Black Fret

Black Fret is quite possibly one of my favorite things in the entire world. It is an Austin based non-profit that awards grants to deserving musicians to help further their careers. Some of my good friends have been nominees and recipients and I cannot say enough good things about the organization. It’s like my dream job. Scouting out talent and helping promote them and wanting them to succeed.

The co-founders are beyond cool. A coolness I strive for and will probably never achieve.

One of those founders in Matt Ott. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting him on one hell of an acid trip.

I didn’t actually take the acid, but was tapped on the shoulder at Utopiafest, the brain child of genius Travis Sutherland, and when I turned around and said “what” and opened my big mouth, I got a dropper full of what I was guaranteed “the best shit ever.”

I told the ‘generous’ doser I did not want to be on the ‘best shit ever’ because frankly, I had already taken a bunch of drugs, but my friends in Golden Dawn Arkestra were on stage, so I figured I might as well ride the wave and hope for the best.

It was actually some pretty good shit. It just kept getting more and more intense. There was no way I was going to bed, and while my friends were telling me to shut up and go to bed, I kept on going.

At 11 a.m. as I screamed, “Sorry you’re a bunch of pussies. I’m going to see what that guy is doing. He looks a lot cooler than y’all lame ass bitches.” I know… how attractive. I walked over to a guy cooking  bacon and making bloody mary’s.

“Ooooh, can  have a piece of bacon?” Was how I started that conversation. I had on a onesie, I hadn’t slept, and I still had on a rainbow fuzzy unicorn hat. I was festivaling it up. My friends, who until 11 am had been on the same bandwagon, and I had come up with a saying, “It’s a festival, not a restaval!” But yeah, they were mailing it in at almost lunch Day 2.

Not only did I get bacon I got a bloody mary as well.

“So… what’s your name?” I ask the bacon chef.

“Matt Ott,” he replied.

“And what do you do Matt?” I inquired.

He ask me if I had ever heard of Black Fret, and seemed like he didn’t quite believe me when I said I had.

“No! I have! My friends have been your nominees. Wendy Colonna, Golden Dawn!”

He looked at my unicorn hat and ask me if I was the girl who had climbed on stage the night before.

“Yes! That was me. I don’t think Topaz is very happy with me…,” I mused.

We talked for a while and ended up Facebook friends.

Matt is awesome. I saw him the next year and he told me I looked a lot better when I wasn’t dosed and hadn’t been awake for about 48 hours. I politely agreed.

If you get the urge, check out the 2019 nominees. It’s quite a list of excellent and oh-so-talented musicians. They have lots of events throughout the year, and if you feel the urge you can donate too. Click here.

I had the pleasure of attending the Black Fret Ball at the end of 2018 and I was blown away. Some of my friends received grants and it was amazing to watch them on stage. Kalu and the Electric Joint, Los Coast, and Tomar and the FC’s, to name a few I can remember. Tomar and Los Coast were  20k recipients. Do you know what that can do for a band? A lot. Trust me. Who took me by surprise that I had never heard? Shy Beast. I was struck and in awe of them. The lead singer is adorable and quirky. And I quickly followed them on IG to keep up with their schedule. Who had I heard of but never seen perform until that night? Jamiee Harris. Also both 20k winners. I cannot wait to see where they go.

And for more information on the Utopian brainchild of Travis Sutherland, click here. Holding a festival is my ultimate goal. Some people want to run an Ironman. We all have our goals. Keep on dreaming on, and keep striving to do what you love. I am amazed and blessed to know the people I do. And I’m grateful for all the musicians and dream makers in my life. ❤

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