12 years ago today, I started what has been for me — my life’s work.
Because some of ya’ll might be new and because I haven’t mentioned it in some time: I was working at a small publisher full-time and picking up gigs and left and right writing for any publication or website that would give me exposure, pay me or just give me free stuff.
I moved on to my second publishing job at a business book publisher but I continued freelancing. At this point my father was spiraling out of control. I was with my mom and I was desperately trying to make ends meet as much as I can. The number of publication credits I have in my name is kind of bonkers; but the sad thing is that most of those publications and websites have been long defunct.
In 2011, I started writing for a website, which was started as an offshoot of a fairly well-known and well-regarded website, which was big on covering singer/songwriters. The site was supposed to lean hard on covering indie artist but the main editor there seemed to have a blind spot about hip-hop — and about an artist, who I covered in the past that I thought was worthy of coverage.
So, encouraged by a then-girlfriend, I started JOVM as a way to cover whatever I wanted to cover — without having to debate about its editorial or commercial validity to someone else. Honestly, when I started the site, I couldn’t have imagined three quarters of the things that I’ve done and experienced over JOVM’s history to have ever happened.
I’ve covered roughly 1,100-1,200 shows in NYC, with a handful of shows in Chicago and Baltimore.
I’ve covered about a dozen or more festivals, including traveling to Montreal for M for Montreal back in 2019.
I’ve been a panelist at Mondo.NYC Festival and at New Colossus Festival, speaking about PR, promotion and press for indie artists, giving my perspective as a indie blogger.
A few years ago, I made a cameo in a JOVM mainstay’s music video. It’s a very noticeable spot towards the end of the video. It was a fun experience, but so far no one has called me about acting gigs. Maybe I need to stick to the writing and photography?
I couldn’t have imagined photographing George Clinton, Patti LaBelle, Snoop Dogg, Blondie, Nile Rodgers, Roky Erickson, Philip Bailey The Blind Boys of Alabama and so many others, as well as this site’s countless mainstays.
I wouldn’t have met the countless colleagues and musicians, who have become supporters and friends. And by far, music friends have proven to be the very best of friends.
When I celebrated this site’s 10th anniversary in the middle of the worst of the pandemic, things seemed — understandably — bleak. Although we’ve somehow managed to slowly claw our way back to some degree of normalcy, things across the industry still seem bleak: Touring is an even bigger financial risk for musicians and COVID-19 has made it even more complicated because you’re now out there risking your health — just to make money to live.
What’s next? In the immediate future — let’s say over the next one to maybe three years out, expect the following: Frequent cancellations, postponements and rescheduling of tour dates up and down the line, as artists grapple with the complications of touring during a pandemic.
Meet and greets with the artist before or after the show will most likely be rare for more mainstream and established artists. For indie and DIY artists, they’ll continue to do so at great risk because those connections are desperately necessary.
We’re all trying to figure out how to maneuver in a new, confusing and very uncertain landscape.
With 12 years under my belt, I have no intentions of going anywhere. I’ve managed to carve out a unique spot in the blogosphere, a place that I feel is increasingly necessary because the music and media industries are often rather homogeneous places.
Before I close out, I want to thank some of the following folks for their support. Without them, I don’t think the past year, let alone the past 12 would have been possible:
All of those folks have been generous Patreon patrons. Of course, feel free to check out the Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement. And if you’re able to support, your support will be greatly appreciated and continuously shouted out.
I also have to thank the good folks at Creatives Rebuild New York. I’m proud and humbled to be included in the program. And the monies received throughout the 18 month period will be put to very good use — keeping this dream of mine going. I can’t thank them enough.
You can also support by checking the JOVM shop: https://www.joyofviolentmovement.com/shop
You can also support my following me on the following platforms:
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/yankee32879 and https://www.twitter.com/joyofviolent
And you can hire me for headshots, portraits and events. Seriously, I’m available for that, too. You can click here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/ny/new-york/william-h?duration=1?duration=1#