If you’ve spent much time in the Ogden area listening to local music, chances are you’ve heard of Brett Turner. A talented musician (He will be playing at this year’s Harvest Moon Festival from 1:15-2 p.m.!) and supporter of all things local (he can often be found working away at Grounds for Coffee on Historic 25th Street), creator of beautiful art (recently the “Hurt” video tribute to Johnny Cash) and all around great person to know, Brett has once again embarked on a new adventure. The goal? Supporting and connecting local businesses with musicians with the community with the City.
It’s called “It Pays to Live in Ogden” and it will be launching the week after the Harvest Moon Festival. It’s a small book, about the size of a cd case, filled to the brim with amazing offers, event information, local music and more. Best part? It’s free. There will be an information booth located in front of Alleged from noon to six p.m., where you can talk to Brett and his team, sign up to get the book (the first 250 people will have it mailed to their door!) and more!
Jenny had the opportunity to pick Mr. Turner’s brain a li’l bit about his newest project, what it’s about, who’s getting involved and what you can expect in the future.
Tell me how this got started, what gave you the idea to create “It Pays to Live in Ogden”?
The idea started 3 years ago, when I got back to Ogden after touring the west promoting my first album. The economy wasn’t doing well and lots of venues decided they could save money if they cut out entertainment and the venues that were still doing music began paying less and less. It was during this time music started to be available for free on sites like Pandora and Spotify, so people were buying fewer CD’s and MP3′s because they could stream it free. It was very defeating, because as an artist you are pouring your heart and soul into making music and nobody thinks it’s worth paying .99 cents for anymore.
I had a real internal battle: do I get a traditional job and just give my art away for free? or should I ask people to pay for it? I remember playing at Slackwater shortly after they first opened and someone snapped a picture of me then posted it on my Facebook wall. The picture had the Ogden arch behind me. I saw the “It Pays To Live In Ogden” slogan and remember thinking to myself: “not if you are a musician.”
It was at this point I had two choices, I could sit around and keep feeling sorry for myself because people don’t pay for music anymore, or use it as an opportunity to get more creative and find a better way a way that would allow me to do what I love here in Ogden. I did about 18 months of research, started fleshing out some ideas, made a plan and put it in motion earlier this year when I opened the Ogden Recording Company found some local talent, and started producing.
What do you hope to accomplish with this project?
Two main things.
First: When you think of a music town, Ogden isn’t really one that comes to mind. However, there are so many talented musicians and songwriters here, and I think there are even more people who possess talent that we don’t even know about because they just have no idea where to start or they don’t have a platform to do anything with it. Sometimes people need a push to do something with their art. It is my hope that this can be a first step, not only for artists, but for the community to recognize and suggest local talent. It isn’t until people start recognizing talent that they can start appreciating it.
And, secondly: Local businesses are so vital for the health of our community. It was important to me that we highlighted all kinds of local businesses, from restaurants to architects to retail shops to electricians. It would have been easier and a lot less work to just mail out a CD to residents and not sell any advertising, but to me, a lot of locally owned businesses are like independent artists who don’t get the promotion because they aren’t as recognized as bigger names and therefore they often get overlooked. It is my hope that this introduces the community to businesses they didn’t know existed, or re-introduce them to the ones they might have overlooked and hopefully people will stop in and support these local places.
Have you gotten a good response so far?
There has been a great response from local businesses owners all over Ogden, businesses on Historic 25th Street, and at The Junction, have gotten involved in the project as well. The artists are obviously excited to be on a compilation album going out to new people who can hear their music and everyone that I’ve told about the project would like to receive a copy.
The success of this project will be based on how the community responds. We made it all locally, it was important that we stayed local with all production and paid a little bit more money to make sure there was something of value we could give to the community. Each copy of “It Pays to Live in Ogden” will have a postcard of Ogden, a CD, and booklet full of deals from local businesses. If people use them, that will be the best response and if people aren’t going to use them, hopefully they will give them to someone who will instead of throwing them away.
What can the community expect from future issues?
A community gets out of it what the community puts into it. The more we support one another and collaborate to help one another, the better Ogden can be. We are making and giving out 1,000 copies every three months. Based on the community response we will explore making a portion of these available at certain locations around town, as well as developing a way to subscribe so that if you’d like to get each edition, you could get it directly mailed to you.
How can people get involved?
People can join the community on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/itpaystoliveinogden
Anytime you are out and find a local business, artist, or something that you love here in Ogden, hashtag the picture with #ItPaysToLiveInOgden on Facebook, twitter or Instagram and we will select random posts to win a subscription to the next edition of “It Pays to Live in Ogden”
Additionally, anyone hashtaging #itpaystoliveinogden between now and Oct. 31st will be entered to win a years long subscription! We will be selecting 50 winners, so make sure to tag your pictures to win!
Anything else you’d like to add?
There are so many great things happening here, so many great businesses, artists and ideas that are being birthed here in Ogden. I feel very fortunate to be a small part in helping promote all the wonderful things happening in our community. If you have a suggestion, idea, or you know of a musician, songwriter, or creative that needs a push please write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ogden Recording Company
2411 Kiesel Ave. #314
Ogden, UT 84401