The minor-mid league section of the music industry is a cold bitch. Here, being an artist means so much more than writing a song or playing an instrument. Here it means living every aspect of your life to support your aspirations. You must not only write the music but make the flyers, promote your shows and music, record yourself, be your own publicist and so on. For a person who doesn't have the luxury of not working it also usually means having a full to part time job that you must somehow balance on top of these tasks as well as make time for your family, romantic, or social interests. Wearing all these hats also means that when Friday night comes and the show you’ve been pushing, is at hand, the turn out and overall “success” of the evening is not just a number at the door but a direct mirror image and measuring cup of what you have come to define as yourself.
Quiet Entertainer has long been one of the load bearing pillars of the Nashville hip hop scene. I wasn't living in Nashville yet, but stories of the old Cafe Coco cipher with the likes of James Fate, Bobby Exodus, Billy Goats and more, will forever live in infamy--or least until our crop move on into the great unknown. He has gone through many changes over the past years in search of new ways to redefine himself and his music. He is constantly inventing new ways to promote shows, new ways to ENTERTAIN his crowd, new angles to sell the show. Sometimes, he feels like he wants to give up and move on. Quiet Entertainer also known to many as Greg Freeman, has experienced what only a small cross section of the minor league have been able to experience. A peek behind the curtain into the holy grail of the mid league. He was given the opening touring slot for Mutemath years ago, played some good slots at regional festivals, and even recently opened up for his all time hero DJ Shadow. But what happens to the local artist the next day after the big show? He goes back to work at his job where only a few people there even know he is a musician.
Quiet Entertainer plays track "False Alarm" from his Machismo EP, featuring Jed Smith on drums at the Basement East in Nashville, TN
Talking with him you would get the impression that he feels he has hit a brick wall. That even with these oportunities, he is still not too far from the place he began at Cafe Coco spinning beats for freestylers. The step to the next level in music is about as likely as the step to the next level in most industries, except less likely. Celebrity “artists” are born into the role in the same way an Ivy league student is bred for the same. Of course this begs the question: “What is true success”? Is it a mountain you conquer or a state of mind, and is saying "It's a state of mind" just something unsuccessful people tell themselves to cope with the idea of failure? There's no denying that all of us artists have a desire to be well known, or of influence, to play packed out shows to throngs of adoring fans even if that desire is faint. However the truth remains, there are only a limited number of the lottery tickets to become a famous artist. If you ask any local/regional artist, I am sure they will say to you, “I don't really care about being famous, I would be happy with some over all respect and recognition in their given field and to be able to make a modest wage through my art." Though making a living as an artist despite what some would have you to believe, is evermore nearing impossible with the development of technology and the internet. Music is just not something people need to pay for generally which can be somewhat debilitating to the aspiring artist. This then leads us full circle back to our original problem, that the person must have another job. Which leaves less time for the art, which then makes it even more impossible to get anywhere with your attention divided.
Should we accept our fate? Swimming upstream in the turmoil of this life or possibly develop a new type of relationship between artist/world/consumer? Should we stop making music if a certain amount of people aren't listening? I think back to the second Wild Wild Fest when Greg played and the way it made me feel, I think about the first time he came to play The Coup in Clarksville , Tn and did the Peewee Herman dance over our terrible sound system--I KNOW THAT IT'S WORTH IT! Those moments meant something special to me that can’t be replaced by a hollow movie or Bonnaroo~esque concert. I know I am not the only one who has had this experience. Those moments were part of our lives that we shared together. Not in a prefabricated setting or understanding, but in a celestial fantasy that is imprinted in our hearts and souls as the actual data and content for what we have created ourselves to be. True art is a targeted synopsis of fragmented emotional and spiritual realizations that are somewhat magically conveyed from one person to the next. Leaving the target demographic small, but connected through fire. I can’t say what the measure of a person is or what success is, however, I can say that my life has been positively impacted on a deep spiritual level by this person and I am sure there are countless others. Congratulations on 10 years! Keep up the good work Greg. I see's ya.
QUIET ENTERTAINER IS HERE START THE MUSIC.
Celebrating 10 years of his artistry:: Quiet Entertainer 10 Year Anniversary Show
At the East Room in Nashville, TN November 10 @ 8:00pm