I received a very disturbing and somewhat comical phone call tonight from a young man I accepted a Facebook "friend" request from a while back. I accepted it because there were 35 other peers listed as his friend and I thought there was no reason not to accept him. I may have even accepted him even if there were not 35 of my peers in his friend list. I suspect many of you are getting calls or messages from the same young man.
The opening of his conversation with me was something along the line of; "hey, this is first name>>, I figured you would be the one to talk to about this whole music thing..." and the conversation digressed from there as I tried to figure out who this was and how I might know him. After listening to a diatribe of rejection stories and "nobody will talk to me" language, and a lecture on how everyone in Nashville, especially the CCM crowd, were all just trying to protect their livelihoods (whatever that meant), I agreed to have him send me links to his material. He seemed to be very argumentative and angry and disturbed by the fact that his life was a mess and nobody would help him by giving him a record deal..
I told him I would listen and do one of two things; give constructive criticism or pass it on to people who could really help him break as an artist.
After listening to all three of his songs, I sent him this message;
I will be totally honest with you and tell you your songs, musicality and voice are not marketable. Your singing ability is not what masses of people will want to spend money on to listen to. This is not to say your efforts are not genuine or an offering to God, but the facts are facts. Your abilities are not on par with what is commercially acceptable. The sooner you can come to that realization, the sooner you will have peace in your life.
not a good enough reason to take me off of your page. I could get quite upset with your attitude. YOU are really not that important!
also, I already have one of the largest labels interested.
you basically are the antithesis of the early believer!
[and his further reply]
I also have a problem with how you kind of "tricked" me. I would never have told you that you added my page if I had known you weren't kind, understanding, thoughtful, or astute.
I never said that music was commercially ready. I don't have gear now. I can put out stuff that is top quality.
[my last (and final) reply to him]
You'll just have to have a problem with me. You are absolutely right. I am not that important, never have been and never will be. Would not even consider myself to be. I told you I would give you my honest opinion and I did. It would indeed be very "unkind" of me to lie to you and tell you are a great and gifted musician/singer/writer/whatever... when you are not. You don't have to agree. Get back with me when you put out something "top quality."
Now my question. How would some of you have handled this situation?
The reason I ask is, because of the Internet, we are probably going to see more an more of these kind of dialogs with people who we come into contact. While I am always open to finding new talent to help or possibly work with, I would like to have more insight on how to handle people who are (for the most part) delusional about their talents and/or abilities.
I don't think this would be in the same category as unknowingly passing on the next big artist.