A Letter from Isaac...


All of my great friends have had one thing in common; they have developed a sense of intuition for the people they care about. They look at you, and in an instant, your cover is blown. This person cares enough to see through your social smoke screens; enough to tie their existence to yours by stating a belief in you and who you are. They care enough to propel you forward when you are incapable of moving yourself. This is a special gift.

Recently, I was reminded of this by a good friend’s brazen act of support. Morris Weintraub, a brilliant photographer and burgeoning blogger, decided to write a post titled ‘Make Isaac Hayden audition for The Voice.” He encouraged people to share the post, offering $2/ share to go toward my travel expenses to the audition. A lot of people shared it.  And then, text messages rolled in, phone calls, and the occasional shoulder tap at the coffee shop .. “Are you gonna do it?”

I respect Morris very much so I knew I had to properly consider the idea. What would happen if I auditioned? And was denied? What if I won? What if I got 20th place? I’ve had some friends on the show who did quite well, spinning their success on the show into success after the show. I’ve also had friends who didn’t benefit much at all.

Then I watched some YouTube clips of The Voice and there were certainly lots of magical moments…goose-bump moments…wonderful and powerful renditions of songs we all know and love.  And, there were really talented 16 year old girls ‘battle-singing’ pop songs inside a boxing ring under the watchful ear of a guy who uses the lyric “chew-tobacca, chew-tobacca, chew-tobacca, spit” in his hit-country song. There were fantastic singers for whom no judge turned around for. There was a little bit of everything: glory, fear, failure, success, magic, and tragedy ..  I guess that’s why we love it so much.

But is that for me, right now? The more I thought about it something became apparent, I wasn’t really looking for an answer because I already had it. I needed to figure out how to meet Morris’ magnanimous gesture with an equally thoughtful “No.”  No, I don’t want to audition for The Voice right now. I am honored you asked me and that you believe in me to succeed. Truly. Thank you to everyone who shared the post and to Morris for writing it.

To me, popular culture has attached a certain credibility to The Voice and that credibility seems to dominate the general perception of possibilities for up and coming artists, like myself. The Voice is the fast lane, straight to the perceived top. Its universe-wide reach and ability to propel young artists onto the world stage is incredible. If I had $1 for every time a friend or fan said I should audition for The Voice, I’d have like $11, ha.

However, for all the people who have said those words, including Morris, I understand it’s because you want to help. You want success for me or for the people in your life who have a nice voice and a dream, and you suggest going on The Voice because to you it is the pinnacle, the highest opportunity available to the young or struggling singer. And it is commendable for everyone who has said as much to an artist, because it means you believe in them, and truly, the belief and support of the people who come in contact with the artist is what ultimately spurs them on to keep making the art. A cyclical and beautiful dance.

I am stoked to be a part of that dance and to share that dance with Morris. haha

Even though I won’t be auditioning for The Voice this year, I am auditioning for a spot in each of your musical hearts. Sounds cheesy, but it’s the truth. When you read this or listen to the music, you get to make a choice .. hit the button, turn your chair and invite me to join your team .. or don’t. As long as you’re willing to stay involved in that conversation people like me will always have an opportunity, with or without a TV show.

To Morris and everyone who shared his post, I was deeply moved by your show of support, thank you so much. It is a privilege to have friends like you. Your support entered into my life at a time when I was really struggling with my art, and with my artistic future. I’d like to thank you for bringing some wind back to my sails.

I’d also like to redirect all that good energy to introduce my latest project. This project has been a labor of love that a team of awesome people and I have been working on for almost 2 years. It has truly been a remarkable experience for me and I am so excited to present it to all of you. I hope you will accept this introduction as a thoughtful response to your petition.

And finally, I would like to share an open letter Morris wrote, addressed to your, my, and all of our favorite artists. I hope you guys feel it as much as I do!!! And I hope it will inspire all of us to keep supporting the artists, and the art, we believe in.

Here is Morris' letter, and the first couple songs from my new album can be found here:

Thank you for reading and listening, and I truly hope you will find something beautiful to take with you on your journey. Much LOVE!!!

Dear {name your favorite singer here},
You have no idea how much your music means to me. You have no idea how often I listen to your music or how deeply your voice and lyrics affect me. Your gift, the one you deliver to me through thoughtful words and brilliantly executed tones, is a gift I truly cherish. You make me feel loved, understood and happy – like someone gives a shit about my sadness or success. Whether you realize it or not, you are a real friend to me.
Thank you for always being there for me, lifting me up from my despair and continually reminding me how beautiful life really is. Whether I’m feeling lonely on the road or worrying about {confess a fear here}, your music parts the clouds in my heart and brings light to my mind. You helped me through {reference a personal tragedy here} and I’ve danced my ass off to {enter your favorite song here} countless times.
I realize you don’t know me, but I want you to know that all your work, all the long nights you spent writing and practicing and early mornings you spent toiling away at a shitty job so you could continue making music – none of it was lost on me!
I appreciate your music more than you’ll ever know. You matter to me. What you do and who you are makes a difference in my life. So, thank you {enter artists’ name here} for being my only best friend I’ll never get to know.
Your friend forever,
{Your name here}