There are voices that speak inside our heads that either helps us become what we want to be or keep us from achieving that. Guests, Isaac and Thorald Koren, identify and differentiate those as our big voice and small voice. As world-class musicians under the band, The Kin, Isaac and Thorald sure know the power of our voices—both in the literal and metaphorical sense. In this episode, host Steve Farber shares his conversation with them at the Extreme Leadership Experience in 2019, where they talk about their journey of learning how to recognize our big and small voices and to work through which of those hold us back and propel us forward. Having founded The Songwriter’s Journey, The Brothers Koren helps those who are passionate about music to express them. They share how they do that and show the power that is in reclaiming our voice and letting it be heard.
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Live With The Brothers Koren, Isaac And Thorald Koren
Your Big Voice
You know how it is when you meet somebody for the first time and within a matter of minutes, the connection is deep and the understanding is rich that it feels like you’ve known this person forever even though it’s only been a matter of moments. I’m assuming that you’ve had an experience like that in your life. I’ve had several. I’m going to highlight two of those people who came into my life in that way. I met Isaac and Thorald Koren at a conference a number of years ago. The simplest way to put it is we connected as brothers. They are world-class musicians and teachers. That’s an unusual set of characteristics to find wrapped up into one package. These brothers and I felt a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie with one another that led us to play music together until 3:00 in the morning like I used to do when I was a much younger man. Isaac and Thorald Koren are world-class talents. They are singer-songwriters and composers. They’re teachers under the band named The Kin. They traveled with Pink, Coldplay and with Rod Stewart. They opened for Bon Jovi.
These brothers have played arena shows around the world. They have a wonderful gift, not only of music but a gift of drawing the music out of other people in a program they call the Songwriter’s Journey, where they take people who are either musicians, want to be musicians or have had an impulse towards music and I’ve never expressed it. They’ve taken more than 100 people through this journey from nothing into recording an album of original music that they draw out of these people. I want to share with you their conversation with us at the Extreme Leadership Experience, where they’re discussing what they call the difference between our big voices and our small voices. How to recognize them and work through the voices that hold us back versus the ones that propel us forward. I know you’re going to enjoy this. There’s some music in there, as there always is with the brothers and a little bit of audience interaction. Most importantly, I’d like you to think through what inspires you to reflect on yourself. What are your big voices? What are your small voices? I’ll pop back on at the end and give you a couple of specific things to think about and to try.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to be here. Firstly, we feel like we get to be a giddy schoolgirl around, Steve in return. After the years, we’ve been become glorious friends, and not only jam friends late night at different events who are at, but also future collaborators or present collaborators. It’s fantastic to see the culture of this experience our second year in. We got to be here and you can feel that magnetize and come together. I’m proud of this and what you’re creating. It’s incredible. It’s a testament to your work. We’re so grateful to be here with you all and have a conversation. We’re going to start with some questions. Raise your hand if you are a shower singer.
That’s a lot. That’s most hands that ever admitted that.
Raise your hands if not mutually exclusively but you sing in the car. We have a theory that we’re developing that the car singers don’t want to be heard and the shower singers don’t want to be seen.
When Isaac first said that, I was like, “That’s a good point.” That might have merit.
Hands up if you don’t feel confident or quite confident speaking up at work. One bold, do I have three? Can I get 4, 5, 6 and 7? Thank you for that.
How about in your lives, in general, when you got to be yourself when speaking, being embodied, being able to speak and act what it is that you feel without fear of embarrassment, ridicule or judgment? How many people feel like, “I’m really myself in my day as an instrument?” This is a pretty transformed room, Isaac.Perfection is entirely overrated. Click To Tweet
As John was pointing out so well, the desire for companies big and small to hear the voice of their constituent, we’re focused on people reclaiming their voice. That’s our joy to see that. We want to address perhaps the breakdown that people might have that even though their employers or associates are listening more. Do they have the power, the confidence and the freedom inside themselves and the connectedness to their own voice to speak up despite the environment being more accommodating to their voice? This is a question I want to leave the beginning of this.
Specifically in our world, it’s almost always about unleashing someone’s voice. In our distinction, we’re going to make a very clear relationship between what is your big voice versus the small voices that possibly played you. Before we get into that, who are we in and how do we get here? It’s clear to us that we’re speaking and stepping out of music that it would be easy to be like, “It’s just music. You guys are artists, that’s why are you coaching, why you’re speaking.” The truth is in the middle of our wild experience which was a fifteen-year career, the rooms got bigger and our desire and thirst to connect with people got deeper and in some ways further away. We asked ourselves why and we didn’t quite know what we’re asking each other. This is how it came through. It was like, “That was amazing. How do we get closer? What kind of VIP thing can we do before a show where we sit on their laps?” We sit on their laps and take requests and hug them. When they say, “Thank you so much for that.” We’re like, “No, thank you.” How do we get closer? This is the feeling I had. I’d be like, “What’s next? Should we go to one of their houses and sleepover and hold them in bed?” We didn’t know. How do we get closer to a fan?
The other feeling we had was that for the moment that we were with them, they felt this connection, aliveness, freedom, power and confidence to come up to us to sing and to dance. We hated to see that as soon as they left the room or woke up the next morning, they lost that sense. They forgot to see that it was inside them.
Instead they would say, “I can’t wait for you to come back. I can’t wait for that next tour. When are you coming next?”
They’d have to put on our music or other songs to connect to that. We’ve found our new commitment as well as our commitment to our own voices as artists together and separately is to also help others. That’s why to reclaim their big voice. The conversation we’re going to have is about the small voices that tend to get in the way or steal the microphone from the big voice. I believe we’ve told you a bit about why we’re here. For us, it wasn’t always a song and a dance. It wasn’t always like it is now. We weren’t as satisfied as we are with our life. As Thorald was alluding to, there were some big struggles with feeling the industry didn’t see or value what we were trying to give them. Even though we were signed to Interscope and we’re touring arenas, there was this sense that we weren’t seen or heard. We were misunderstood. We found that the small voices that are still with us we don’t give them the microphone. They started to arise and make themselves clear.
Maybe even bigger and some of those biggest moments. I feel like that’s not talked about that much. Sometimes, those big moments where everything’s on the line and everyone is like, “Well done. Look what you’re doing now.” A set of small voices tend to go off than big time. We found that we got to see which voices got to us. What happened with the Brothers Koren, which was The Kin at the time as we came off the road and we were visited by this idea. How do we get to someone who has music inside them and hasn’t known how to voice? It’s called the Songwriter’s Journey. It births itself through us in one hour of brother conversation. We were going to take someone from inception to celebrating themselves in that life through a series of stages that came to us. This might be our best bad idea ever because we’ve had a lot of ideas. We did our first one. It was a young girl from Washington DC, had never recorded original music but always wanted to sing. She went on about nine months later to win the John Legend Songwriting Competition at South by Southwest. We never got into it for an accolade. What we did get to the heart of was who she and it was a simple premise.
We’ll become her brothers. We’ll have her permission to step into her life, help her make a mess, help her see how valuable she is. Help her see what it is that the instrument that she is as a singer and a voice in our life is distinct and one of a kind, no clichés aside. The reality of that and then how valuable what she’s been through, highlights her songs. The proof was that she was in this song, the song went on to represent her in a way in the world. What we discovered from that experience was we should repeat this. We did and then we did again.
We’re over 100 journeys in. We’re on our third group of nine people maximum, 4 to 6-month experiences. What we got from all of this is we sat back and went, “What is it in this that’s working?” We knew why. We wanted to get as close as possible to people and we didn’t want to be the entertainment. We didn’t want to be adored only. This thing was working but what is it? We’re helping people step into what it is they always want for real. They were born away when their four or five. They were born with freedom, power, and value that they were like, “This is me. I’m fine. The world hasn’t told me what to do, what I should do and shouldn’t do for the most part.” We’re reminding them about coming back into that big voice. The other thing I was going to I discovered where there were a bunch of small voices that may plague each individual.
We’ll give you a Brothers Koren definition of a small voice so that we can all be in the room with what we mean by small voices. A small voice, for us, is any internal and automatic, negative thought feeling or emotion that comes up to protect you or to stop you from expressing yourself, speaking up, singing out, being yourself radically in public to protect you from the feeling of embarrassment, being hurt, harmed, whatever may have happened in the past that created that small voice to protect you.
Especially childhood is a ripe time for that.
I was going to be a lawyer and at fifteen, I could not sing or so I thought. I was at a backyard party in Australia where we’re from and my new best friend who I thought played guitar as Jimi Hendrix looked at me with his wild eyes. He was getting into it and I was closing my eyes getting into it and he looked at me he was like, “Sing for me, Isaac.” The invitation somehow called me, my spirit forward and I was like, “Mama love, take me down to my roots.”
Did you say that? Were you that good?
I don’t know. He said, “What do you mean? You didn’t tell me you could sing.” I was still in me, the small voice, “I can’t sing. What are you talking about? I don’t know what that was.” He was like, “No.” He grabbed me and he was like, “You’re going to sing for my band. We got a gig in two and a half weeks.” Two and a half weeks later, there was about this many people in front of me and I was on top of the world, feeling the power and the freedom of letting my voice be heard. I’ve resisted it a number of times but that desire to connect and to be with the audience has kept me from listening to that small voice.
We’re going to sing a song about Isaac’s childhood because we thought this is a perfect song. This song is written about your small voices. Before we started talking about small voices, he wrote this song. It’s pretty messed up. This is called When He Was Younger. “When I was younger, I wished on white horses, I built the Roman Empire held captive the bees in jars. Now that I’m older never ride horses. I’m scared by the empire and buzzing like bees in a jar. Who is driving this car? Let the child take the wheel. Who’s driving this car? Let the child take the wheel. We sing. When I was younger, I torment guests. They dare to stay later with cigarette butts in their tea. Now that I’m older the guests don’t come over. I sit in the corner small bucks until they’ve faded away. Who is driving this car? I let the child take the wheel. When I was younger, I fought all the monsters try to keep my poor mother from running away. Now that I’m older, I am the monster and I followed my mother to the hell that she went to that day. Who is driving your car? Let the child take the wheel, so we sing.” We were plagued by our own small voices of the pressure of fame and success that was told to us our whole lives.
It’s like, “You are great. You are special. You’re going to have your shot. Why don’t you have your shot yet?” This is said to us in the music business. I don’t know where this applies in your businesses, but you are in the middle of cultivating something special. People are saying, “Why aren’t you Rod Stewart?” I don’t know how to describe what that feels like, but it’s the culmination of what it feels like to be not good enough. Even when people are saying, “I’m here, why aren’t there another thousand?” They mean it with good intention but that started to plague us very much.
We became frustrated.It's daring to suck. Click To Tweet
Even when we’re on a major label and we were Jimmy Iovine’s last signing before we went to Apple and we had this big showcase and everyone was there saying, “This is great. Find the song.” Even at that moment, we found ourselves playing into a story from Erin’s small voices that was, “Are we can find it? Are we good enough to get a crack?” Imagine dragons in front of us and all these people that were around us. In our frustration, we started to act out. We felt rejected and that cost it even though we weren’t yet so to speak. What we used to do this thing where on tour if we didn’t love what we’re going through, we came up with this idea called Musical Robbery. At the beginning of Pulp Fiction, they’re in a diner. It gives us this idea at a diner that we’d get the guitar after we paid our bill and run back in like a big moment.
Pretend that you’re in a restaurant and we’re not here.
We have to psych ourselves up because the truth is we were scared to go in on and out, “Maybe you are passing by me now on an uptown ride. Why do we show hard to wrap the out when I’m trying to find out? On a downtown, train bar went down alone beside me so alone. He woke me up. I’m a narrow plane Christian to this train all alone. He woke me up.” We would leave and one time, I looked across into a college because we did 100 of these for fun. Isaac was licking at girl’s ice cream and I was like, “We’ve gone maybe too far.”
The whole intention was it’s our own way of being in our small voice in a way in action. We want to talk about that. It was like we’re picking a scab and it felt so good. It was our way of saying, “F-you,” but we had such thrill in doing. We did colleges and law finals exams. We had a law sit there once. Afterwards, we realized what we were doing with that. We were trying to express our frustration, not what we wanted though we don’t have any regrets or take it back. We were acting in our small voice.
What are these small voices over the hundred journeys that we’ve been on with people and we’re so grateful to have been on these journeys with people because the byproduct of this is we’ve gotten to see how are we similar and what are the things or the small voices that are stopping most of us? At least most of the people that come and work with us. Before we tell you these five top small voices, we wanted to see what is in the room. What small voices come up for people here with us? Is anyone courageous enough to share with us a small voice that they’ve encountered in their life?
What does the voice say?
“I’m not good enough.”
“You’re going to fail.”
What’s the small voice says? If you don’t do it, you’re going to fail.
“No one wants to hear what you have to say.”
“They want to understand.”
“I feel misunderstood.” That’s a big one.
“I’m a fraud.”
“It won’t be good enough.”
“I don’t deserve that.”
“Just playing safe.”
Would you say that the voice is saying play it safe because it might be unsafe?
“You’re not smart enough.”
“You’re not going to make it.”
Here’s what we’ve found in working with over 100 voices, music, song and people for the first time saying, “I can and I will put my voice in music.” Vulnerability shows up. These are the five that we’ve found by far was the most common.
Number five is you are not good enough. We think that that includes things like you’re unlovable. You’re not lovable enough. You’re not successful enough. Your voice isn’t good enough. Your guitar skills aren’t up to scratch. Don’t try because it’s not going to be enough. More is better culture.
Number four is, “I’m unsafe.” This is close to my heart because that voice is encapsulated. I almost lost my life to mental illness in my twenties to OCD. The small voice that encapsulated my illness was, “I’m unsafe. Therefore, I must mitigate that by relieving it with behaviors that might keep me safe.” It’s a big one for me. I’ve seen it show up a lot for people that doing an action of voicing or speaking up or doing something that’s new or the OSM might risk danger to your safety. Number three is, I’m too much. This one is interesting because it’s so prevalent in Australia. We call the Tall Poppy Syndrome in Australia. When poppies grow, they want it to be uniform. If one pops up too high and it’s glorious, they’re like, “Take it off for the sake of everyone else.” It’s very colonial.Do what you love in the service of people. Click To Tweet
The performer types are always talking. They’re always the first to put their hand up, “Who wants to sing?” Often they get growing up, “If you’re going to be that loud, go into your room or tone it down.” Don’t shine so much and give others a chance.
We’ve found a lot of people that were big as a kid and that we’re in a family that the mom was like, “No, don’t outshine me to the daughter.” The father is getting in line. That feeling, “I’m too much and not talked about a lot but it’s in there. If I come out, I’m going to be valuable and powerful that I might make people around me jealous, disturbed and bothered.”
The cost is potentially being isolated and boxed in.
Number two is, “I’m not perfect.” It’s such an amazing one to us because when we do the Songwriter’s Journey, what we’re doing is our brother wacky wizard way of helping people reframe the creative process again. What we’re about to say is going to sound obvious but it’s hard to apply. Make a mess, dare to suck, play together, collaborate with yourself and others and then go, “What do we get?” Go, “Let’s pan this for gold,” and then pan together. Still, no judgment, still play, still creative and then go, “Let’s criticize.” It is easy to get that backwards when you’re creating a company, a new product inside an idea space and innovation space in a company is the same thing. We’re in a session with someone, it’s a collaborative creative environment that leads to ideas, products, and services.
Like John was saying, instead of looking, “We want exponential growth.” In our work, it’s zero to a perfect song. It’s got to be perfect as it’s coming out. You’ve got to write John Lennon’s Imagine. Don’t bother trying. What we find is that there are linear steps that you take to get to where you need to go and where the song is expressing who you are.
That voice is in all of us. It’s shown to us through the filters on Instagram and Facebook. Everyone is sharing their best foot forward at all times. The truth is we were messy and 0 to 100 or I’ll take an offense unless it’s an A-plus. We are to know that it doesn’t work or we don’t know it yet but perfection is entirely overrated. That voice is a big haunting voice that shows up a lot for our people.
Number one is, “You are not worthy or I don’t deserve this.” That one is a big one for the work we do because a lot of people don’t feel that they are worthy of giving themself the time and the investment in their voice. It’s something we don’t put on the pyramid of values of where is your creative expression in your value pyramid. You’ve got the work, you’ve got the family, you’ve got the money, and you’ve got all of these things. We take for granted that the power and the importance of having that time to reflect and the self-care of expression and creativity.
It often shows up in the, “Someday I’ll do that thing that’s important to me. Someday I’ll make a space for some creative thing in my life that’s going to be associating and fill my cup that I’ll get this.” I feel like worthy comes there. Is there one person who wants to work with us on their small voices just for fun?
“One of the small voices is being misunderstood.”
When that small voice arises, what happens to you? What is your conversation with that small voice? How do you respond when that voice says, “Don’t do that thing you’re about to do because they won’t understand it?” What do you find to be your normal response to that?
“I’ll stay silent.”
What would your life be like without this voice?
“I’ll be standing up here just like you.”
Do you get that you’re not the small voice?
“I understand it but I know that the small voice is to stay enemy in my head.”
When do you remember that first time that that small voice showed up? When was the first time you felt misunderstood truly?
“As a kid.”
How old were you and what was the moment?
I cannot tell you the exact moment because one of these beautiful speakers is my grandma. She gave me the gift to speak like her. When I feel it and when I have that energy, I replay my life. I grew up in two houses, her house and my dad’s house, two opposites. I had to go over there with the information she gives me. It’s the same things we’re learning here. This is a reminder for me, plus I’m learning more as well. I’d go talk about you can become successful and they’re like, “You have to go get a job.” I’m like, “No, you can make money doing this. If you teach people this.” “No.” I’m being discouraged. Being knocked down for any idea you have or any information you may know that somebody else doesn’t know that they don’t understand, it’ll knock you down.
You’re going to parent differently. One of the analogies that we love to work and I used to work with these small voices is that you’re the parent. This small voice is a toddler or a small child who likes to scream a lot and get its way by throwing a tantrum. Being the benevolent father that I know you are, a big-hearted father that he is that small voice but doesn’t necessarily give in. The small voice is saying, “Don’t take me to school because I’m going to be misunderstood.” Whatever is screaming to you in the analogy. When you hear that misunderstood voice screaming at you like a toddler or a child, then you say, “I hear you but I’m doing this anyway,” and you take the step.
It sounds so easy but it is gorgeous because the truth is you’re extremely special and the same as everyone else when it comes to the voices that get formed inside us. There’s a little boy in you where this voice was formed because there were moments where you were misunderstood. You were like, “I know what I’m going to do here. I’m going to say nothing. I’m not going to share it with me. I’m not working here.” That’s what we do. We stopped being ourselves even though all we want to do is be ourselves and speak and act or not speak and not act in a way that we feel. We get that little voice or that little boy or girl makes a choice. Those small voices that we hear are going, “Is that going to happen again?” What occurs if you couldn’t change that voice but you knew that you never had to listen or act from him again and he could be under your wing? What might occur if you could put up with what he feels like? I’m sure he uses all of your feelings, thoughts, sensations, and emotions. If you could put up with what he makes you feel, speak and act anyway, what would occur? What would that feel like?
You’re asking what is the feelings that occur when you feel knocked down pretty much.
What would it feel like if you didn’t listen to that small voice or you did it anyway?A lot of people don't feel that they are worthy of giving themselves the time and the investment in their voice. Click To Tweet
The funny thing is I was known for not caring or listening, so I would already do that but it affected me in the long run. It didn’t affect me then it was like, “Whatever.” You don’t want to lose it. In the long run with other things, you’ve got along with life, in school, teachers and people knocking you down. It added up collectively.
Thank you for sharing.
We’re going to give you a taste or an exercise of your big voice and then we’re going to talk a little bit more about how to work with these small voices in a small amount of time.
What we’re about to do is as simple as allowing these small voices to be with you without the need to fix or get rid of them. That might be unpopular in a fixated age, but it’s what we’ve discovered and that’s what we’ve discovered working with the hundreds of people including ourselves. The more that we can allow these small voices to be and embody the big voice that we know we are and speak and act from that place, miracles happen. Things get made in the world and a new sense of pride and your new works appear in the world. Our work together with people is broken up between what they’ve been through their story and narrative into lyrics so that that finally gets expressed. It’s not dormant. It’s also about their distinct whole-body instrument and it’s also about music and songs that’s moved them throughout their life. We call it Musical Cosmology. We’re going to start with a tiny piece to touch the whole-body instrument. I want you to close your eyes, feet on the ground and simply allow yourself to experience what’s naturally and automatically occurring. Invite yourself into the experience that is here for you at this body that you’ve been gifted to be in this lifetime to be in. These have been waiting for you to experience it and that could be the sensation of what it feels like to be in this room. It could be the sensation of being in your skin. It could be what it feels like to hear through your ears.
I want you to invite that part of you that can play this game just at home in your instrument. It’s scientifically remarkable and one of a kind. The exact amalgamation of sills, of ancient stars that make up this body that you have that will one day pass back to the soil. The other fact is no one else will ever experience this instrument that you’re experiencing. Even the time and space that your body takes up cannot be experienced by someone else. I want you to take a deep inhale from that experience. With your awareness, I want you to witnesses any small voices or triggers that might come up in judgment of yourself, me or my brother or anything. I want you to experience those that there’s you that can experience those small voices. I want you to witness that they are automatic. Anything that triggers your thoughts, feelings, sensations and emotions that you didn’t choose to be present to create the automatic ones.
Witness them as best as you can. From there, I want you to take a deep inhale. I want you to exhale hissing in the back of the throat. I want you to feel that instrument that you are regardless. Inhale, exhale again, that regardless of those small voices, you are here in this experience. Let out any note regardless of anything. Regardless of what you owe your small voices to think about how you sound, I want you to experience it anyway. If you’re cold not to harmonize and you want to make the biggest sound, try it. Coming into your experience that no one is going to ever experience what you’re experiencing and be with that. I want you to pay attention to the small voices and Isaac’s going to speak about three pieces. I want you to see how you’re here anyway regardless of those small voices.
Hands up if you are worried about the person next to you hearing your voice. What do we do with these small voices when we leave this room? We’ve come up with three things that we can do. First of all, hear them. What is this screaming toddler, a child version of us inside our head screaming at us? What are they saying? Listen to them. Don’t ignore them. Don’t send them to their room or cut them out and get angry at them. Hear them out.
Hearing is musical. We can hear anything, to witness impartially. Imagine being able to have the capacity and courage to impartially hear the small voices that are using your mind and body to irritate you but you get to witness them without judgment. That’s called an Impartial Spectator.
We call it getting on being comfortable in discomfort or getting comfortably uncomfortable. That’s part of the hearing out the small voice that’s saying, “You’re not good enough, I hear you.” You can do this at home. You don’t have to walk down the street. Number two is you name the voice. You can have fun with it, “That’s not, Joe.” Labeling a small voice that allows you to then see that’s not you. It’s not the you that’s witnessing. It’s not behind your senses. It’s an automatic negative response to what is being sensed as dangerous, challenging or scary.
Simply filed by an earlier version of yourself. How forgivable is that entirely? Different younger versions of yourself that felt danger, unsafe, embarrassed, unknown filed a file to irritate and agitate you when you might do the same thing again. It’s given to you by your ancestors. How well can you be in a relationship to the fact of these voices, these feelings, sensations, emotions aren’t going anywhere? You could hear them and name them what they are, regardless.
You’re in a board room, the boss is there, colleagues are there, you’ve got a great idea. You put it and then, “Don’t do that. You’re not worthy of this job.” As soon as you say that idea, you’re going to get caught out and you’ll get fired. Right there, you hear it, you name it. That’s my unworthy voice speaking, “Do I want to be the person that lives from the place of unworthiness or do I want to be bold, courageous and experience the power of speaking up anyway?” The third one is choosing your big voice anyway.
Choosing means regardless of how uncomfortable and OSM you are. To us, it’s daring to suck which means to apply an action even though those small voices are screaming at you. Those small voices that have been created distinctly for you from your own system that you have. It’s very objective if you think about it. Khaleel went through the experience that you had. It must not have been easy. Your system was listening to the whole time. It is looking out in every other way in your life where it could warn you that it might occur again. The thing is that a small voice isn’t correct. It’s trying to remind you.
You did it and you already chose your big voice and you got up here and you’ve shown it. Everyone can attest that we all got you. We heard you, we see you, and we believe in you. It was magnificent, especially when you’re standing tall on your big voice.
Hearing, naming and choosing, the naming is happening but you heard and you chose. It’s very simple and it shows up time and time again. We get to work with people with small voices. Everyone that comes to us goes, “I can’t sing. I’ve wanted to. My mom said don’t sing.” All of these voices we named to why people come to us. We get to dispel through proof that those voices were not correct. It’s not that we go to war on those voices. We bring those voices or help them bring those voices back under their wing. What they’re left with is a sense of pride or being proud of yourself. One of the highest currencies I’ve ever come across personally and with others. There’s a transmission that we get to be a part of over and over again. We get to fall in love with what we do over and over again. The ‘why’ seeps out everywhere. If you want to say when a song or your voice needs to come to the forefront and a song may be your medium or singing may be your medium, we are for people to make a courageous step. We do what we do.
Steve, I feel like you wrote that for us. That’s why we’re a fangirl of you. Do what you love in the service of people, we love what you do. We only exist because the Songwriter’s Journeys is great as our next news. Someone who doesn’t feel that they can come to us and we get to show them they do. They share it and celebrate themselves. If it’s in you like courageously Amy McNaughton who I want to acknowledge, we met at the last Extreme and we had a moment. I am so proud of you because of what a bold move you made. Anywhere from never singing necessarily at all, certainly never recording to coming out and recording six songs with us. We learned so much from Amy, but what it takes to go from feeling silenced and unheard in your life in singing voice and to see what happens when you stay with her. There’s no greater music that I’ve ever had. We’ve worked with some great singers. Amy’s journey is a journey I love as much if not more. If it’s in you, it’s in you. You’ll know how to find us. We’re so honored to be with you. We’re going to sing this song that’s named Abraham.
It’s written about two brothers that have been fighting for about 2,000 years and still going at it but this is our prayer for peace. Steve, I was going to dedicate and I will dedicate this song to your late brother, who every time you are around, I feel the brother energy around you still. It’s for your beautiful brother and you. Thank you so much.
“There’s a tale told by soldiers, of two sons and their father. As they sailed to old Palestine, true were these brothers. They sailed to bury their father. They would fight for Jerusalem. You will be meek when I am able. You’ll be the salt upon the table. When all is said and done could you somehow be sons of Abraham. I was told by a stranger of a young blood thrown to the desert. He united a people with his hands. In the wane to the crescent, he fed the lion to the pheasant. He would stride to the spring of Zam Zam. There’s a tale told by soldiers. A young boy taken to slaughter. He was saved by his father’s hand. He was prized and protected, and prince he was elected. He was to save the wolves with a lamb. There’s a tomb out by Jordan, where two sides stop to adore him. As they fight for Jerusalem.”
I hope you enjoyed this exploration of big voices and small voices and that you’ve already started to listen for your own. The idea is to give the microphone to the big voice more often. I recommend you go back and re-read to that section where they had us breathe a little bit and listen for what those voices are. I believe that the more attention we give to our own big voice will be encouraging ourselves to step up, take more risks and do the things necessary to make this world a better place and to operationalize love in everything we do in business and beyond. Thanks so much for reading. See you next time.
About Brothers Koren
“WE FELT LIKE OUTCASTS. Sure, as The Kin, we were signed to Interscope/Universal Records; we toured with Coldplay and Pink and Rod Stewart. We played arenas. We played Conan. And yeah, you could hear our music in major movies. But despite all of this we woke up to the fact that we were allowing someone else to define our value. We were done chasing approval.”
The Brothers Koren experienced first hand how restrictive the music industry was to their expression, and after 15 years they knew they wanted to redefine the landscape. They launched the writer/producer team BRÅVES as an experiment in finding value in expression without rules.
Now, through the development of The Songwriter’s Journey, they are helping others reclaim the music they abandoned to do the same.
ISAAC KOREN | CHIEF DOWNLOADER
Isaac has the uncanny ability to climb inside an artist’s head and guide them to the download of their soul’s song. His love affair with music began in dramatic fashion when a friend casually picked up a guitar, and he found himself compelled to wail the blues. He left Australia in pursuit of his studies in music theory and its affect on human psychology and physiology. His Artist Identity and Lyric Immersion sessions ask us to delve deeply to touch the place of inspiration within.
THORALD KOREN | CHIEF EXPRESSIONIST
Thorald knows how to fully embody authentic expression. He was just 17-years-old when he left Australia to join his brother in New York to start The Kin and unexpectedly found himself navigating not only the highs and lows of a newfound rockstar lifestyle, but the challenges of mental illness. His experience has given him to an intimate knowledge of the tricks and workings of the human brain and emotional body, and he brings this insight to his vocal and Whole Body Instrument coaching.