When I first moved to Nashville, almost 21 years ago (January 1996), I moved here to ‘do music’. In my mind, I knew what that meant.
But there are really a whole lot of facets to what I have had the opportunity to do throughout my musical career.
After about 5 or so years of living up here, it became pretty clear that I was not moving back home. People would ask my father, “So what’s Jeff doing up there in Nashville?”
“I don’t know. But he’s off the payroll.”
I love my father. And…that may be an easier way to answer the question of ‘What do you do?’.
As Christmas rolls around and things start to slow down a bit, I always get to thinking back about the opportunities I have had since I moved here in January of 1996 to specifically intern with Lari Goss (a Grammy award winning producer and arranger).
What do I do?
That really is the easiest answer. It may seem vague but when you do music for a living, you never really know what doors will open.
I have had the opportunity to arrange for Kris Kristofferson, Lee Greenwood, Michael W. Smith and countless others. I’ve had the opportunity to play trumpet (either live or for recordings) for Danny Gokey, Unspoken, Jody Benson, the African CHildren’s Choir, Shaun Groves, Keith and Kristyn Getty and Anthony Evans. I co-wrote 2 of the songs in the immensely popular Amish Musical ‘The Confession:A New Musical’. I’ve had over 130 of my songs recorded with other record companies. At this point, I have composed/music supervised over 55 videos/movies/shorts/audio books. And my publishing company, AnderKamp Music, has been able to provide music to over 2,000 churches and organizations literally around the world (South Africa, Australia, Italy, Germany and many more). And at this point, over 550 arrangements/orchestrations of mine have been in print with various publishers.
I look back at the paragraph above and my first response is, “Wow…thank you God for these opportunities.”
Relationships. Everyone of the opportunities mentioned above can be traced back to friendships and relationships that I’ve had. And being ready for whatever the job is.
Being ready for whatever the job is. No matter the size. If you get asked to create music…to me…that’s a good, good day.
And as for the caricature where it looks like I have a BIG HEAD, I always tell people, ‘I don’t really believe too much hype about my press releases and my bio. I’m the one that had to write them.’