“I fought with myself for most of my life” -Steve Grand
By now you have probably seen Steve Grand‘s music video for his song All-American Boy. He’s the young musician who put everything on the line recently when he created, produced, financed and released a music video of his original song All-American Boy. The video cost $7,000, a fraction of what a label would have paid to produce a video like this, but it was a fortune to Grand, who came up with the entire budget himself by maxing out his only plastic to tell the video’s story.
The video portrays a young gay man who misreads signals from an apparently straight “all-American” male friend. The song sounds good and the video quality is very good but what really captured me was this young man’s story and the bravery he showed by telling his story.
I’ve been reading a lot of stuff by Brene’ Brown and I love what she has to say about telling our stories:
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brene Brown
No matter what you think of the song or the video (if you do like it you can go here and support Steve by paying anything you want to download the song – every dollar helps) I think you will be moved by his story. I know that I was and I am wishing him the best of luck in his music career.
Here is a little bit of Steve’s story in his own words:
“I fought with who I was for most of my life. In every way a young person can fight with himself. But starting today, I’m laying it out there. I’m done playing it safe. I’m fortunate to have smart friends who believe in me, but I don’t have a manager or a label or any sort of funding other than the money I make playing piano downtown at The Joynt, and also, ironically to some, in the churches on Sunday morning. As far as the ascetic achievements of the video… lets just say I was lucky to have a good friend introduce me to the best team I could have asked for… who held on to the roller coaster that was this project and dealt with all my intensity and craziness as the true professionals they are. I wrote the song during a drunken piano jam session at a party. I recorded the vocals in my parents’ basement and worked with my friend Max Steger to record and mix the rest of the instruments. I feel like most music industry people wouldn’t like the idea of me “pigeonholing” myself by telling this story as I have. But I don’t believe the world sees change until it sees honesty. So I went in on my own. I went all in. I’m nervous/excited/horrified/anxious about the effect that all of the choices I am making (and have made throughout my journey of discovering myself as a man and as an artist) will have on my future. But then I remind myself that I never really had a choice. This is the story I’ve been aching to tell my most of my life… the universal story of longing to be loved…it is what I hold dearest to me. BUT my story would never have seen the light of day were it not for the people I have listed above, many of whom asked for nothing in return. I know my passion and intensity for this project were a lot to deal with (that might be the understatement of the year.. ;)) Thank you for doing your best to help me keep my sanity… just barely. And thank you for sticking with me; for your flexibility and patience and for helping to bring my vision to life. And to mom and dad… I know you guys don’t always understand just what the hell I am trying to do, but continue to love and support me nonetheless. It means everything to me…” -Steve