HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Well, we made it! Welcome to 2021!
This year has been crazy for everyone. The three of us have been blessed enough to get through 2020 without getting COVID-19, though some of our close friends/parents did get it. Luckily they all recovered without any problems.
I'm sure you've seen from every other band that 2020 really messed up a lot of plans and hopes that musicians and artists had (not to mention everyone else). We started 2020 with our first West Coast tour booked, and several others planned after that. Of course, a week or so before we were set to leave for tour, the pandemic came and put a stop to that.
Financially touring is really important to bands. Touring is expensive in its own right, but if you do things smartly - which we usually try to do - bands can make a decent profit from merch sales. Typically we make great profits on tour, and that money goes directly into funding everything else we want to do: from recording, to videos, and more.
Without that income, we had to figure out some other things. Our band is set up as an LLC in Kentucky, and really has been since the beginning. So, I applied for a PPP loan as part of the CARES Act that was passed as part of the COVID-19 relief efforts. We didn't actually get a small business loan, but we did get a decent advance that we don't have to repay.
That advance really helped us survive this year. We were able to pay off the loan on our van (which was amazing especially because we haven't been able to use it this year); we paid for recording a new EP, and for two music videos.
We also spent a lot of time learning new skills. The three of us have always had an interest in the production/technical side of creating music. We've been blessed to work with a lot of prominent producers (Cameron Mizell, Matt Goldman, and Andrew Baylis), and we always try to absorb all we can about their processes when we're in the studio.
In 2020 we decided to take the extra time to learn and develop our own production skills.
As the "business guy" in the band, I (Chris) have also spent a lot of time thinking of how to expand our business. Softspoken is a band that creates and plays music, but really the business can be whatever we want it to be. There's no reason to limit ourselves just to being a band, so why not expand into other areas?
That's exactly what we'll be doing in 2021.
In addition to production services (mixing, mastering, editing, etc.) we're also going to be offering professional audio products both in the digital and analog worlds. I'll dive more into that once announcements are ready, but it's very exciting!
If you've seen the posts on our socials, we've been able to release 6 new songs this year. We hit 50,000 monthly listeners on Spotify for the first time (which was a goal I set for us in 2020). All-in-all, 2020 was actually a very good year for Softspoken. We can credit ourselves for our determination to keep pushing regardless of the state of the industry... but we also couldn't have done it without all of you!
Thanks so much for your continued support. We wish you the very best and brightest in 2021!
Chris, Sam, and Billy