This is a 100% real post about regret, and not pursuing your passion through difficult times.
I coined the phrase "Smooth Christian Jazz" back around 2000, when Smooth Jazz was still a thing on radio; there were still terrestrial radio stations around the U.S. and the World sustaining the Smooth Jazz/Adult AC format with great success.
I created the world's only online presence for the previously unheard of Smooth Christian Jazz (which I nicknamed SCJ) microniche when I secured the domain SmoothChristianJazz.com, within a year after the now world famous SmoothJazz.com website launched.
As did my counterpart, Sandy Shore (founder of Smoothjazz.com)... I broke new releases, provided exclusive reviews, and conducted exclusive artist interviews to provide listeners hungry for this new sub-genre with endless content. I also planned the launch of a 24 hour global online station, also a new yet budding concept, that Sandy Shore was also undertaking at the same time.
As a radio host at a local radio station in Charlotte, NC, I had the personal email addresses and phone numbers of both rising and established Smooth Jazz and Gospel music stars... who produced music consistent with my developing new genre (such as Tim Bowman, Ben Tankard, Rob Maletick, Greg Vail, Bob Baldwin, Doc Powell, Eric Essix, George Furlow, Wiso Aponte, Sam Levine, Jack Jezzro, John Lytch, Ron Brown, Charles Martin, Norm Stockton, Dean Mills, and Jonathan Dubose Jr!). I communicated frequently with all of them, and also had record labels and agents sending me unsolicited projects from countless more artists that were fantastic.
It seemed that everyone was amazed and excited by what I was doing. Emails, letters, and phone calls poured in from all around the world thanking me for giving this new SCJ music category a voice.
I was on the verge of breaking through conventional music and radio to carve out a groundbreaking, highly successful, and legitimate music category... standing alone especially on the burgeoning global online landscape as the premiere source and authority of the genre... transcending and eclipsing radio much as Sandy has done. I may have also made quite a comfortable living for myself by now, as a side benefit.
Unlike Sandy, however, I allowed life and fear of failure/success to divert my attention from the goal of my musical passion. I backslid in my walk with God, while simultaneously losing interest in updating my vast website... as I learned how much it would cost to legally license my website to launch the online SCJ radio station.
Eventually, my domain came up for renewal, and I let it expire. Someone immediately snatched up the domain, and it appeared to have changed hands several times since. To date, it is still up for sale, with nothing currently being served from it.
Sadly, I gave up on my dream, and I failed to recognize what was truly important in my life. I also allowed fear to convince me that it wasn't worth it to invest in my dream.
20 years later, I satisfy a love for a microniche that I almost single-handedly created... by since learning how to play it myself. I am starting from the bottom floor as an SCJ musician... trying to carve a new path for a musical style that could have already been well established, and hungrily received by an already solid consumer base.
Moral of the story, NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM. Your dream was given to you for a reason, and you were meant to change the world with it! Without it, the world is lacking… so JUST DO IT, no matter how hard things seem!
By the way, check out my 7 hour Spotify playlist, containing more SCJ music from both new and well established artists! You can also hear a lot of music that I played back in my days of radio, and the founding my now defunct SCJ website.
Though the ship may have sailed on my short lived SCJ movement, I still plan to touch the world through my own music, and that of other likeminded artists!