CommonSense Blog

Live From Stubb’s with The Reliques: Music Startups On A Mission

By Aaron Strout | Mar 31, 2015

This is a guest post by my Live from Stubbs co-host, Kyle Flaherty.

One of the falsest of statements put out by the media is the idea of an ‘overnight sensation’, and this is particularly idiotic in both business and music. There is no such thing in either world and when you sit down with an up and coming act like The Reliques you quickly understand why artists, like great business leaders, put in so many hard hours working their craft; a singularity of mission.

Singularity of a mission is a driving force behind many, if not all, great entrepreneurs. Zuckerberg, Whitman, Benioff, Meyer, Ellison, Gates… the list goes on and on. And one clear connections between them all is their ability to have a singular vision (even when that vision leads astray). In many ways it is this unwavering push towards a singular mission, and the scrappy entrepreneurial spirit to make it work anyway possible, that can also be attributed to great music acts over the years.

Walking into the room to interview The Reliques you are immediately welcomed by two women filled with energy and joy, waiting to share their gift of strong songwriting and angelic melodies. The Sarah’s (Dossey and Walters to be exact) have been making music together since their time at the University of Texas where it became clear that the duo enjoyed making music together, even when it becomes an individual enterprise. And here is where you realize that musicians in a band are part of a team, like any department in a company or squad taking it to the field.

I feel like writing a song is very individualistic… usually it works best for us to write a song on our own and then bring it to the other one and ask how does this work.
–Sarah Dossey

And with any team The Reliques must also rely on each other to be honest and transparent in their feedback to one another. If one doesn’t like the melody it’s something to discuss, not something to hide. In the end the result is strong songwriting and music, as evidenced on their latest album “Leaving Montgomery”. It is with this album that you also understand the true start-up nature of today’s music industry, since the duo actually funded the production using Kickstarter. Not only did they surpass their goal, they broadened their horizons.

…probably about 25% of our supporters were outside of the U.S., that was cool to see.
–Sarah Walters

Music is a sum of parts, not only the working function of the band mates like the Sarah’s, but also in their fans throughout the world. The beauty of the entrepreneurial spirit, whether in business or music, is the fact that there is the one constant of plain old hard work. Talking with The Reliques for Live From Stubb’s was a fantastic reminder to appreciate those around us who are the creators.

Listen to more from The Reliques in our interview or their live acoustic songs, Hold me Down and Leaving Montgomery that we recorded with them live at Stubb’s.

  • Kyle Flaherty

    Aaron, thanks again for letting me post this up here. I love doing these interviews not simply for the musicians, but the business learnings.

    /kff