Why artists are failing at Social Media

3 min read – 

And how to get back into the game.

Summer holidays are over, it’s back to classes and homework. That includes me as well. While I’m preparing classes for students at Hogeschool Inholland Haarlem and Herman Brood Academie, I would like to share with you some of my core views on using social media as an artist or artist manager. Consider this part one. I am sure I will return with more insights, do’s and don’ts, reminders, hacks in the near future.

Let me start at the point where it should start:
managing expectations.

I work on social media strategies with artists on a regular basis. When taking off on our soon to become strategy I always ask: how do you feel things are going at the moment? What would you like to achieve? Based the answers they give me I can pretty much tell why they feel disappointed with the results of their current strategy — if they even had one. And it’s often not necessarily because of the strategy itself. Let me show you.

‘We would like to get more likes on our posts’
‘We want to sell more concert tickets’
‘We want people to share our video’s’

I’m pretty sure all artists (and companies) use social media to reach their target audience and to sell their products. What most neglect to see — and more importantly neglect to take into account when firing up a strategy — is that Social media platforms are not billboards on the side of the road or advertisements in the newspaper. Sure, there is huge potential for selling. But the question you should be asking is:

How can I build a solid and trustworthy relationship with my audience?

But why? I want direct results and instant conversion. Well buddy, I hate to break it to you: there is no such thing on Social Media. You have come to the wrong place. Please read on.

Fun (and honestly quite scary) fact: The average attention span for watching videos on Facebook is 8 seconds. And counting. Down. If you know what I mean.

Some insights that might help
‘Social Media’ are platforms where the user is the curator, not some board of editors/directors. To make effective use of #SocialMedia you have to understand that the users did not come to these platforms to buy stuff. That is what Webshops are for. No, they come to be entertained. To make connections. To identify themselves with others, or not at all. To step out of (or escape) their own life, and dive into another’s. Now let the latter resonate when I continue with the following. Most of your ‘favorite’ platforms — like Facebook and Instagram — use algorithms to make sure that the user sees what it wants to see. Or to put it more personally: the algorithm uses your click/like/search information to determine what you will (and won’t) see in the future. That means:

The quality of content matters.
The relevancy of content matters.
The context of content matters.

In straight talk that means:
If what you’re posting doesn’t strike a chord with user X → user X and Mr. Algorithm will make sure that user X will not see any more of your content in the near future.

This is where building a relationship with your audience is so damn important. They need to feel important, involved and entertained. That’s when (and where) the magic happens. That’s when content is liked, videos are shared and tickets are sold. So take some time off from looking at the numbers. Focus on quality, relevancy and context. Something as simple as asking yourself the following questions before you post anything, will help you increase the possible success of your content:

– Is this entertaining, informative, funny or interesting?
– Is my image/video high quality and/or striking enough?
– Am I directing this to the right people on the right platform?
– Am I asking too much of the person reading this?
– Is the text or video too long?
– Are the hashtags relevant, memorable or too much?
– Do I sound authentic and sincere?
– Will the content resonate with the reader?

Let’s finish with a couple of important DON’TS:
1. Like-baiting. The word ‘bait’ already emphasizes the negative side of this 21st century phenomenon. What is like-bait? -> ‘Click like if you’re also having a shitty Monday morning’. It will extend the reach on that particular post, sure. But it will diminish the reach on your upcoming posts, all thanks to Mr. Algorithm (he doesn’t really like click- and like-baiting).

2. Platform copying. We all know that guy/girl that auto-posts Instagram to Facebook and Twitter. What you will see on Facebook are @tags that don’t work and a million hashtags that Facebook users don’t like (pretty sure Mr. Algorithm feels the same). On Twitter the @tags are clickable, but might lead to nowhere or someone different (don’t we all have different page names? Damn you other girl who took my Username!!). Further more photos are not directly visible, you need to click-through to see and read the full post. Who’s got time for that?! Especially not for someone who doesn’t even put in a little bit of effort for his Twitter followers. Tragically missed opportunities here people.

3. Repeated content. If you’re afraid the morning people didn’t catch your video from last night, don’t post it again. For starters, Mr. Algorithm will recognize and immediately diminish your reach. Secondly, not very sympathetic now is it? If you do want an increase in reach, put your money where your mouth is. Boost that post and set your target audience right.

Remember: you’re selling a good night’s sleep, not the mattress

Wait, what? Paying for reach?! Have they gone out of their minds?! Well, they didn’t. You just did. Social Media may not be a billboard or newspaper ad, but is convincing people to come and buy from you any different than any other kind of advertisement you need to pay for?

Well. That’s it for now folks. We will be announcing a Social Media masterclass going into depth about all of this somewhere between now and I’m not sure. It sure doesn’t hurt letting me know you would be interested.


Learning vs. performing — why we need both to grow

3 min read – 

When was the last time you embraced learning like you did when you were in school?

When was the last time you embraced learning like you did when you were in school? And I don’t mean through studying frantically and being psyched to attend classes. What I mean is embracing the fact that you’re not as good as you can be, yet, and it will take hours and days of trying, learning, failing and repeating. I’ll answer my question for you: you probably haven’t embraced learning for a long time. Here’s why and how you need to change that.

When we grow up and pass a certain age and it feels society is pressuring us to get our life together we tend to dive into what is called a performance-zone. We are scared shitless about making mistakes and tend to avoid situations where we need to try new things, things that we may not be able to execute perfectly yet. Even though we fully understand we learn a lot more from failing than we do from succeeding we just can’t shake this feeling of: ‘but what if I fail?’

Rest assured, it is not only your own head that makes it difficult to surpass this feeling. We put our kids through schools that evaluate succes based on grades and we hire people based on resumés indicating degrees. It is damn hard to find the time, momentum and proper support to learn safely without killing your chances or reputation. But in order to really grow and reach our full potential it is absolutely vital you create a learning-zone next to your performance-zone. But how?

Here are a couple of ways to make sure you can get back to learning once in a while.

1. Surround yourself with people that are likeminded and actually want you to grow Spend more time with people that motivate and support you when it comes to trying new things. Or better said, stop spending time with people that discourage you and make you feel like you need to perform all the time.

2. Find small and hobby-like projects to practice safe learning Don’t try to reinvent your current job all together (high-stakes) but focus on smaller projects on the side (low-stakes) that will help further develop your overall performance. For instance writing or acting classes or mindfulness and yoga.

3. Ask for help It is never easy to admit that you’re struggling. So don’t make it any harding than it needs to be. Find someone outside of your current workplace or group of friends that you are comfortable sharing your doubts and needs with. They may even give you new insights that you wouldn’t have gotten from the people you already surround yourself with.

4. Change your environment Home-traffic-work-traffic-home-sleep -> repeat. Does this look like your life? Change it up! Get some fresh air, work outdoors in a city park for a few hours, talk to strangers, go down to the petting zoo and pet a goat or bunny rabbit. Your brain needs fresh new impulses to get new ideas flowing and it needs some alone time to calibrate experiences.

Is your boss not too keen on ‘working-at-home’ days? Quit your job and find a smarter boss that recognizes the necessity to provide a playing field for her/his employees in which they can grow and be productive.

Last but not least. It all starts with actually wanting to learn. Focus on your wish to learn — not on your wish to succeed. What you feed will grow and if you don’t work towards a safe and motivating learning environment for yourself, others won’t either.

That’s it for now. Let me know what project or hobby you have taken on to boost your learning zone. I’ll start: I’m working on getting better at writing, specifically copywriting. I’ve been reading a lot more books lately trying to find patterns, styles and best practices. I’m quite sure I’ll be writing the President’s speech one day. Oh wait. I shouldn’t focus on succeeding. Right.. well. Good luck!

Lieve landgenoten,

2 min leestijd – 

Een vijf stappenplan om te voorkomen dat het kiezen van onze regering en leider wordt gedreven door angst en onwetendheid.

Lieve landgenoten, ik zie radeloosheid en ongeloof. De gevolgen van de nieuwe Amerikaanse president zijn direct en pijnlijk zichtbaar geworden en doen zelfs degene die wel wat zagen in deze nieuwe leider hoofdschudden. Iedereen voelt het onweer rommelen in de verte, ook Nederland gaat hier wat van merken. En laten we dáár nu juist onze energie aan gaan besteden.

In maart is het onze beurt om te stemmen. Hoe gaan wij er voor zorgen dat we een regering en leider kiezen die eerlijk en rechtvaardig is en voor het gehele land op komt? Wat kan ik als burger doen om te voorkomen dat we er hier ook een zooitje van maken?

Als we iets kunnen leren van de Trump-Hillary verkiezingscampagnes is het dit: niet alles is wat het lijkt, niet alles wat je leest is waar. We leven in een tijd waarin platformen zoals Facebook bepalen wat we zien. Klikken we op een pro-Obama link, zullen we vanaf dat moment voornamelijk links georiënteerde content zien. We houden ook niet zo van confrontatie, dus onze vriendengroep bestaat voornamelijk uit mensen waar we het mee eens zijn. Dat alles geeft geen objectief beeld van wat er in het grotere geheel gaande is en zorgt voor onaangename verrassingen.

Voordat je je laat meeslepen in de op emotie en empathie inspelende campagnes met dezelfde angstzaaierij die Trump president heeft gemaakt, beloof en gun jezelf de rust en tijd om een eigen gedegen mening te vormen. Een aantal tips om te voorkomen dat je jezelf verliest in de chaos:

1. Lees de daadwerkelijke partijprogramma’s. Niet de korte en bondige samenvattingen die de media/blogs geven, maar ga naar de websites van alle politieke partijen en lees je in. Elke keer als je iets tegenkomt waar je achter staat — maakt niet uit van welke partij — schrijf je het op. Tel uit je winst.

2. Formuleer niet direct een mening maar stel eerst kritische vragen. Hoe gaat dan dan in zijn werk? Wat betekent dat voor mij en mijn buren/familie/vrienden. Hoe gaat daarvoor betaald worden? Heeft het consequenties voor andere zaken die niet met mij te maken hebben?

3. Lees je een artikel die je een bepaalde richting in stuurt/duidelijke mening neerlegt? Zoek en lees een stuk dat dit probeert te weerleggen. Warm-koud, licht-donker, zoet-zuur.

4. Wees niet bang voor feedback/meningen van mensen die er anders over denken. Dat betekent niet direct dat jij ongelijk hebt, of dat ze je niet mogen als persoon. Iedereen leeft anders en heeft andere behoeften. Wees geïnteresseerd en durf te vragen. Het is ok om het niet eens te zijn.

5. Reageer niet direct. Check bronnen. Is het een feit of mening? Laat die andere reacties er eerst maar overheen komen en lees ze met aandacht. Vraag je vriend/vriendin/echtgenoot wat ze ervan vinden. Slaap er zelfs misschien wel eerst een nachtje over.

En voor wie nu denkt: ‘daar heb ik toch helemaal geen tijd voor?’ mag zichzelf het volgende afvragen:
Als we allemaal onze stem laten afhangen van onze emoties en angsten, ons niet interesseren in onze buren, geen vragen durven te stellen of de waarheid op tafel willen… Wat voor soort regering krijgen we daar dan voor terug?

Work well – feel well – do well

6 min read –

Ten daily routine rules I wish I learned when I was propelled into a fast moving high-performance expecting world.

I clearly remember the moment I was looking at my screen, my eyes were itching, my butt sore from sitting for hours on end and my head pounding like a wild river sucking along all my creative thoughts. And I thought: ‘Isn’t there another — more healthy and productive — way of working?’

After years of trying to figure it out I have found the answer to that question. I also found that I wasn’t the only one struggling with that same question and moreover, when I started teaching the next generation I discovered that I wasn’t necessarily to blame.

We teach students what the industry looks like, what kind of work you will need to perform, we go through theory and practice. We tell them to be go-getters, to never hold back and climb your way up. But we don’t teach them how to maintain a healthy day-to-day routine, how to deal with stress and conflict, how to read the signs and say no whenever needed.

So what follows next are my 10 daily routine rules I have found to bring forth a more healthier — and therefore happier and more productive — work life. Some days I get them all right and thrive, sometimes I feel empty and tense and notice I have been failing on a few for a while.

Whatever you decide to do with these ‘rules’, experiment with them and find your own sweet spot. Most importantly: don’t beat yourself up when the going gets tough. Take a deep breath and work your way back to that sweet spot. Good luck!


Pick one medium to communicate important/work matters
When you get information, questions and/or info through different services/devices like email, sms and WhatsApp, it is really hard to keep track and errors are inevitable. Further more it prevents you from having some me-time, because work is everywhere on all services and devices.. Aaargh!

Choose which service you like to work with and have a standard answer ready for communication on other services/devices: “Sounds cool, can you send me an email with the details so I can confirm?”

Be careful with making promises
Never offer ‘Yes, sure’ as a standard reply. It will set expectations you can’t keep up and it prevents you from looking at the task in an objective way. When you’re not directly claiming ownership you’re distancing yourself from the task long enough to be able to analyze it properly and respond in everyones best interest. Try responding by asking more questions so you can determine urgency, responsibility and main objective. It may even turn out not to be your responsibility at all. Lucky you! A couple of examples of counter questions: “When do you need it?” or “Do you need this today?” “Can I get back to you about this?” “Can you send me the details, background and objective in an email?”

Questions you can ask yourself: “Do I have time for this within the given timeframe?” “Am I the right person to handle this right now?”


Make a time efficient week planning. Think of what needs to be done that week and schedule accordingly. Cluster meetings into 1 or 2 parts of a day and leave plenty of room for undisturbed working. You might not be able to follow through on everything but it will help you stay disciplined and it creates headspace for executing tasks without being distracted by thoughts about what still needs to be done.

Start the day with a realistic day planning. And by starting I literally mean it needs to be the first thing you do in the morning. Don’t open your mailbox yet! Check your week planning, specify tasks/calls/etc. and think about timeframes. End your day by checking what you finished and what needs to move to a different day on your week planning.

Set a timer and honor breaks. Did you know that when you sit your blood starts to flow slower, causing your brain to get less fresh blood and oxygen, which are needed to trigger the release of brain- and mood-enhancing chemicals. And that’s only the effect it has on the brain, I’m sure you can imagine what sitting does to your muscles and organs.

Schedule your activities in bits of 20 minutes and set a timer to let you know times’ up. Get up, stretch and get yourself a new hot cup of tea. It will also provide an insight into how realistic your planning actually is and you will be able to change accordingly resulting in a more effective planning and use of time.


Start the day with the difficult tasks, end it with the pleasant ones. And start the first activity before you open your mailbox in the morning. Your mind will be at its freshest in the morning and more capable of handling something you don’t feel like doing. Because surely you don’t want to do that awful thing anymore when you have been at it for a few hours already, right?

Limit distractions during focused work. Science taught us that it takes the average person 20 minutes to fully get back to a specific task after being interrupted. Apart from a lot of time lost, interruptions can cause stress and change your mood. If you need to focus, find a spot where you can work undisturbed or put on headphones and tell your colleagues it means you wish not to be disturbed.

p.s. Don’t forget incoming email and phone messages (even app notifications) create similar distractions and anxiety. Shut down and/or enable flight mode.

Categorize tasks and cluster the ones that are connected. Just like interruptions can disrupt your productivity and creativity, so can changing from one task to the other. When you’re working on different projects, try clustering the different activities and work on one project at a time. Although the specific activities may vary, in your mind you’re working on that one project and it doesn’t feel like changing attention.


Reduce the static in your inboxes. Get a lot of non-urgent messages? Do you really need to be on cc? Ask your colleagues to only pop you an email if the matter cannot be discussed during contact moments face-to-face or via the phone. Sometimes just one or two contact moments per the week (say for instance Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon) can cut down 50% of email traffic.

While we’re at it. That same rule applies to you. Do you have two or three things to ask someone? Write down for a contact moment and continue focusing on the task at hand.

Check your email twice a day for just one hour each. And close it down during the moments in between so you can no longer feel drawn to checking new incoming mail and directly answering it. When going through your email, determine your course of action based on these three ways of handling: / urgent — needs an answer now (write a reply but don’t send it right away)
/ urgent — needs research to answer (reply you’ll get back, flag it, write on to-do list)
/ not urgent — can answer later (flag it, write on to-do list)

Reduce unnecessary follow-up communication. Nothing takes up more time and energy than rectifying and explaining yourself. When you write an email or reply, ask yourself the following questions:

/ Have I given all of the necessary information? (Did you answer all questions asked, is a little background story needed for the receiver to understand and take proper action?)
/ Are my questions specific and detailed? (think about what you want from the receiver, when you need it and how you would like to receive it — for instance: .pdf, via mail, etc.)

At first this seems like a lot of work. But if you make it a ritual you will notice you will ask these questions automatically while writing. If you still notice a lot of questions coming back to you, the best way to check your wrong-doings is by not sending your email right away. Write it, hide it, wait, re-read and then send.

That’s it!

No wait, one final advice I’ve come to cherish: However tempting it is to work towards becoming irreplaceable, the moment you strive for the opposite is when you will be most comfortable, creative and productive.


Het is helemaal niet aan de mannen om kansen te creëren en ruimte te maken voor vrouwen

2 min leestijd – 

Die verantwoordelijkheid is aan onszelf.

Het zal absoluut liggen aan het algoritme op de platformen en het feit dat ik vrouw ben dat ik de laatste tijd steeds meer sterke vrouwen in de entertainment industrie zichzelf zie en hoor uitspreken. Eerst dacht ik dat vervelend te vinden: ‘moet dat nou?’. Ik ben zelf altijd redelijk stellig geweest: ‘ik ben geen feminist, als we gelijkheid willen moeten we niet vechten en claimen maar moeten wij onze plek als meer dan normaal gaan beschouwen en er geen twijfel over laten bestaan dat een vrouw deze functie vervult’. Maar wie hou ik voor de gek? Dat is toch ook gewoon hetzelfde als vechten? Opkomen voor jezelf, je rechten, wensen en behoeften.

De afgelopen jaren heb ik gewapend met naïviteit en passie territorium bij elkaar geharkt en is mijn social media aanwezigheid niet alleen geweest voor een goed gevoel maar vooral als bewijs dat ook hier een plek voor vrouwen mogelijk is. Dat ik er hopelijk samen met andere hardwerkende vrouwen voor heb gezorgd dat als er nu een vrouwelijke tourmanager met een band en crew het podium op loopt, dat de vrouw gewoon wordt aangekeken en haar hand geschud. En dat de volgende vraag is: ‘dus, hoe gaan we het aanpakken?’ en niet de band te horen krijgt: ‘pittig zangeresje hebben jullie zeg’.

Mijn hoofd knikt mee terwijl ik het interview van de NRC met Roosmarijn Reijmer lees: ‘Ach.. jij bent toch een van de mannen. Pas onlangs besefte ik: nee, dat ben ik helemaal niet.’ Wat een wanhoop dat wij als vrouw zo erg het gevoel hebben dat we alleen mee kunnen spelen als we zoals de mannen zijn. En dan de regel: ‘Zit ik hier omdat ik een vrouw ben, of omdat ik goed ben?’. Man man man, pijn in mijn borst zo raak. Gisteren kwamen de woorden van Eva Jinek op haar site tot de kern van het kwaad. De vrouw trekt zich te snel terug als de kritiek weer eens enkel over het vrouw-zijn en het daarbij horende uiterlijk gaat, en niet over de inhoud. En als we heel eerlijk tegen onszelf zijn, zijn het niet de mannen die ons in dat hoekje duwen. Dat doen wij vrouwen zelf.

Afijn. Time to face the music, zoals ze dat zeggen. Ik kijk uit naar nog meer groei en acceptatie. Dat minder vrouwen klagen en meer vrouwen zich uitspreken. Dat meer vrouwen zichzelf serieuzer nemen en voor zichzelf opkomen. Dat we in de nabije toekomst hier niet meer over hoeven te praten. En dat mijn dochter en haar kleindochter zich vanzelfsprekend niet meer meten aan mannen, in hun kracht staan en zich geen enkele kans laten ontnemen.

Interview Eva Jinek
Interview Roosmarijn Reijmer

We need to stop promoting ‘This is your moment!’ and ‘you can be anything you want!’

3 min read – 

A world full of opportunities at a standstill.

For the past year I have been trying to steer clear from Social Media when it comes to personal moments of endless scrolling. Which is a pretty hard thing to do when 75% of your job and side projects need you on Social Media. And I’m not saying this is a typical ‘I hate Social Media’ and ‘It’s such a waste of my time’ phase we all know and go through once in a while.

I found that if I want to stay mentally healthy, keep up my mental strength and self-confidence, there is one thing I don’t need in my life: happily smiling beautiful looking women stating ‘this is your moment!’ and/or ‘don’t let anybody steal your dreams, you can make it happen!’.

Back in 2014 I had to accept the fact that I’m not invincible. My head was a mess, I couldn’t remember simple things and I started doubting everything — mainly myself. It felt like someone took off my rose-colored glasses and now I had to face reality. I hated the new me. I wanted back my old-slightly naive-down for everything-not afraid to ask. But she never came.

At the end of 2016 I finally felt like a snake that completely shredded it’s old skin and I felt comfortable in my new suit. I even tried some new moves, testing my new shoes and without realizing it the doubting stopped. In the beginning just for short periodes of time, but as I seized more control over the new me the doubt vanished for days and even months at a time.

However the doubt is still there, hidden inside of me. And once in a while it takes a walk outside. It knows my weak spots. When I’m tired from work, when I’m just about to have my period, when I’m confronted about something. And then I go through the phases I’ve become so familiar with:

– First comes a feeling of paralyses
– Second is a strong urge to flee and hide
– Third is me realizing what is happening
– Fourth is me being mad for allowing ‘it’ to happen again
– Fifth is me remembering it’s not the end of the world
– Sixth is acceptance and rest
– Seventh is the feeling of gaining headspace again
– Eight is figuring out a game plan and returning to the scene

The first time this happened it took me a full month to go from 1–8, but nowadays I go through the motions faster. Not because I’m not allowing myself to give every move a proper check, but because it naturally happens faster. Now I can hear you think: ‘so if you got this down, what has Social Media got to do with it?’.

We live in a world of balance. We — as the world, our society — have gained so much from our individualism, automation, feminism and education to all. But it has and is costing us greatly as well. My friends and I grew up with the opportunity to follow a higher education and get a job that women before me couldn’t. I didn’t have to take over the family business and it is not expected of me to be a stay-at-home mother.

But these so-called ‘opportunities’ are putting a paralyzing pressure on our generation. I am a 27 year old woman that has been working as a freelancer for over 7 years. In the early days I felt like I could make a change, I’m special and I could do whatever I wanted. Over the years that feeling turned into a misplaced feeling of responsibility. A big part of that feeling comes from within, but the other big part comes from society — more specifically from Social Media.

If we want young women to thrive we need to stop promoting ‘this is your moment!’ and ‘you can be anything you want, don’t sit around and wait for it!’. It may get them up from their seat, but it will backfire once they hit a challenge. If we want equality and fair chances we need to accept that we shouldn’t be pushed. We need to be understood, accepted and supported.

But until that happens, I will steer clear from Social Media on my weaker days. I draw strength, motivation and inspiration from having dinner with friends, walking the dog, going to a petting zoo, calling my mom, reading a book and movie night with my man. And maybe a little bit of wine and chocolate…


Why I’m bothered by my white privilege and should speak up

3 min read – 

Like every teenager, I dealt with my fair share of exam stress, wardrobe panic, gossip talk, body changes and all of the typical school insecurities. But other than that I was a very happy kid and had not much to worry about. One thing always did bother me though. And it never really faded. On the contrary, it still bothers me today and even angers me greatly from time to time. And I feel it’s time I open up and start to act on it.

I am born half Dutch, half Greek. Many of you know this because I once told you. But you wouldn’t know if I didn’t. Because apart from the brown eyes, brown hair and the amazing bronzing capabilities of my skin, I look just like my fellow white Dutchies. I now know that this ‘look’ has made my life a lot easier. Sure you work hard to reach your goals, but my life would have been very different and a lot harder if I was half African and my skin was black.

When I was still in middle school I was introduced to this dark truth. My class combined more races than a G20 summit and I had a bunch of friends whom I hung out with that didn’t share my white look. I remember we would go to the supermarket during lunch break and I would hear other people (grown-ups) whisper insults, point fingers and even swear at my classmates or deliberately push them. They didn’t do anything wrong or said a single bad word. I was 13 years old and shocked and confused.

Fast forward to University. I was conducting my graduate research at a foundation organizing Hip-hop events. I love Hip-hop and grew up rapping along with J5, Talib, KRS and Dilated Peoples. Many of the people I worked with, including the artists, were black or looked like what the media depicted as the face of a typical suicide bomber. Walking through town together I couldn’t help but notice people avoiding our paths and tightly holding their bags. My friends looked like they didn’t see it but were probably pretending. It made me feel sick and strangely ignorant.

Today. I have the amazing pleasure to still be surrounded by and work with extremely talented artists, musicians, and inspiring people. Almost all of them showing the world a beautiful dark skin color. The only difference with back in the days and now is that many of them became a public figure and are popular by demand. And somehow that changes the ‘rules’. They are praised and applauded, role models and award winners. But when the night falls and we walk to our car after a show, and security is closing down the building and doesn’t recognize the guy who just sold out the venue, we still hear the whispers: ‘maybe he doesn’t carry a guitar but there is a gun in his guitar case’.

I am privileged. And I’m fed up and angry about the fact that my friends are not and have to deal with shit like this on a daily basis. To this day I regret not standing up to those security guards. I shouldn’t have listened to my friends who were careful to not rock the boat or make a fuzz and asked me to let it go. We do not just need to acknowledge that we are privileged. If we want change we need to actively make an effort to support change. So I’m making a promise to myself that I will call out on supermarket whispers, I will confront people that show disrespect and misunderstanding and I will ask what exactly scares them and show and tell them that it’s an illusion we are maintaining ourselves through these bad behaviors.

I am not just taking a knee, I will not be silent and I will make an effort.

This piece was inspired by a powerful article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson. Read it here: My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest.