It’s a new year and I’m grateful to still be here. 2023 was packed with surprises galore, and while I’m sure I’ll revisit them fondly with y’all, I need to address this big deal.
My cousin Dre came by the house/studio the other day while he was visiting from Texas. He’d moved there from NJ a few years ago, but we hadn’t touched base and I was unaware. He actually reached out because I had traded him one of my custom wrapped drum sets for a DW 4 piece kit that needed some TLC. Some of you might remember this rebuild, but if you missed it, I brought a red sparkle DW Collector’s series back into fighting shape. Anyway, Dre didn’t move with the Tama Granstar I customized. He asked me if I wanted it back and I was more than happy to see it again.
While I was chatting with Dre and his lovely companion, I showed him some of my favorite items in my studio. All of a sudden, Dre says, “what’s this?!” referring to the GRAMMY nomination certificate for Best Children’s Album for Divinity Roxx’s Ready, Set, GO! I briefly reminisced on the excitement of being a collaborator on a top 5 album and how it was the coolest award I’d ever received. Dre responded with, “you didn’t talk enough about this.” I really had to reflect on this because I thought I had spoken an appropriate amount about it.
It took me back to a memory of my days at the University of Virginia. I worked with some of the most lovely people there and I was fortunate enough to win a few awards for my work in arts administration. Once I won a very nice plaque with my friend Joel. We repurposed a room over the summer to add a rehearsal/teaching space. It was a huge improvement and made the scheduling for the upcoming semester so much smoother. When the Dean of Arts and Sciences came by to see the improvement, Joel regaled in detail everything we did to make the project successful. I was blushing at how much detail he gave and I wanted him to chill out, but he was talking faster than a dictionary salesman. A few months later… a gold plaque.
It was cool to be acknowledged in public and it brought more respect to the other small things I did. Did I need it to keep being me? No. Did it make it easier to help others? Yes. So to that I say, thanks Joel for showing me something I didn’t see. And thanks Dre for always checking for me.
As far as this lovely GRAMMY certificate goes, I’m so grateful that the first time that I’m seen in this way is with a body of work I’m proud of and my kids adore. Ready, Set, GO! is family music and I’m quite sure my daughter generates most of our streams. Thankfully, it doesn’t drive me mad to listen to this record on repeat because it inspires me to be better too.
If you get a chance, listen to the record and look out for new music and shows from Divinity Roxx!