In the world of music, great masters die at ripe old ages and young superstars flame out in their twenties.
In our world – that of a very small, regionally based independent record label, you find yourself surrounded by creatives, by entrepreneurs and self-starters. Look to your left and you’ll see talented musicians doing what they do for love of the music, not for expectations of fame and fortune. Look to your right and you’ll see visual artists, designers, and managers that have donated their abilities to beautifying and promoting a sound and a culture that represents them. Eventually you’ll see momentum build and you’ll end up with a “scene”, or a cohesive movement. You’ll end up with a mass of people with great gifts to share that seem to transform and even transcend a community.
And occasionally, in the midst of that movement, a certain, rare breed of genius emerges. The person who is at once musical, artistic, and entrepreneurial. The person who helps both anchor and progress the community’s movement, if that is possible.
Lafayette is one such community and Jillian Johnson was one such genius. Last night, we lost her to a selfish, senseless act of apparently random violence.