Meet Talia, member of The Wellspring band. Amid the grid of subway lines and rows of yellow cabs laid out like cornfields, a fateful meeting occurred in Manhattan. Just a few stories up from the roaring voice of the city THE WELLSPRING was quietly born.
Dov Rosenblatt was the lead singer and guitarist of local NY band Fools For April. It was FFA that led Dov to meet with Talia Osteen, who was then VP at a film production company, about placing his music in their films. Talia fell in love with Dov’s music, and Dov discovered that Talia herself had sung in a band, prior to her career in film. Months later, mutual fans of each other, the two decided to take a stab at writing together. Talia sent Dov a torrent of poems. It was these poems that sparked him to write music fervently into the wee hours of morning. It was this music that would inspire her to sing again. Together, they discovered a wellspring of music. Talia quit her job and the pair spent all their free time writing and recording together in Dov’s home studio.
Their music, which has been called “a mixture of The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, with some indie rock” has taken off. The duo traveled west together to record their debut EP, to be released July 29th, with producer Bill Lefler (Dashboard Confessional, Ingrid Michaelson). The band was noticed by the CEO of LastMinuteTravel.com — now the proud sponsor of The Wellspring’s upcoming national tour this coming Fall and Winter. The Wellspring will call Los Angeles home for a time, before striking out on the road to sing their songs across America.
Describe a moment where you might have said, “I can’t believe I am getting paid for this?”
There have been so many moments like this in the past couple months… Most recently, last night. I was performing at a venue that I’ve seen so many acts that I admire (at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood). It was our EP release show, and we were backed up by amazingly talented musicians who have recorded and toured with John Mayer, Sarah McLachlan, Allison Krause, etc. I was up there singing songs that come from a very personal place for myself and my co-writer Dov, and we were having a blast on stage and really feeling an incredible response from the audience and I definitely had the feeling that I had to pinch myself to believe that this is what I was doing for “work” … I’m living a dream right now.
What did your parents or friends say when you told them you wanted to start your own business/your business idea?
I decided to turn down a 6-figure job with a title promotion in an industry I’d worked very hard to gain success in, in order to pursue music full time with this new band that had organically kind of taken over my creative focus. My mom was very nervous about turning down something so stable in this economy. But when I told them that I had put together a business plan to gain some semblance of stability for the band as we pursued our goal of recording an album and touring, she got excited for me. I think it’d been a while since she’d heard such enthusiasm coming from me about anything work-related. My dad was totally on board once he heard my pitch for the business plan. I am very lucky that they were encouraging. My friends were absolutely supportive, as most of them knew the music and believed that we really had something special. In fact, they were the ones who pushed Dov and I to take the project seriously as more than just something we were doing for fun as a creative outlet.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I had a bit of a “Jerry Maguire” moment where I sat down and started writing a mission statement for myself and a couple hours later looked up and I was sitting in a room that was pitch black, save the light from the computer. It’d just hit me that I couldn’t be happier than I was when I was writing with Dov, creating our songs and telling stories through music. Why wasn’t I taking it seriously, as I’d taken my film career seriously? So I started thinking of how I could get our project off the ground. I’d raised money for the film company I’d previously worked at before. I figured I could do it again, but this time for my own venture. It’s not a traditional “company” but it’s an entity that will hopefully be generating some profits! I hadn’t yet wrapped my head around how to make money in the music business these days (still working on that) but I figured that I could tell someone how I could generate awareness and help brand their business through grassroots marketing in the indie music scene. So that was my idea– to find a sponsor to believe in our music and get behind “breaking” our band as a way to brand their business as cool supporters of independent music.
What was the most exciting aspect of starting your own business?
Starting your own business is very scary, but it’s so exciting. In order to stick your neck out there, stand behind something and ask people to believe in it with you, you’ve got to really believe in it yourself. So the realization that I believe in what we are doing as The Wellspring enough to risk turning down a great job offer that I’d been working toward in the film industry, and to ask another company for financial support in a new endeavor that I had relatively little experience in, was a huge deal. It felt amazing to believe in something that much. The most exciting parts are a) having the ability to have complete creative freedom in the music we are creating, and b) the feeling of empowerment– the feeling that my career is slightly more in my control than if I were working for someone else. It’s hard because there’s no one else to take the fall for any failings, but on the other hand, there’s no one else within my company to stand in my way. We’ll have enough hurdles to jump in the business, but I rely on myself and my partner on a daily basis and there isn’t anyone higher up than us that we have to get approval from. On a creative level, that’s extremely freeing. On a business level, it’s extremely stimulating (albeit anxiety inducing). I have gotten a lot less sleep since making the band our full-time focus, but it’s totally worth it.
What has been your biggest success?
The first success made the biggest success possible: the first success was getting a corporate sponsor who to believe in us – a new unsigned, unknown band – enough to make us the first band that they will sponsor for a national tour. That absolutely gave us a huge boost in confidence that we were doing something right. The biggest success has been how far we’ve come in our writing and performing. The level of musicians that we’ve gotten to play with us, the producer who produced our debut record– we’d never have gotten them if they didn’t like the music. We’d never be able to afford them! The feedback we’ve gotten on our music from singers/songwriters/musicians that we both greatly admire and were fans of long before we met them in person, has been a barometer for our success. To hear from musicians whose music I listened to obsessively, that they think our songwriting is so strong, and that our show is amazing and that they love our music- that’s hugely validating. But the biggest compliment is probably when people who have never met us and have no personal ties, hear our music and become fans, buy our songs and come to see us in concert. That’s how we know our music is connecting with people as we’d hoped it would.
Buy the EP at http://tinyurl.com/Wellspringitunes