I’m a sucker for any show that has a rundown on the ‘greatest’ whatever type things – it could be something about the greatest hip-hop songs, funniest movies, best vacation spots, whatever. One of my favorites is the one-hit wonders show – not only because there’s a portion of this show that talks about what a particular artist is doing now, but because it, quite rightly, features how ONE SONG affected millions of people.
One of my personal top 10 one-hit wonder songs comes from The New Radicals – the wonderfully memorable and optimistic ‘You Get What You Give.’
It’s been used on the film Surf’s Up, Mitsubishi commercials, the closing credits on the movie Click and in various other places worldwide. All that aside, there are two big things that will always stick in my mind about this song:
- U2’s lead guitarist, The Edge was quoted in 2006 as saying that ‘You Get What You Give’ is one of the songs he is most “jealous of…I really would love to have written that.”
- That same year, rapper icon Ice-T was asked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien about what he has heard, besides rap music, of late in the last few years that really grabbed him. His only reply was ‘You Get What You Give.’
Wouldn’t it be great to receive such kudos from our colleagues or our managers? One thing is for certain: you can’t just ask for it. You’ve got to show up early, work hard and, most importantly, never stray from who you are. Like it or lump it, there are tons of people who ‘want it’ just as much as you do. What makes you stand out is simple: it’s you. You just have to rethink, refine and retune how you present yourself. Your brand of candy may be just what they’re looking for – they just haven’t ‘seen’ it yet.
You can’t tell me that the New Radicals set out to make a song that would give em’ a certain amount of respect from The Edge or Ice-T. They earned this praise by just being themselves. Because regardless what you may think about the song or The New Radicals, the street cred of ‘You Get What You Give’ is undeniable. It doesn’t matter so much that The New Radicals never really had another song that hit it quite as big. They struck a note (pun intended) that left an emotional imprint on those that heard ‘You Get What You Give’ – something that is INCREDIBLY difficult to do. But these guys accomplished just that because they did something that is altogether unique and authentic.
We live in a world that is saturated with an overwhelming amount of competition, where everyone is vying for that big account; that one big role; that big song; that first gig out of college. Before you start to develop a plan on how to edge out your competitors, consider what you already have in your arsenal: that singularly unique and strong you.