Blue Stahli gets it / by J.C. Hutchins

If you know me, you know I'm a hardcore Celldweller fan, and a great supporter of Celldweller mastermind Klayton's work. For the past three years, I've used his killer music as the anthems for my podcasts, and I've talked him up something fierce, because I think he crafts music that is as brilliant as it is epic. Klayton runs a company called FiXT, which helps independent artists (often fellow electronica musicians) distribute their music to the masses. One of these artists is Blue Stahli, who is a stellar talent himself. His AntiSleep Vol. 1 album is packed with aggressive and awesome instrumental music, stuff I live to write by. Highly recommended.


Today, I purchased Blue Stahli's new single, ULTRAnumb ... and I was absolutely delighted by the email I received after I clicked the "buy" button:

Hi, this is bret from Blue Stahli.  Just wanted to thank you for throwing down your hard earned coin on my brand-spankin' new single ULTRAnumb.  i know there's much cooler stuff you could be spending your money on, like a feeder monkey, bedazzled cowboy hat, tub of whipped cream and a lifetime supply of rope licorice (but not for eating, if you catch my drift), so it's freakishly appreciated that you're supporting some music that you dig.  More comin' atcha soon...

This, of course, was an automated email -- but it was an unexpected gesture, which I appreciated. When was the last time U2 thanked you for purchasing their most recent album? When was the last time James Patterson gave you a hat-tip for picking up the most recent Alex Cross novel? Did Joss Whedon zip you a grateful email when you snagged that copy of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog?

Blue Stahli and the FiXT crew get it. This email exceeded my expectations, and -- if only for a moment -- piped me full of warm and fuzzies, because the artist himself wanted me to know that I made a tangible difference by supporting his work, and that he appreciated it. It was a step beyond the expected. That's killer customer service, and it's something a great many of us -- myself included -- could learn from.

What are you doing to exceed expectations, either in your art, business or personal life? How are you delighting the world by giving a little more than is required?