by Travis Hellstrom

I'm always late when it comes to hit songs, I love them six months or a year after they are popular.

For instance, I listened to Thrift Shop for the first time this summer when my sister introduced me to it. After listening to it for the 10th time that day, I finally figured out what the fuss had been about all year. The video was hilarious, the saxophone loop never gets out of your head and the topic is awesome. Who doesn't like thrift shopping?

The artist, Macklemore, had a really big year. He is an independent artist and as you can see in this "six page long" letter it's been a year that changed everything for them. I encourage you to read the article. It gives you a unique glimpse into the fast-paced and confusing world of music and it also made me appreciate the dilemma every artist faces: how do I do what I love without selling out?

In Macklemore's case his rise started with a fun and quirky song Thrift Shop, moved to Can't Hold Us, and then landed on Same Love which he says he "believed in more than any other song I’d ever written." It took a political stand on the issue of same sex marriage and made music part of the conversation.

My favorite part of his letter is the end,

"With all those accolades listed and experiences etched into history, the most meaningful and fulfilling experiences have come from being on a stage in front of the people that got us here. You all. There are the fans that will hop onto the Thrift Shop bandwagon when it rolls through, and the people that will still be here when it leaves. You are the people that are still reading this novel after 6 pages (ha!). I have you guys to thank. You’ve made this year what it is, and I will never be able to find the words to properly articulate my gratitude. I can only give you everything I have in me, night after night, and hope that when this all slows down a little bit, I’ll have enough courage to write about this insane experience. I love you all."


Thrift Shop


Can't Hold Us


Same Love