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  • Kai Straw

Build Your Emerald City

Incredible, man, we’re about to hit 180,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. I’m sharing this mostly just so you know what’s possible. I’m a dude making music in his apartment. I’m not signed. I’ve never been signed. I’ve never been written about in Pitchfork or Rolling Stone or wherever else (yet); Spotify and Apple Music don’t add me to their playlists (yet); I’ve never ‘gone viral on Tik Tok’ (yet), and so on. My success so far is just you and me. That’s a trip. Thank you for being a part of this.

In pursuing music, I once viewed success as this Emerald City, like in The Wizard of Oz. I viewed it as a near-impossible destination, something far and away down a winding road. In doing what I’m doing now, I see how that’s untrue. We build our Emerald City. We create it. With our own will, we pull from the soil what we thought would only ever be a faraway silhouette obscuring the horizon. And our success is sweeter for it, because we know the nothing that we willed it from.

If you know me personally, you know doing social media stuff doesn’t come super naturally to me. The only way I can justify it, and push through whatever discomfort I may have, is thinking, man, someone may see what I’m posting or writing and become the thing they wouldn’t have otherwise, or grow in a way they didn’t think was possible. I hope you see what I’m doing with music and apply it to whatever ‘impossible thing’ that may be challenging you in this life. Maybe you want to start a business, or better yourself, or beat your depression, anxiety, whatever. Whatever is in your mind right now, you can defeat it, win it, own it, conquer it.

We should stop staring off and dreaming about The Emerald Cities built by other people, and start building our own with the land and tools we have. Whatever you want from this life is waiting to be summoned from your own plot of land. Success is not found; it’s cultivated.

My next song’s coming out on the last Friday of this month, December 25th. It’s not a Christmas song (though I’d love to write one someday), but it’s a happy song nonetheless.

Again, thank you. I’m gonna keep pushing. 🎄💀

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