From 2002-2004 I worked in the radio promotions department at Gotee Records, a label based in Franklin TN, about 20 or so miles south of Nashville. It was only two short years, but I'd be hard-pressed to find another time frame in my adult life that has meant so much to me and shaped me into who I am today.
I had been a fan of Gotee and their music (Christian music that doesn't "sound" like Christian music, if you know what I mean) for years. I was a fan while I was there, and I'm still a fan to this day.
It was during my time there that I really grew to have a heart for musicians and artists. It's so easy to hear a song on the radio and assume that, just because they have a song on the radio, they also have a diamond-encrusted swimming pool and George Clooney on speed dial. Let me assure you, that's not the case (especially in CCM radio).
I admired the artists I worked with for their dedication to their art and their message. Gotee was an independent label, and that gave us the freedom to put out music that was way ahead of the curve (as a result, we sent a lot of music to Christian AC radio that, as far as I know, is still in the "To Listen" stack of a lot of Music Directors).
What I'll really take away from my time there, though, are the friendships I've made. Many of my closest friends are those who live(d) in the 615 and I call it a sincere privilege to know so many good people, especially in a town where the "industry machine" rumbles strong. I won't begin to name names, but more than likely if you're reading this and I met you while I was in Nashville, I'm talking about you.
Gotee recently celebrated 20 years and I have to thank Brad Moist at Gotee for hooking me up with this mug. I'm fully aware that in the grand scheme of things two years isn't much, but to me, it' was everything.