Soul Motivation Records

Helping others overcome obstacles through music and community

Helping others overcome obstacles through music and community!

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Perfect: The New Single From Chris Swan!

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

 

I always thought that I was suppose to try to be perfect.
It turns out I was wrong.

Perfect
Coming October 1st, 2018

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Influence Is Here!

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece)
The new single from Chris Swan is here! 

 Have you ever stopped and thought about the people you hang out with? Are they people who believe in you and lift you up? Or are they people who believe life is meant to be miserable and are constantly tearing you down? The people we let influence us is a crucial part of living a happy life. Make sure you surround yourself with the right people. Get your free download of Influence right here!

This song also features a very talented hip-hop artist from St. Louis.  His name is Jarmel Reece.  If you don't know this guy yet, you are going to love him!

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

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Influence: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired the song Jarmel Reece and I wrote together called Influence 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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How To Increase Your Chances Of Success

"Everybody want to say that dreams aren't meant to be."

We are the product of the 5 people we hang out with the most.  Have you ever stopped and really thought about that?  It is not just a coincidence that rich people hang out with rich people and poor people with poor people.  We take on the characteristics of the people we surround ourselves with.  So if you surround yourself with people who believe in achieving dreams, who believe anything is possible, and believe we are destined for success, there's a good chance you are going to be successful.  But it works the other way too.  If you surround yourself with people who are miserable, don't believe they can get ahead and feel like the world is against them, then you are probably going to live a very miserable life.

"Got a few believers surrounding me."

The truth is I have some of both in my life.  But there was a time when I was only hanging out with the miserable people.  And guess what?  I was miserable.  It took me a long time to see it.  I kept thinking that I was just meant to be miserable.  I had a million excuses.  Depression runs in my family.  It's too hard to get ahead.  I'm big boned and just meant to be fat.  Musicians are suppose to be poor.  And on and on they went.  Then I started paying attention to people who were succeeding in life and I noticed a pattern.  They all surrounded themselves with like minded people.  People who believed in themselves and believed they could achieve anything.  And guess what?  Most of these people were successful in their endeavors.  The folks they surrounded themselves with made a huge difference.

"If you want to stay behind and never try, that's fine."

I don't think we have to ditch all of our negative friends to succeed.  Some people just don't see the light yet, but are still good hearted people and good friends.  Those are keepers.  But the people who are constantly trying to tear you down and not giving you any life at all, well, those are the ones that need to go.  It's not our job to save people.  We can try.  We can share our hope with them.  We can tell them we believe in them.  But if they don't want to listen and they just want to give up, sometimes you just have to let them.  We can pray for them, but it's not okay to let them sink our ship.  We got things to do.

"I'm swimming in dreams that never die."

I'm not perfect.  I can get negative real quick.  Sometimes I just need to vent about my day.  Sometimes I get stuck in a rut.  But I always remember that I'm the one that put myself there.  No one else is to blame.  Life is full of opportunity.  It's all around us we just have to choose to see it.  If we hang out with people who can't see it, we won't see it either.  But if we find people who are looking for it and choosing it everyday, then we will see it more and more.  We will remember to get up everyday and choose it.  And when we choose the light, the darkness begins to fade.

Do you know that you are meant to succeed?  You were made to be healthy and happy.  And I'm not saying life isn't hard sometimes, but you need to know that I believe in you.  You are meant for big things.  I hope you can see that.  And if you don't, now is the time to find the people who will remind you everyday.  They are out there.  Facebook groups.  Church.  Meetups.  Concerts.  Grocery stores.  They are all around us.  Don't be afraid to reach out.  You can count me as your first positive friend.  You only have 4 to go and then greatness awaits!

I have a new song called "Influence" that comes out on September 1st, 2018 and talks about this very thing!  Can't wait for you to check it out!

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece)
Coming September 1st, 2018!

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Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece): The New Single From Chris Swan!

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

 

"Everybody wanna say that dreams aren't meant to be, let's see,
Got a few believers surrounding me,
That is my influence."

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece)
Coming September 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

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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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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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...

Pain Art.jpg

 

"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

Creed and Vision.jpg

"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...

Creed and Vision.jpg

 

"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?

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

H.O.P.E..png

"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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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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Can Hip-hop Be Positive?

 
 
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When I use the term "positive hip-hop," I get some funny looks.  First of all, there are the hip-hop haters who still believe nothing good can come from hip-hop.  These are the people who heard a 2 Live Crew song in the 90's and think that that song represents everything that rap is.  And as much as 2 Live Crew has its place in the rap history books, hip-hop is so much more than "Me So Horny" and those of us who are real fans, know that.  But I also get funny looks from hip-hop heads when I use the term "positive hip-hop."  I think a lot of the heads think that hip-hop can't say anything meaningful if it's positive.  Like putting the term "positive" on something makes it corny and therefore meaningless. 

Can you be positive and still keep it real?

Hip-hop began as a way to get the party started.  It was music that was used to put us in a good mood.  That's why a lot of old-school hip-hop is so corny.  It was just a bunch of dudes (and, yes, a few girls too) having fun, partying, trying to out-do each other with words as they began to figure this new style of music out.  It was a good time.  One might even say it was "positive."  But then that style became cheesy.  It wasn't cool enough anymore and hip-hop had to fight back to remain relevant.  Hip-hop had to grow up and be cool again.  Hip-hop had to get real.  And it did.  This music told us stories that some of us lived every day and some of us couldn't believe were true.  Hip-hop showed the world what was really going on.  All the violence.  All the injustice.  All the ugly.  Hip-hop turned on the spotlight and pointed it right at the things we didn't want to think about.  It made us face it.  It made us deal with it.  It made us talk about it.

Hip-hop had to tell these stories.  Music needs to be real.  Music needs to speak to our hearts and minds and so hip-hop can't just be a party all the time.  It needs to have all of its voices heard.  But somewhere along the way, we forgot that hip-hop can still be a positive force.  It can show us the problems, but it can also show us the solutions.

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The music we love should not just be lost in a sea of frustration and anger.  It should not just be a tool to exploit our sins and give us an excuse to give up.  There is so much power in music and we can't forget to use that power for good too.  HIp-hop can show the world the way to freedom.  It can open up our minds and create a dialogue between all people.  It can be used to remind us of all the amazing things that happen in this world every day.  It can show us the possibility in our lives.  That's why hip-hop needs a positive voice.  We shouldn't look down on "positive hip-hop" as being a subpar form of music.  It should be lifted up as a hopeful resource that can bring the changes into our world that we really need. 

Hip-hop can save the world.

There is a place for all voices to be heard in the world of music.  If you are a hip-hop hater, take a second to remember the millions of people this music speaks to daily.  You don't have to like it, but you have to respect it and believe it is a crucial instrument of hope for a lot of people.  If you are a hip-hop head who thinks all positive music is corny, remember, the world is a harsh place.  And even if you don't feel like you need it today, the day will come that you will need a positive voice in your life.  And that voice would best be delivered through the music you love.  You don't have to like it, but you have to respect it.  Because somewhere right now positive hip-hop is changing someone's life, and it may just change yours someday too. 

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