Journey To The Center Of The Venn Diagram: A Letter by Scott Flynn

In fifteen years as a professional musician, Scott Flynn has played trombone in powerful groups like Pretty Lights and Odesza. After a phone call from a friend, Scott entered the world of Pretty Lights and began to explore the depth of electronic music. 808’s, synths, and sound design opened him up to another realm beyond organic instrumentation. In this Open Letter, Scott dives into his developing relationship with electronic music, the importance of both instrumentalists and electronic musicians, and the sweet spot of the Venn Diagram where both worlds collide.

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I'm Not Going Back: A Letter by Kyan Palmer

Kyan Palmer has straddled both sides of the music industry. A few years ago, Kyan trekked from Arizona to NYC to take a job at a major record label. This experience opened his eyes to a side of the business he had never before witnessed. At the same time, Kyan’s hit single ‘Burn Mona Lisa’ was rising up the charts. On a journey of self discovery, Kyan wrote this letter detailing his decision to leave the label to pursue making music full-time.

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The Cost of Living: A Letter by mira côsta

The electronic project, mira côsta, is an up-and-coming production duo based in Chicago, IL. Dylan and Daniel of mira côsta originally met in college in St. Louis. After both taking jobs in Chicago, they began to pursue music together. They wrote this open letter to discuss the struggle of prioritizing their passion for music versus advancing their corporate careers.

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Every Breath Counts: A Letter by LYTA

Lyta, an electronica-R&B artist from Houston, Texas, is starting to understand her soul. The first in her family born in America, Lyta possesses a soul rooted in refugee hardship. She knows what her family endured and gives everything back to them through her artistry. On the heels of her debut EP, Id, Lyta wrote this letter as an ode to her family's sacrifice and the journey of finding herself through music. 

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Modern Problems meet Profane Solutions: An Internal Dialogue (A Letter by Ages and Ages)

Tim Perry and Rob Oberdorfer of Ages and Ages, an indie-pop group from Portland, Oregon, find the laughter in a climate of lunacy. Their newly released music video for 'Needle and Thread' dives into the dichotomies that pull apart us all. Drunkenness and sobriety, movement and stillness, madness and sense, are walls we smash against in the struggle to gain balance. Amidst struggle, we need levity to keep from smashing ourselves. In this dialogue, written by Rob and Tim, the two offer a healthy dose of high spirits to combat some of the greater problems in society. 

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Through My Eyes: A Letter by K.L.U.B. Monsta (Joshua)

Knowledge Learned Under Birmingham. Joshua, a rapper and part of the hip-hop trio K.L.U.B. Monsta, harnesses the sound and philosophies of a Birmingham, Alabama native. He constantly cultivates a more established world view and shines light on the political landscape in his lyrics. A dedicated MC, he reflects the reality of Birmingham through the music. "I run around the city, Southside and Crestwood," he says. "I get my sense of perseverance from Birmingham." In this letter, written by Joshua, he speaks on the pitfalls of the nine to five and the creative process behind When Gawd Ready.

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Long Days, Late Nights: A Letter by K.L.U.B. Monsta (Kel. Ricks)

Knowledge Learned Under Birmingham. Kel. Ricks, a rapper and part of the hip-hop trio K.L.U.B. Monsta, embodies this acronym and the city of Birmingham. He never forgets the civil rights history of the city and stays conscious of the struggle. "I walk down the same streets our leaders have walked, pass churches that have been bombed," he says. "We mold our music around the history of the city." In this letter, written by Kel. Ricks, he dives into the balance of creating art in Birmingham and the power of creative momentum. 

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Nine To Five: A Letter by K.L.U.B. Monsta (J. Dotta)

Knowledge Learned Under Birmingham. J. Dotta, a rapper and part of the hip-hop trio K.L.U.B. Monsta, personifies this acronym. Everything about the city of Birmingham, Alabama, both the beautiful and the ugly, has contributed to the artistic process of J. Dotta. He finds inspiration in general conversation and world happenings, weaving his reality into the lyrics. "We're intelligent. We're smart. We know how to rap," he says. "From Birmingham, the world doesn't always expect that." In this letter, written by J. Dotta, he dives into the process behind the album, When Gawd Ready, and the struggles of creating art with an everyday job. 

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The Bipolar Artist: A Letter By Slim the Phoenix

Amber Nicolle Henry, who goes by her artist name Slim the Phoenix, has battled the peaks and valleys of bipolar disorder. At its most euphoric, bipolar disorder can produce periods of overwhelming energy, fanatical creativity, and heightened sensations. In its most distressful state, the euphoria can twist into crippling depression, mountains of anxiety, and the feeling that everyone is out to get you. Slim the Phoenix wrote this letter on dealing with the demons of bipolar disorder and surviving through music. 

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Badge of Honor: A Letter by Humble The Poet

Humble The Poet, a rapper, spoken word artist, YouTuber, and author from Toronto, helps others find meaning in the struggle. He creates art to make people feel like they aren't alone in the battle against depression, anxiety, financial trouble, finding an identity, and other conflicts in life. Before Humble exposed his art to the world, he needed to resolve his own demons. In this letter, Humble opens up about crawling out of massive debt, battling anxiety, and how support from fans helped him regain control.

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Music Is My Best Friend: A Letter by happytree

Jon Smith, who goes by his artist name happytree, recognizes the power of patience and vulnerability. The 22-year-old rapper from Michigan harnesses these virtues through making music. To Jon, music is not an entity separate from the artist. It is a force that flows freely, gives feedback, frustrates, and provides hope. He wrote this letter depicting his realtionship with music and its limitless nature. 

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Refugee: A Letter by BRYN

Bryan Mugande, who goes by his artist name BRYN, fled Rwanda and became a refugee six years ago. He and his family had to leave the country for political reasons and were placed into an asylum seeker center near Vielsalm, Belgium. In the center, BRYN found an outlet through songwriting while his immigration status remained uncertain. Now 18,  BRYN wrote this letter on spending three years in the asylum center, the people who supported him, and embracing his identity through music. 

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Send Bernie Home: A Letter by Essence

Essence Goldman, a singer-songwriter from San Francisco, started giving Bernie Dalton vocal lessons two years ago. Since then, Bernie has been diagnosed with the most aggressive form of ALS and likely only has months to live. Essence is helping Bernie fulfill his one dying wish: making an album. The band, made up of Bernie, Essence, Roger Rocha, Daniel Berkman, David Simon-Baker, and Bernie's daughter Nicole, just released the music video for the song 'In Your Shoes.' The full album will be released February 9th. Read Essence's full letter on Bernie's story and watch the music video below. You can give money towards Bernie's home care on Go Fund Me by clicking the 'Donate' button.

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Paper Cuts: A Letter by Yasmin Lajoie

Yasmin Lajoie, a 29-year-old music manager in the UK, wrote this letter on her experiences with sexual assault in the music industry. She also appeared on BBC news to speak about what she's been through. Yasmin, along with three other prominent women in the industry, started the 'Stop 2018' campaign aimed at ending bullying, misogyny, sexual harassment, assault, and rape in the music business. 

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