Music has been an integral part of my being and my soul for as long as I have been aware. I had dedicated my life to music without making it a conscious decision. But it took me a long time to get to where I am today.
There is a great Canadian author, Malcolm Gladwell, whose hypothesis is that it takes 10,000 hours of work to become great at something. He is right. If you truly want to grasp something and become great at it, you have to put in the time. It is also about giving yourself the freedom to fail. The further I went and the more times I went out of my comfort zone, the more I grew and the more I learned about myself.
My family and friends helped me a lot during those years of aspiration. There were so many nights where there would have been no one in the audience if my family and friends hadn’t come. And I mean no one. After a decade of struggling and searching and trying to find my way and hoping that someone would give me a chance, Warner Bros. Records finally signed me and one of the first gifts that they gave me when my first record did well was a Rolex. And because of all that support, I gave it to my father and I think it meant a lot to him. My mom joked that when he showered he always had his arm hanging out of the shower just to make sure that it was okay — even though it was waterproof.
I have never really been a very materialistic person. I come from a hard-working blue-collar family. Becoming a Rolex Testimonee 10 years ago was a measuring stick as to how far I’ve come and how well I have done. And I have never taken it off, now I wear it in the shower with my arm out, just like my father.
The special moments that I have had with Rolex are moments where I have shared my love for the brand with the people that I love most. I’ve been with my band for a big chunk of my life and, as they hit the 10 year mark, I gift each one of them with their own Rolex. Now, we are like the Rolex gang. Another person I gifted is a doctor who saved my grandpa’s life. When it came time for me to show him what he meant to me, I truly couldn’t think of another discernible thing that he could wear and remember every day that he changed my life.
When I look at my watch today I see a measurement of my success. A measurement of the hard work, the dedication, and some luck, but also a combination of years and years of people believing in me, and me never quitting on myself — that’s what I see. I see the son of generations of fishermen who could never believe that they would ever have something like this in their possession in their lifetime. To be able to have something to hold in your hand that you know you have because of everything you did is a great feeling, it truly is. It is a tangible example of what can happen if you never quit and you put in those hours. And you never, ever accept the word no.