travis kingma

Featured Song: ” Young Life” by the Travis Kingma Band

During every pitch I ask myself: “Maybe there’s a song from the Travis Kingma band that might fit…” Before I started working at WeGetArtist I hadn’t even heard of them. When you work in music licensing you want to support bands that mean a lot to you. You want to push them, because you’re a musician yourself and you know how hard it is. Despite their enormous effort, mindblowing music and great talent groups like the Travis Kingma band struggle every day of their career. I sent a mail to Travis and asked him about some of his experiences on and off stage:

Hi Simon,

A few years ago we were one of two bands being considered to open for Mat Kearney at a venue in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We were excited because we thought highly of Mat’s music, our sound complimented his well, and the opportunity would have been a great résumé builder.

Needless to say, we eventually were told we didn’t get the gig and that it had been given to the other group. While we knew the other band who had been chosen and were glad for them it was simultaneously a bummer that we didn’t get selected.

Not being heard is one of the greatest struggles for songwriters in our culture given the ubiquitous nature of music and squelched avenues for performance.

Recently, we were all sitting at a restaurant reminiscing about fun memories together and lamenting the problematic landscape for musicians referenced in our example mentioned above. Someone chirped up and said that they had heard news of some elementary teachers playing our music in classrooms for their young students. Sam Weber, our bass player and alleged Bob Dylan look alike, said something I will never forget: “If that isn’t fame, I don’t know what is…”

Our music has been created and heard in ways we didn’t always anticipate. This has been a surprising yet wonderful reality. Like Sam, Peter Breithaupt, our drummer and only PhD candidate, made a brilliant comment, shown below, recognizing the subversive nature of our music, specifically about one of our songs, and posted it online:

Every couple years I come back to this song, and it remains one of the musical creations of which I am most proud. With no rehearsal, Sam Weber, Travis Kingma, and I setup our instruments in different rooms, sat down, and pressed record. Connected only by the sound coming through our headphones, this song happened – a fragment of time and sound made “constant.” A beautiful happenstance (to me at least), it can never be recreated, only replayed. It gives me chills every time. Perhaps, it is an aural reminder of the intense connection the three of us share, learning how to make music together from the beginning, a transcendence of the aforementioned headphones. I don’t know. I’m not one for late-night, philosophically-garbled status updates, but it happened – like the song.

Writing, playing, and listening to music with people has always been somewhat of an obligation for us. It is an action, something we do together to witness and express the mystery of life. While our motivation for such creativity comes from different places, whether it be due to the birth, death, and resurrection of a first century Jew who is embodied life for the salvation of the world or a box of candy (DOTS to be specific), it is shared in the basis of friendship.

That said, if Mat Kearney ever asks us to open up for him in the future, we will say, “No way!” Two seconds later we will say, “Just kidding”, and probably accept the invitation right away with open arms. However, if that doesn’t ever happen, we will just keep playing and making music together the way friends were meant to.

You guys make fantastic music and just last week we pitched one of your tracks for a major TV show. Sometimes it takes a long time for a bigger placement to come your way, but we’ll do whatever we can to make that timeframe a little bit shorter for you guys.