Giving Her Best!

Candace Sand

“Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it”.

Sam Ewing

Over the years I have quoted some of the world’s great writers, philosophers and leaders. They all have such profound quotes that have influenced millions, and continue to motivate both young and old. The majority of us give his ear to the words of those who have accomplished great things, or even good things. I was drawn to the quote above because I found it brilliant, yet very simple. The statement was so intriguing that I yearned to know more about the man attributed to the quote. Sam Ewing is a retired major league baseball player. Of course, the retired star athlete is viewed in our society as someone who accomplished greatness. Therefore most of what he or she says is revered, even if it is considered cliché. Some of the quotes of Hall of Fame baseball great Lawrence “Yogi” Berra are repeated often, while they are humorous yet pithy and paradoxical.

Sam Ewing is different. Ewing attended the University of Tennessee, where he was an All-American. Ewing had a collegiate batting average of .412, hitting a high .464 in his Junior year. Ewing went on to play four seasons of baseball with the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. His career batting average was .255 with 6 home runs and 47 runs batted in. If you are not familiar with baseball, he had a very modest career. Why am I using his quote? Perhaps because his words are simple, yet words that we can all understand and apply to everyday life. For those of you wondering what happened after baseball for Sam Ewing, he got his master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and worked on his doctorate in Sports Psychology/ physiology at Michigan State University. Today, Sam is a college educator in Topeka, Kansas, teaching Hospital Administration at University of Wisconsin at Stephens Point. How is this related to music? Like everything else in life, the same formula works for musical success. I had the quote in mind when writing the post for this weeks featured artist: Candace Sand.

Candace Sand is a young Pop/R&B Recording Artist, Songwriter, and self-described Flower Child who now calls Toronto home after growing up in her tiny hometown of Melville, Saskatchewan in Canada. After listening to several of her songs and viewing a couple of her music videos, I could not help but appreciate her musical talent. Even though Candace is somewhat new to me, she has made a good name for herself within music industry circles.

Candace Sand released her début EP Against Concrete Walls July 29, 2014, and her popularity has continued to rise ever since. Furthermore, Candice completed the Against Concrete Walls Summer Tour in August 2014.  The tour included 15 concert dates across western Canada and was followed up by an east coast tour in November 2014.  Moving forward, tour dates for 2015 are now being secured throughout Canada, US, and Europe. The young aspiring star vocalist has garnered much critical acclaim along her path toward a fruitful music career. Just take a moment and look at some reviews of her work. “Classy. Genius… Bringing to the table such a positive vibe, and heartfelt lyrics…”- HypeFresh Magazine (Clark Kennedy). “… from the standpoint of vocals, Candice is a treasure.” – Canadian Music Blog. “Against Concrete Walls is a solid effort… Candice Sand is adept at creating both pop confections and substance…” – SoulTracks.com (Howard Dukes). You can count me among the believers. Candace Sand is a very good recording artist!

Of course, it was easy to discern that Candace Sand had the ability to sing well. However, what I learned about her music educational background truly peaked my interest. Candice spent the majority of her childhood immersed in music, receiving private classical vocal instruction starting at the age of 8.  Her love for music carried her to Brandon University’s Faculty of Music (Brandon, Manitoba) where she studied Opera, and later to Grant MacEwan College’s Vocal Performance program (in Edmonton, Alberta) where she studied Jazz and all contemporary styles of music with a focus on Pop and R&B. Therefore, before Candace decided upon the Pop and R&B music styles, she enjoyed a very complete education in music.

Her path reminded me of my own musical education. My father encouraged me to strive to be a well-rounded musician. A musician who had the ability to play, read and write any style of music. I grew to reach out and learn everything I could about music, including music literature and history while enrolled in college. As I made my way into the real music world, I was very happy my background included the full musical experience. That college curriculum does help me today with my contributions as a music blogger. If Candace Sand has not publicly made a statement about her full musical background, I’m sure she appreciates her wealth of music education.

Now maybe many of you reading will understand why I thought the Sam Ewing quote is applicable to musicians as well as other folks on different career paths. The hard work, and even the education does not guarantee success. People may like your product – or not. At least you will have no reservations after trying. Moreover, the education will open a few more doors down the road.

Today, Candace is giving her audience her best. I really appreciate Candace Sand’s goals of her music. “On a very basic level, we’re all human right?  We’re all wanting to relate… to each other, to thoughts, to experiences.  To me ‘relating’ is a comfort.  Comfort in knowing you’re not alone in those thoughts and experiences.  I want my listeners to relate to my music and my words because if they do, then we relate to each other.  Then, in a sense, we keep each other company.  Isn’t that a nice thought?”

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