True confession time… I think and talk a lot about music. It’s what I do because I’m concerned. I care. Music is that important to me. So I’ve accepted what we’re calling internally The GFM Challenge which quite simply equates to putting up current music with the emphasis on current (I’ll touch on that in a little post-script) music that moves us in a particular way to recommend, post or whatever means we deem necessary to get the word out.

My first post to this challenge is a tune from Mila J. from 2013 (yes within the last year, yeah!) entitled “I’ve Been Hustled”. Normally when you think of GFM you might not think of an artist like Mila J. who is currently riding high off her single “Smoke, Drink, Break Up” yes that pun was intended. The point is with this challenge and with what we are trying to accomplish here at GFM sometimes you will get the expected and sometimes you will get the unexpected. In my mind the only criteria here is that the music is great.

What attracts me to a tune like “I’ve Been Hustled”? Well, the story is very honest. I like honesty in art, I really do. Musically, there’s depth here: interesting chord structures and progressions which gives Mila room to do some beautiful background harmonies. I’m a sucker for great harmony. There’s a nice rise and fall to the melody line and quite frankly “I’ve Been Hustled” keeps my attention for the entire length of the production and beckons me to put it on repeat. This is what I love about this tune and why I have chosen it as my first entry in “The GFM Challenge”.

P.S. I’ve said it time and time again and I will keep saying it… we run the risk of having zero musical memories if we don’t create new musical memories. There were great moments in 1986. There were terrible musical moments in 1986. The same holds true for 2014. Granted the issue we have in 2014 is the sheer volume of music available as opposed to 1986 and the influence of the instantaneous nature of the internet so you have to know where to go to find the great. It is my hope and desire that through this “challenge” GFM will become known as a home for the great. The great, not the many.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.