Last week, CD Baby artists Shook Twins (a folk-pop band fronted by identical twin sisters) received an email from the producers of American Idol asking them to audition for the show. The email stipulated that the sisters “would have to audition INDIVIDUALLY OF COURSE!”
Here’s how Shook Twins responded (quoted from the band’s Facebook page):
Dear American Idol,
Thank you for reaching out to independent Portland Musicians. However, we find it very surprising that you research established and successful bands to compete individually.
You said in your email invitation that, “You would have to audition us individually of course.” It’s interesting that you assume that would be OK. Sure, “Of course” we would abandon ten years of hard work and career building as a duo to be the next new “Pop Star” singing songs that we didn’t even write.
As many singers would love to audition to be the next American pop star, we respectfully decline your invitation. We are proud to be making a living off our art and being successful independent artists by our own design.
This is what we value as “indie” musicians:
*We get to work as a family team and build an exciting career from the ground up and stand proud of the gradual progress and success that our art garners.
*We are so honored to be holding the reins, to be steering in the direction that we choose, singing songs that say something special and that make people feel inspired.
*We get to create the inner workings of our performances, allowing our true vision to be projected during our shows. Our vision is about gathering people in one space to feel positive emotions together. We aim to create an environment in quaint venues and festivals that allows people to be comfortable in their own skin and to express themselves as they wish.
*It’s not about the fame or the money.
*Singing our own songs while playing our own instruments is essential to us.
We feel that music is not meant to be a competition. It’s a platform to say something powerful and should be a way of bringing people together, not separating them. We feel that your vision is completely different. We would be going against everything that we stand for by auditioning for American Idol.
Again, thanks for the invitation to compete for success that’s created by a separate entity, but we think we’ll keep doing what we are doing because it sure feels right!
Shook Twins (Identical twin sisters who sing TOGETHER)
Right on. Amen. And all that other good stuff.
Have you turned down opportunities for big exposure because it didn’t sit right with your identity as an artist? What does it mean to be independent in the first place? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
[Photo of Shook Twins by Jake Blakesberg.]