Soul Motivation Records

We make music that helps

At Soul Motivation Records, we make music that helps.

An Apology Letter To Hip-hop

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Dear Hip-hop,

I owe you an apology.  I'm sorry I walked away from you all those years ago.  I just couldn't handle how much you had changed.  When we met, you use to inspire me with your clever lyrics and thought provoking prose.  You use to make my day better with your infectious beats.  I remember, spending entire days hanging out with you.  Back in the day, I use to lose sleep because I was so excited for my Columbia House CD's to arrive.  I knew with each package that was delivered to my house, you would deliver to me so much truth, hope, joy and excitement.  I knew every time you showed up at my house, I was going to learn something new.  I was going to experience something I've never experienced before.  And I would be inspired and challenged to create my own songs that were even half as good as the ones you gave me.

But then you changed.

You became bitter and dark.  You began to focus entirely on the negatives in the world.  You began to lose your wit and wordplay that use to inspire me so much.  Soon, all you wanted to talk about was girls, jewelry and money.  It seemed like all you cared about was immediate gratification because you saw the world as messed up beyond compare.  And don't get me wrong, I like all those things too, but come on man.  There's more to you than that.

Look, I know you've been through a lot.  I know you have had to watch a lot of injustice done to you, your friends and your family.  I know you've been pissed at the world.  And I totally understand why.  I'm pretty pissed too, sometimes.  But I know there is still hope inside you.  I know the world is not a perfect place, but you always helped me see the better side of people.  You always helped me see the good that still exists in the world.  And I need you now.  We all do.  More than ever.

I'm not saying you can't go out and fight some battles.  That's part of your responsibilities too.  But please don't turn your back on all the good stuff.  And please don't let people make you part of the problem.  You are above all that.  And it's time to show the world who you really are.

I'm really sorry I didn't understand all this better all those years ago.  I was young and naive.  Instead of trying to understand you better, I just gave up.  I should have stuck with you and encouraged you all this time, but I thought you had given up so why shouldn't I? 

I was wrong. 

You've always been there, trying to figure this all out.  I can't control you.  You are free to be who you want to be.  So I am going to let you be free.  I promise I will always look for the good in you because I know it is always there.  And I'll be here with you during the bad times too.  Right by your side.  Rooting you on. 

Thank you for being such a huge part of my life.  I'll never leave you again.  And I really believe you were meant to change the world.  I'm here to help in anyway I can.

Sincerely,

You're #1 fan.

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The Mess Around Is Here!

The Mess Around (feat. Chela Mancuso)
The new single from Chris Swan is here!  

The Mess Around is a song about living a sober life in an alcoholic world. I quit drinking 2.5 years ago, but some people still want me to be part of the party. This is a song for all former drinkers as a declaration to the pushers that we don't mess around anymore. We got things to do. 

This song also features a very talented singer/songwriter from St. Louis.  Her name is Chela Mancuso and she is awesome!

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of The Mess Around!

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The Mess Around: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired the song Chela Mancuso and I wrote called The Mess Around and what we hope you get out of it!  And be sure to share this video with those who you think need to hear it!

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Why I Stopped Messing Around

"I don't even miss how it use to be."

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I am an alcoholic.  Through and through.  I have never been able to go out and have one drink.  If I'm going to drink, I'm going to do it right.  I am going to get drunk.  And not just a little buzzed.  I mean really drunk.  But after years of drinking so much, it became really hard to get drunk.  I was drinking Long Island Teas with Grand Marnier shots all night long.  I remember, I would show up for gigs, down two long island teas and two shots of Grand Marnier back to back before I even started playing!  It was becoming harder and harder to get drunk.  Drinking became a chore.  It wasn't fun anymore.  And here's the real catch - I didn't even like the taste alcohol!  I just liked the effect.  So finally I found myself just trying to gulp down as much as I could as fast as I could, holding back urges to throw up, just trying to get drunk.  I knew something had to change.

"Not looking back on what I use to see."

It wasn't until I ended up in the ER with severe heart palpitations that I realized this was a life or death situation and all this madness was not worth dying for.  I lied there on the gurny while they were running tests on me just thinking "What am I doing?"  I remember, hearing someone in the room next to me crying out in pain.  It was so heartbreaking and I knew that would be me soon if I didn't make a change.  I decided then and there to quit drinking.  That was over 2 years ago now and I haven't had a drink since!

"Stronger now than I was before."

The real miracle is that after I quit drinking, I continued to work in bars every night.  I had to sit there and watch everyone else getting drunk and having a good time, while I drank water and watched in envy.  It was really hard for the first 3 months or so.  I would feel pretty bitter most of the time and just get out of there as soon as my gig was done.  But as time passed, I grew stronger.  I just couldn't stop thinking about how miserable I felt all the time when I was drinking.  I was in a constant haze everyday, perpetually hung over.  No energy.  Little motivation.  In the worse physical shape I've ever been in in my life.  There was no way I was going to go back to that life, so I hung in there night after night.  Day after day.

"You can't take this life from me, don't mess around anymore."

Now, I can't even imagine going back to that life of drinking.  I feel so much better, yes, but I also feel a freedom I never felt when I was drinking.  There is something really beautiful about letting go of an obsession or addiction.  It lets you enjoy life again.  It lets you feel emotions again.  Drinking was stealing my joy away one shot at a time.  I thought it was making me happy but it was really making my life miserable.  I was caught in a cycle of obsession that I couldn't get out of.  There is no way I could go back to that life now.  Don't get me wrong, I get tempted occasionally just like everyone else.  But all I have to do is go back to that night in the ER in mind, remember how miserable and scared I felt, and any temptation I was feeling disappears. 

I am so grateful to be sober over 2 years now.  Most of my friends and family have been really supportive of my choice to quit.  But some people don't get it.  Misery loves company and often I encounter people who want to buy me a drink and don't quite understand why I would say no.  So I wrote a song along with Chela Mancuso (an incredibly talented singer and songwriter) about these experiences called The Mess Around.  I'm excited for you to hear it!  It's all about living a sober life in an alcoholic world.  It's my declaration to those who don't get it. 

I don't mess around anymore.  I got things to do.

The Mess Around (feat. Chela Mancuso)
Coming August 1st, 2018!

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The Mess Around (feat. Chela Mancuso): The New Single From Chris Swan!

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

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"I don't even miss how it use to be,
Not looking back on what I use to see,
Stronger now than I was before,
You can't take this life from me,
Don't mess around anymore.
"

The Mess Around (feat. Chela Mancuso)
Coming August 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Pain Is Here!

Pain
The new single from Chris Swan is here!  

I have been a big dude my whole life. And as I get older, it has started to cause more and more pain in my life. Physical and emotional. My song "Pain" is dedicated to all the people who have had this struggle in their life. We know we need to change, but we just can't seem to do it. We know we are killing ourselves, but that still doesn't seem to be enough. I am here to tell you that you can change. It's closer than you think.

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of Pain!

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Pain: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Pain and what I hope you get out of it!  And be sure to share this video with those who you think need to hear it!

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You Deserve A Life Of Joy And Health

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"How come we know what to do, but we still don't do it."

I have been a big dude my whole life.  I think I joined Weight Watchers for the first time when I was 12.  The last time, when I was 39.  I have lost 100 pounds twice in my life, but could never keep the weight off.  Like so many others, I would always resort to old habits because I didn't have any other way to cope with my emotions.  Food was my reward, my companion, and my favorite thing in the world.  And when I turned 40, it showed.  I couldn't even weigh myself at home anymore.  My home scale only went up to 450 pounds.  I had crossed over into the 500's and I was miserable.

"Even though we want to be free, we still don't choose it."

My knees hurt.  Really bad.  I could barely get out of chairs or cars.  It became almost impossible to put on my socks and my shoes.  I was pre-diabetic.  I would wheeze constantly and  had developed adult onset asthma and had to use an inhaler daily.  I could barely walk more than 10 feet without being completely out of breath.  I had constant chest pains and frequent heart palpitations.  I had plantar fasciitis.  Sitting down hurt my knees.  Standing up hurt my feet.  I had poor circulation and numbness in my feet too.  I couldn't get an Uber because I was never sure if I would fit in the car.  I couldn't fly anywhere because I couldn't fit in the airplane seats.  I would break furniture all the time.  I was miserable, tortured and in constant pain.

"Whatever it takes, I will not refrain."

It was time to make a choice.  I had to get help and learn how to take care of myself again or I had to choose to die.  As miserable as I was, I didn't want to die.  I had a lot to live for and a lot I still wanted to accomplish.  It seemed so impossible to change but I started by talking about it to friends and family.  That led to finding some people who could help me.  I went to an amazing retreat and joined Overeaters Anonymous.  Once I learned more about my problem and all the other people out there who struggle the same way I do, I started to see hope.  I went all in and decided I would do whatever it took to save my life.  I started going to OA meetings, calling other OA members daily, I started reading and writing daily.  I also started meditating and praying everyday.  I can't really explain it, but an actual miracle happened to me.  All my emotional baggage was removed.  I finally felt loved, accepted and worthy.  I was finally able to stick to a meal plan, to care for myself and to realize I truly deserve to be happy.

My song "Pain" is dedicated to all the people who have had this struggle in their life.  We know we need to change, but we just can't seem to do it.  We know we are killing ourselves, but that still doesn't seem to be enough.  I am here to tell you that you can change.  It's closer than you think.  Do not give up on yourself.  Start talking about it.  Out loud to other people.  That is the first step to getting better.  You have to stop making excuses and admit it's a problem.  It gets so much better when you do, I promise.  If you need someone to talk to, I am always here.  And if you are ready to change, I highly encourage you to visit:  https://oa.org/.  It changed my life.  And it can change yours too.

"I will not be confined to this life of Pain."

Pain - The new single from Chris Swan.
Coming July 1, 2018!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Pain: The New Single From Chris Swan

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

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"I deserve a life of joy and health,
I deserve to live and love myself,

Whatever it takes, I will not refrain,
'Cuz I will not be confined to this life of pain."

Pain
Coming July 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Creed and Vision Is Here!

Creed and Vision
The new single from Chris Swan is here!  

I have struggled with being confident and I use to overcompensate by tearing myself down. My song "Creed and Vision" is a hip-hop mantra that we can all say to ourselves daily to remind us we need to be confident AND humble every day. And despite what I use to think, it is possible and even necessary to be both to become the people we were created to be.

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of Creed and Vision!

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Creed and Vision: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Creed and Vision and what I hope you get out of it!  And be sure to share this video with those who you think need to hear it!

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How To Be Confident And Humble At The Same Time

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"I want the confidence to be strong."

I have always struggled with confidence.  It probably has a lot to do with growing up as an overweight kid.  I always felt fat.  I always felt like I wasn't good enough.  I remember even praying to God over and over to come into my life and let me into heaven.  I thought I wasn't good enough and the only way to get in was to beg.  I've done a lot of counseling, reading and reflecting over the years and I'm finally getting to a place in my 40's where I like myself.  I have learned that I am enough, just as I am, because I am a creation of God.  That is where my worth comes from.  Not from other people, which is where I use to try to get it from being the people pleaser that I am.  I see God in my life every day, in little things, and that reminds me that I matter.  And since I matter, then I have the tools to be more confident and assertive in my life.  I'm still a people pleaser, but I am working on it.  I am learning to stand up for myself when I need to. 

"But the humility to be wrong."

My biggest fear of becoming confident was that I would become a jerk.  I saw confidence as a means to be cocky, to operate like the world revolves around you, and to walk all over the people in your life.  No way did I want to be that guy!  So to compensate, I would make sure I remained as humble as possible.  But then being humble started to mean putting myself down.  So in my efforts to not become a self-centered, arrogant person, I became a depressed, beaten down, and incredibly frustrated person.  I was miserable.

"I want to lead and listen, have the creed and vision."

I had to learn that it is ok to be confident.  Matter of fact, you can be confident and still be humble.  Confidence does not have to equal arrogance.  You can be confident in yourself, love and respect yourself deeply, and still be a humble servant to others.  I'd even say you HAVE to learn to love yourself first in order to be a humble servant to others.  I know from experience that tearing yourself down to lift others up only makes you a resentful, bitter person.  And a resentful, bitter person is not one who wants to serve.  This person becomes antisocial and selfish, becoming the complete opposite of the person you set out to be.

My song "Creed and Vision" is a hip-hop mantra that we can all say to ourselves daily to remind us we need to be confident AND humble every day.  And despite what I use to think, it is possible and even necessary to be both to become the people God created us to be.

"It's ok to know our strength.
It's ok to know our weakness.
We use our weakness to make each other stronger.
'Cuz if one shines, we all shine longer."

Creed and Vision - The new single from Chris Swan.
Coming June 1, 2018!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Creed and Vision: The New Single From Chris Swan

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

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"It's ok to know our strength,
It's ok to know our weakness.
We use our weakness to make each other stronger,
'Cuz if one shines, we all shine longer."

Creed and Vision
Coming June 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Clouds by Trip Lee

This one's for the dreamers.

SONGS THAT HELP BY SOUL MOTIVATION RECORDS

This song has been one of my go-to jams for a while now.  I feel like it's time I make sure you are hip to this tune.  This song makes me smile.  This song is all about dreaming.  It's all about making sure you wake up on the right side of the bed no matter which side you actually wake up on.  You can choose every day to live for your dreams.  This is your time.  This is your spot.  And if you want to live in the clouds, do it.  It's a whole other world up there.

Way up in the clouds like I'm on one.

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How To Stop The Madness

Do you ever feel like this?

Do you ever just start to freak out because you realize the madness is never going to end.  Your schedule is full everyday of stuff that you don't really want to do.  And the way you get through it is by telling yourself you just have to power through and then it will be ok.  But then you realize, no it won't.  Because as soon as I'm done pushing through, the whole cycle starts all over again.  It's never going to stop.  I'm never going to get a break.  And you hold out hope that the special thing you are working on is going to come save the day.  But then you realize you are 41 and it hasn't saved the day yet.  What if it never does?  Can I really live in this misery every day for the rest of my life?  I don't think I can handle that yet but what choice do I have?  I have to do the things I have to do.  But I can't stand the thought of doing them one more day.  Then panic and depression sets in.  It feels like there is no way to fix this.

Sound familiar?

This is, honestly, a thought I have several times a week.  I get scared that I am never going to achieve my goals.  I get scared that I'm never going to win and scared that I am going to be stuck in this rat race forever.  That's when it is more important than ever to make sure I am living with purpose.  I have to have a goal in site.  I need to know what I am working for.  If I can see that light at the end of the tunnel, then I can push through for one more day.  It's not easy, but it's worth it.

And think of the other option:  to give up completely.  I could throw my hands up and give up, but what is the point of that?  What does that really solve?  Without purpose, life becomes meaningless real quick.  And that's when I find myself in bed eating ice cream all day.

You are not alone.

We all struggle with feeling overwhelmed.  We all find ourselves stuck in a crazy cycle that we think will last forever.  But the truth is, it doesn't have to.  You do have the power to change it.  Change is not always easy but you can start right now.  Today.  Find your purpose.  Find what really makes you excited.  Set your goals.  And then keep your eye on the prize.  Be happy you get to work so hard at something you love.  That's how you change the world.  And that is how you get the madness to end. 

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H.O.P.E. Is Here!

H.O.P.E.
The new single from Chris Swan is here!  

Life is stressful. People are tense. The political climate in our country is volatile. And I don't think I have ever seen so much division in our country as I do now. And if you aren't careful, you can be easily swept up in this ball of stress and start to believe the world is doomed. But I am here to tell you that hope is alive and well.

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of H.O.P.E.!

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H.O.P.E.: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song H.O.P.E. and what I hope you get out of it!  And be sure to share this video with those who you think need to hear it!

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How To Find Hope

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"I think we all could use some hope."

Life is stressful.  People are tense.  The political climate in our country is volatile.  And I don't think I have ever seen so much division in our country as I do now.  I think it's great that people are speaking up and sharing their truth.  But it's also frustrating to see so many people talking but not listening.  There is so much finger pointing going on, telling us who to blame for our problems.  And if you aren't careful, you can be easily swept up in this ball of stress and start to believe the world is doomed.  It's so easy to just focus on all the negativity, the bickering and the chaos.  It's everywhere.  It's on Facebook, Twitter, at the grocery store, at church.  Everywhere.  I've seen so many friends get lost in anger to the point it's hard to even talk to them any more.  And I think a lot of people are so consumed with the darkness that they can't see the light.  But I'm here to tell you, there is hope.  The world is still full of wonderful, caring people.  There are people doing amazing things every day to make the world a better place.  The world is still full of love, wonder, and adventure.  None of that has changed.  It's all still there but we've gotten so lost that it's hard to see it.

"If you just open your eyes you'll see it's not so hard to cope with the bad now if you see it somehow."

Every day we have a choice.  What are we going to believe today?  Are we going to believe it's the end of the world?  That there is no way we can fix the damage that has been done?  That there is no way to find unity in such a divided world?  Or are we going to choose hope?  Are we going to choose to believe in people again?  Are we going to believe that love can truly conquer all?  Are we going to believe that we are going to be ok?  It's up to us to choose it every day.  We can't let someone else's agenda derail us.  We have to choose the enlightened path and stick to it.  Because we know at the end of the path, is all the hope we can stand.

"And if you want it then you got to give it."

Once we choose it, we can help change the climate around us.  How do we change it?  By giving.  If you want hope, then you have to give hope.  We have to share kindness with others around us.  We have to encourage the checkout person at the grocery store and tell them they are doing a great job.  We have to help the homeless man standing at the side of the road asking for money.  We have to smile.  We have to find joy.  We have to stop arguing on Facebook and start having face to face conversations.  And most of all, we have to LISTEN.  We need to stop talking and start listening.  Because we all want the same things.  We all want peace, joy and a happy life.  The only way we get to have those things is if we swallow our pride and listen to the hearts of those around us.  If you choose it, believe it and give it, hope will always be there promising a better day.  If you don't give up on hope, then it will never give up on you.

"You don't have to close your eyes no more, just look and see the dream you wished for."

H.O.P.E - The new single from Chris Swan.
Coming May 1, 2018!

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Everything's Alright From Jesus Christ Superstar

Live TV at it's best!

SONGS THAT HELP BY SOUL MOTIVATION RECORDS

I am a sucker for musicals, especially Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals.  So when I heard they were doing a live version of Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC with John Legend and Sara Bareilles, I was in.  I expected it to be decent but was actually blown away by how amazing it was!  The set was awesome, the cinematography was off the charts and the performances were spot on!  I loved it.  But the biggest take away for me was that I had forgotten how great the songs were in Jesus Christ Superstar.  Especially this one.  I love the simple melody and encouraging message of "Everything's Alright."  And although it's a song sung to Jesus at a stressful time in His life, I think it's a song that can encourage us all at a stressful time in ours.  Simple and sweet, the message rings true...

Everything is alright, everything's fine.

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New Singles From Chris Swan Every Month!

Yep, you heard that right.  Starting May 1 2018, I will be releasing a new single every month up until the release of my new album in November.  Oh yea, I have a new album coming out in November!  I'm so excited for you to hear it.  It's all about the simple joys and complex heartaches that we all go through in life.  This album is me talking to you about the struggles I have as well as the moments of victory.  I want you to know you are not alone.  And I want you to know that there is always H.O.P.E.!

I know you will find peace, comfort and encouragement in these songs just like I do.  And with the power of music on your side, you are destined to live the amazing life you deserve!

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H.O.P.E.
The new single from Chris Swan
Coming May 1, 2018!

 

 

 

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