I’ve decided to take this entry down a different route today, relaying one of my many adventures in jewelry making with a social twist.
I never enter contests. Ever. When you’re as busy as I am, the opportunity to hear about an intriguing event or opportunity can sometimes pass me by. That, and I just never have motivation to make the effort. It’s such a fleeting thing to me, contests.
I have three BIG passions in life; exploring/creating art (particularly jewelry, of course), food… and music.
I’m an audiophile; From indie to drum and bass, classical to bhangra, jazz to reggae… you name it, I listen to it. Ask anyone who’s close to me what would happen if I ever lost my iPod. And having been trained classically on piano with the RCM, I even tried my hand at being a keyboardist for a heavy metal band when I was in college, which was glorious fun.
Long story short… One of my favorite artists in the so-called ‘dance’ genre is a gentleman by the name of Jon Gooch, AKA Feed Me, AKA Spor, producing electro-house under his Feed Me alias, and drum and bass under his Spor alias. His music is diverse, fun, and enginuitive. However, I have a penchant for multifaceted creativity; Jon sings, plays and records his own instrumentals, designs and manifests the graphics (he is a remarkable visual artist), mechanics, and even robotics behind his performances, and much more.
There was a promotion for his summer tour, Feed Me’s Psychedelic Journey, and it also included a contest to win a Meet & Greet and hang out backstage in the city of your choice. I remember looking at the add for it, and feeling atypically positive. I actually had a good feeling when I looked at this application.
So I entered.
What a surprise it was finding an email in my inbox a few days ago congratulating me on winning the contest (I scared my dog when I jumped out of my chair and let out a gargantuan “WOOOOOO!”… kind of like the Spence Diamonds commercials). As soon as I had some spare time that day, I made Jon a bracelet (because that’s what I do).
Now, as much as I love dance music and dancing, I have my reservations about giant dance festivals, and not just because I’m 29 years of age; As it turned out, Feed Me was set to perform at VELD here in Toronto, which can get wildly expensive, with single VIP passes sometimes adding up to $255+. Hark, they gave me two complimentary free VIP passes. AND… backstage access. Okay, I’ll go to VELD under those circumstances.
So, I rallied up my girlfriend Jasmine, and we set out on our adventure. The day was wonderful. We enjoyed ourselves with large water bottles in tow, lounging, eating poutine, dancing, and meeting new friendly faces. Jon’s set began just after 5 in the afternoon, and as expected, it was convivial, high-energy, and hearty. He performed many of my old favorites (One Click Headshot, Cloudburn), some new songs off his latest EP (Patience, Alarm Clock), and even some new tracks that will be on his upcoming LP. Naturally, I was in my glory. When his set was over, we met with Reuben, the stage manager, and he lead us to the trailers behind the stage where Jon was cooling down after playing in the summer sun.
The man is TALL. Was not expecting that. He shook our hands with a sincerely beholden smile, asking us what we do, and offering us a drink (we were turned down our request for water by his manager, who insisted on two Steam Whistles instead). He was incredibly charismatic, and at the same time, casual is the simplest of ways. Humble and true-blue. And my age. His tshirt (which was covered in a print of monarch butterfly wings) delighted me. We discussed touring. Jasmine, being a musician herself, enthusiastically asked what it was like to tour the world. We contemplated the curious life of the butterfly, and what what it would feel like to be one. We drank ice cold Steam Whistle under the air conditioner. It was all so nice.
Shyly, I gave him his bracelet, which I gingerly placed inside a tiny a linen pouch, and to which he claimed “Ooo, and it’s in my own little Hobbit pouch!” when I handed it to him. He put it on right away, smiling, rotating it around his wrist, and fingering the beads.
After hanging out, we were told he was being whisked away to do an interview with VICE, but not before I could get a photo.
“How could you not get a photo?” Reuben said.
We said our goodbyes and our thank yous, and I told him that he was extraordinarily talented, and that I’d always be a big fan. He told us he hoped to see us again.
I am incredibly and providentially fortunate to have had so many wonderful experiences and adventures, especially within this past year. In the span of about 16 months, I am pleased to say that I’ve encountered the most liberating, creative, successful, and connection-filled circumstances and wisdom. I am also humbled and thankful for the successful route Nina Spade Studio has taken. And it’s exciting to know that there is more to come.
Meeting someone whom I respect and admire so much, and have them like something I’ve made for them, tugs my heartstrings. I wish Jon so much success on his creative journey. And I am grateful to Three Six Zero management for choosing me as the lucky winner…
…Because when someone you admire so much takes a photo with you, holds up his wrist, and says “Oh wait! make sure you get the bracelet in there too, eh?”, you can’t help feeling anything else but lucky.