Actually let’s be honest, even when things are good, music is medicine. But a light when it’s light out blends right in. A light in the dark stands out.
Before Covid-19 changed every aspect of the entertainment industry as we knew it, my band, Fox and Bones, toured nine months out of the year. In 2019, we played 300 shows all over the world, and in early 2020, we were riding high off of selling out Portland’s Folk Festival, releasing a new single, and starting a three-month US tour. We didn’t need to have a permanent home, so we couch-surfed and stayed with family to save money. We were the ultimate nomads, and it was exhausting, but rewarding.
We made it to Southern California on our tour before everything shut down and we were forced to cancel the tour and come back home, moving in with my parents and preparing to be in one place for the longest stretch in our four-year career.
When working hard and traveling become your identity as an artist, sitting still with nothing to do feels incredibly disconcerting, so we immediately began looking for ways to continue working from the safety of home. Livestreams and socially distanced driveway concerts became the norm. But every artist we knew was competing for the same slice of the market, and I knew we’d need to get more creative.
To explain where we went next, let me take you back to Christmas of 2017. On Christmas morning, I was given the best gift I’ve ever received. My partner and bandmate, Scott, had written me a song and had it recorded in secret at The Rye Room. He played me the recording on Christmas morning and I was instantly in tears. My sister has been pestering her husband to write her a song ever since, despite the fact that he works in tech, not music.
It occurred to me then that this is a gift anyone would love to receive, especially fans of music. Being someone’s muse, someone’s inspiration, is a feeling like no other. And as songwriters and storytellers, Scott and I knew this was something we could offer other people as well. So, we decided to give custom song commissions a try.
Our first customers were a trio of siblings who wanted the perfect Mother’s Day gift for their mom, Dara, a multi-creative music lover who raised them as a single mother. They told us they credit their success as adults to their mom’s amazing parenting, and felt she deserved a gift to end all gifts.
We met with the siblings over Zoom, where we laughed, cried and were regaled with some pretty amazing stories about Dara. There was the time she dressed up as a pig and went to her daughter’s school on Valentine’s Day to hand out pork rinds as “Cu-Pig,” and the time she got to dance onstage with The Offspring while dressed as a clown. We quickly learned that Dara was the perfect muse for a song.
The song we created for Dara, titled “Your Greatest Art Project,” felt like a fitting tribute to her, but we couldn’t have anticipated just how much watching her receive it would touch us! Watching her hear the song for the first time, and then later, watching her cry in her heartfelt testimonial video got us on a deep level and we realized that this service isn’t just about us finding a new business opportunity during a pandemic–this is a real and tangible way that we can touch people’s lives and bring them closer together.
Today, after months of blood, sweat, tears and mostly, joy, we officially launch this new service, and we couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that lay ahead on this new path! We believe music is medicine, and we are excited to spread that medicine out into the world in this brand new way.