[This episode contains explicit language]
[Hexagon theme by Jesse Correll]
Welcome to episode 1 of the Hexagon Podcast. I am your host Jesse Correll and I just wanted to take a moment to set the stage for what I hope this podcast will be about...and what you can expect as a listener.
The elevator pitch is this: it's a podcast for singer-songwriters. One-on-one, intimate conversations with fellow singer-songwriters...talking about what it means to do this, now. Without the support of a record label--or a whole staff doing your bidding.
Singer-songwriters are now asked to do a lot of things for themselves…and for those of us who have tried to do this…it’s really fucking hard! So, I wanted a forum…where we could all come together and talk about things that we're doing well; aspects of our careers that we're really feeling are succeeding...but also to talk about where are our pain points? Where are we struggling to find our rhythm?
I love podcasts. I really love the fact that it creates this space where we can listen to intimate conversations between people--where they're having authentic, vulnerable conversations--that you wouldn't really have access to in any other medium.
The thing I love about podcasts is there is a podcast for every niche you can think about. If you like to paint the toe-nails of your pet ferret, there is a podcast for you about that! If you're a wood-worker--sure. Buddhism? Yep! Pop Culture? Of course!! Singer-songwriters? Not so much.
Don't get me wrong, there are podcasts out there for songwriters--and I'll list a few in case you don't know about them...because a few of them are great.
One of my favorites is Sodajerker (on Songwriting)...and the format of that show is two hosts bring in a seasoned songwriter. They talk about how they rose to fame. What's their process? What are they doing now? How do they do it? It runs the gambit and it's a really amazing podcast. I listen to it every month and I wait for those episodes to be released.
There's also a podcast called Song Exploder...and this podcast is really more about production or the story behind the song. How the song came from concept to the finished product. They really walk you through the whole process--and it's amazing. It's a little but more slanted toward production, but great.
There's a slightly more DIY podcast out there called The Commercial Suicide Songwriting Podcast that has been working from the ground up and now has more than 50 episodes. They are really talking about songwriting...and the various aspects of that.
If you haven't already, I would definitely recommend checking out these podcasts.
In all of my searching, I have not found a podcast that is really geared for singer-songwriters--that blend of performance and process. It is my hope that the Hexagon Podcast will achieve that niche--will satisfy that yearning that we all must feel, right? Why are you here? Why are you listening to my voice or reading these words? Is it because you feel that need as well?
[musical interlude by Jesse Correll]
The guests of my show will be singer-songwriters who are actively pursuing their art form. So, they're actively playing shows, they're releasing albums, they're writing—all of that. People like us.
I am not an expert--let's get that out in the open…I simply want to create a space for this ongoing conversation between singer-songwriters. That space is called The Hexagon Podcast…and it’s just for you--it's for us.
There will be questions that I cannot answer…and there will be questions that you CAN answer. That is where I hope the magic of this podcast will happen—you will hear our conversation, and you will think "Jesse can't answer that question, but I totally can." I hope that you will take to social media, or the show notes comments, email me, call me for God's sake--do what ever you need to do, but let's get this connection happening between you and I, but also you and the guest artists. So whether it's something like a book you’ve read, a webinar, a video, a class you took...some little corner of the internet that you've come to love that has really helped out your art form. Those are the things I want us to talk about.
There is a lot of shit out there and it's really hard to sift through all of that and find the stuff that is really going to helpful versus the stuff that's really just out there to make a dollar for someone else. I know we all know what I'm talking about.
Alright, so I’m not the expert…we've established that. But who AM I? I hope to really not make this all about me, but to be fair, you need to know who you're listening to...and this is who I am.
I'm a singer-songwriter. I've been doing this for over 20 years…I released my first CD back in 1994 when it was still kind of a novel idea for someone to be able to release their own album. That release [Soul Song--now scrubbed entirely from the internet] is part of what helped me get accepted to Berklee College of Music. I grew up in Florida [Titusville, where you at?] and moved to Boston having never been there before, never visited the campus. I rallied the money and student loan debt to make that happen and I just moved. It was amazing. My mind was blown open. I went from just listening to Top-40 R&B and Pop into a whole new universe of musical exploration.
During my senior year, I worked on my second album, Rebirth, which I released and...not much happened. I didn't really promote it and I didn't get it out there. I just thought the world was going to find it, and shit was gonna get real. As you can probably figure out, shit did not get real. I started focusing on other things: life, a marriage, a career...
About 10 years later, I woke up and realized that something really important was missing. I had to really struggle to get back to this point where it is a central theme. About 5-8 years ago, I started that process--started taking voice lessons again, started writing again, performing again. I released my third album, Held Momentarily, in 2015. I'm certainly not an expert, but I am one of you. I am a singer-songwriter. I've released three albums. I've played a lot of shows. I've definitely tried to make this work. I've had some success...and some struggles to be sure.
I’m kind of a shy person. I’m not the kind of person that plays my set, and then comes out and is just shaking hands, peddling my wares, taking business cards...making connections. I wish I was that kind of person. I have seen people do that and it blows me away--it's amazing. So, good on you if your'e doing it. That's not me. I say that only to explain that this is really my wheel-house. One on one conversation--that's where I'm really comfortable. So, once a month, I’ll have someone over to my house here in Nashville, I'll set up some microphones and we will have an intimate conversation. We will share that with you...
[musical interlude by Jesse Correll]
So you may be asking "Why is it called the Hexagon Podcast?"
I’ve wanted to create this sense of community for singer-songwriters for a while. In doing so, was always thinking--"what's the name of the thing". For some reason the metaphor of bees really stayed with me--the collective, the hive. In researching more about that, I learned about how bees have constructed hives--specifically around this six-sided shape called a hexagon. It is the most efficient and strongest shape that could come up with to create their honey. That made me start asking myself -- "are there six sides of being a singer-songwriter?"
I think there are.
You might argue--saying there are 5 or 8...For our purposes, let’s just say there are six.
You might say…you had me up until the last two. Let me explain.
Growth is about how are we educating ourselves, how are we making sure that we're not writing the same song over and over again, how are we growing instrumentally, vocally...how are we growing?
The sixth aspect is Life. Well, I’ll admit, that’s kind of a catch-all…but it is a necessary catch-all. This is the space we’ll leave to talk about all of those “other” things…for example, anxiety as it pertains to performing or meeting new people. It could be balancing a day-job with songwriting--how do you find the time and energy to do both? Having a relationship while also being a singer-songwriter. Anything like that--anything that does not fit into one of the other well-defined aspects, we will talk about it when we talk about "Life".
So…that’s it for now. The Hexagon Podcast--it's about six aspects of being a singer-songwriter. I will meet once a month with a fellow singer-songwriter. We'll talk about all of those aspects of doing what we do.
Please stay in touch! I welcome your feedback. Do what you do! Comment! Let me have it. You can find me on Twitter @hexagonpodcast or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you soon! Thank you so much for listening. Please subscribe if you feel so inclined!
[outro theme by Jesse Correll]
Episode 0 Recorded and Edited by Jesse Correll.