The Story of Our Trace Song
The story of our Trace song starts around 2015 – 2016 as I prepared for one of our Partner meetings. As a ritual, we ask each Partner to submit an upbeat positive song, and we compile a playlist to use as we gather for the meeting, during breaks, and at the end of each day. I don’t share who picked which song as we want the group to chat and figure out who picked what song. It has become a fun way to learn more about one another.
One of the songs and artists picked by Rob Anderson was “Sounds Like a Song” by Blake Reid. A few of us Tracers worked with Blake at EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd., and he later became a client of ours. Blake is a songwriter, singer, and musician in addition to working in the environmental and energy industry. His music is real and just seems to connect with us.
During the Christmas break of 2020 – 2021, I was playing Blake’s music at home while our family was gathering in the living room. We were hanging out doing puzzles and watching television, and Katherine mentioned how much she enjoys Blake’s music and how neat it was that he was a friend of Trace. At the same time, I was trying to think of some interesting ways to celebrate Trace’s 15-year anniversary. The COVID pandemic was ongoing, so we were looking for ideas that would bring us close together. Eventually, while listening to his latest release “Penny”, I texted Blake to see if he would collaborate with us to write and produce a theme song for Trace. He responded right away, and we were on our way.
Blake did a centennial song for 4-H, and I loved the song and his story about the process they used to create it, so we tried a similar process. Rhonda and I came up with a few “must haves” for the song: upbeat, meaningful lyrics, something that represented all of us at Trace, and Blake had to have creative freedom to do his thing.
No matter what initiative we are working on at Trace, we like to get input from as many Tracers as possible. Because we wanted the song to be a surprise, we had to get creative in how we got that input. We decided to send all the existing Trace material (raw feedback and engagement survey responses from all staff, our strategic plan, kids art contest submissions, our brand identity guidelines, etc.) and see if that would help. But really, the key ingredient is that Blake knows many of us personally; he knows and has worked with Trace. It also helped that he is a landowner himself and works in the environmental industry.
Our goal was to create a song we love, something timeless and that all music lovers and generations could appreciate, even if they listen to different genres of music.
When I shared the first cut with a few partners, each one absolutely loved it. It made a few of us tear up with overwhelming pride, and it just made us feel good. We hope you enjoy “Right Where I Belong” and the accompanying video for years to come. We are grateful for your support, and we feel like you were all part of the creation of “our” song.
Darrell Haight, President and CEO