Over the last two years, something incredible has happened within the music and entertainment industries. They have become more social, more interactive. The voice of the people--that’s you!--has become more powerful. And all along, Variance has been here.

As the world becomes a smaller place, Twitter and the blogosphere have become the new town square, where people share their opinions and speak their mind. We’ve been listening and doing our best to give you a voice.

We’ve tried our hardest to read every tweet, every Facebook post, every e-mail and every blog comment. Top 40 radio not your thing? We get it. You’re a fan of the underdogs and undiscovered talent. We are, too. As we celebrate our second birthday, your voice is the most important element about Variance.

We’re proud to have featured many of your favorite musicians, actors, writers and other creatives. We’ve brought you stories from The All-American Rejects, Ben Rector, the guys from MTV’s The Buried Life, The Civil Wars (pre-Grammys), Dev, Eric Hutchinson, Explosions in the Sky, fun. (before and after their explosive rise), Gavin DeGraw, Gotye, Gym Class Heroes, Ingrid Michaelson, New Girl’s Jake Johnson, best-selling author Jon Acuff, Karmin, Kate Voegele, Kristin Chenoweth, Lights, Mat Kearney, Mayer Hawthorne, Miike Snow, MUTEMATH, The Naked and Famous, Patrick Stump, Phantogram, Switchfoot, and Viddy (before it became the hottest video app on the planet).

Many of those stories were driven by you, the readers. You asked, you suggested, you demanded, because it’s your magazine. The stories that show up on our website? They’re driven heavily by the things you’ve told us you care about. And with this new issue, we’re excited to feature someone of the people you’ve requested most, starting with the cover.

Ed Sheeran has recently released his album, +, in the United States, but no other artist has received more requests on our website, social media accounts or e-mail inboxes than Mr. Sheeran. And we must admit, you have great taste in music. The young singer-songwriter is beyond talented, and his music has been on our Spotify playlists and iTunes for months. We can’t stop listening.

As we mentioned before, we’re still young and we’re still learning, but the journey thus far has been a great one, and we’re honored to have you along for the ride. Keep tweeting us. Keep telling us what you like and what you want.

You may notice some changes on our website and social networks in the future. We’d love to know your thoughts.

We hope you enjoy the new updates to our site. If you like it, let your friends in on the goodness. If you don’t like it all that much, tell us why. We need to know these things, so we can become better at what we do.

Note: The “Perks” section will be for members only; there will be plenty of freebies, downloads and other bonus content just for you!

**The preceding was taken from First Things First introduction in July 2012 issue of Variance.**