grateful to have each and every one of you as a part of our MDIIO community. Thank you for being here. See you next year!! Until then, keep writing those hits!!


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