Technology is a friend of mine, most of the time. And this time he outshined all his past mistakes. It began when our lead singer, Cameron, was scrolling through Twitter and he stumbled upon one of One Republic’s tweets for the day. It said something along the lines of “HEY YOU, HERE’S A WORTHWHILE OPPORTUNITY”. Five seconds later the 4 other members of the band received a vibration instructing them to come to practice not looking like complete slobs.

We all arrived with our inside voices for an acoustic rendition of “Made for You”. The Macbook sat there and gave us it’s full attention as we strummed through the song. We pushed send before the last note ended it’s sustain (not really, but it makes for good imagery). We all went home expecting nothing more than sleep.

A couple of days later we were shocked to find we made the top 5 and the next day we received some very strange news: we had won. For those of you that don’t know our history with competitions we have received a lot of trophies with the word “ALMOST” written in gold lettering. This was what we needed.

We are just a group of regular dudes from California that love music and love each other. We are so honored to have been selected as the winners of “Join Say It With Skype”! Our experience has been nothing but pleasant. Skype has treated us like royalty and they possess an amazing staff.

The first prize was a mentorship session with industry professionals: Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic), Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy, Black Cards) and Matt Pinfield (MTV’s 120 minutes). The virtual meeting was to be held via Skype. We rushed down to San Francisco the night before to get shuteye before the big day. Skype was unbelievably accommodating. The hotel, the food, the company, everything was unreal. Our lovely hostess Leanne, led us through the wonderful world of the Skype Northwestern headquarters in Palo Alto. Leanne was a such a joy to work with and dealt so gracefully with all our shenanigans. Thank you!

The next thing we knew we sat there screen to screen with some of our true musical heroes. They all had so much wisdom and advice and worked great as a collective unit to help inspire, challenge and encourage us. Day 1 was a great success.

The next part of our prize is to be on the actual “Say it with Skype” app. The app is a really cool, innovative way to send a happy birthday greeting using Skype. There 14 bands and each one does their own take on the Happy Birthday song. Just go to sayitwithskype.com and select your favorite, your reel favorite one, REELy be honest with yourself. And you can send it to whomever you’d like while you sing a beautiful harmony with the band. It’s free so fire away!

We were all losing our minds that week over what the song should sound like, but it came out naturally as Cam I were hanging out on the couch strumming guitars. We met as a band and the arrangement fell in to place and we were ready to record. We hadn’t made the smartest choice schedule-wise. We were set to record Saturday 3pm-whenever. But Friday night we had a late gig and woke up at 4am to go play for the inmates of San Quentin Prison. It was an amazingly insightful experience but we were fried; brains and skin alike.

We walked on to the set at Simz Studios in Sacramento after being dipped in delirium, which quite honestly served a purpose. We were all able to just loosen up and act crazy, especially Cameron. Thanks to everybody who contributed to that day: camera crew, directors, photographers, chefs, Mark, producers and the silver sparkly hat. They truly brought the best out of us.

We, The Reel, hope that our gratitude is redundant. We are so thankful for this opportunity and will embrace every minute.

This week we have a couple interviews. We are off to the Local Fox 40 News on Tuesday morning and then hopefully we’ll have some more interviews later on. Thanks again to Serena for the valuable media training! We hope to make you proud!

You can read the official announcements here.
‘The Reel’ Welcomed as New House Band for the Join Say it with Skype App
Did Skype find the next big band?
Skype on Twitter

-Christian

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