Working with too many talented people, I sometimes start thinking… “Man, I should just quit. Is there really a need for another singer and songwriter when there are so many who’s already doing the same thing?”
I’ve just genuinely thought that. And no, I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m SERIOUSLY blessed to work with so many people who are ridiculously talented. It is to the point where some could get overwhelmed. It’s not out of jealousy that I say this about them. It is just in pure admiration.
But 2 things hit me within the past few days…
After my set at Hotel Cafe last Sunday, I stuck around for a little bit going in and out of the green room. For some reason I felt somewhat “flatlined” that night. I wasn’t sad nor was I happy. I was just there trying to appreciate the night but with lackluster emotional state of mind to back it up. My thoughts were floating with no conviction. There was a moment that I didn’t believe in what I did. For however long I held that thought in my mind, a musician on the way out of the green room (to leave the venue) commanded my attention and told me…
"hey you! yes you…I don’t know you but just wanted to say you’re something special."
Sure, I get compliments here and there - and I appreciate every one of them…but it was one of those moments where it was the timing, my feelings, and my thoughts combined right before it was followed by this person’s compliment… perfect timing?
So this person won’t know what impact that comment carved within my spirit at that time. This person will probably forget my name or already did. The point is, a stranger gave a spurt of life back into my system.
…And earlier today (or within the last 24 hours - I’m confused with my days lately)… I met up with Josiah Bell. I mean, what can I say. The dude is talented - pretty much a given. What I learned about him today is that he’s probably one of the most humble, noble, down-to-earth, and God-loving guys I know. His spirit oozes positivity with a wisdom of a 45-year-old trapped in a 25-year-old guy. After our little meeting/chillin’ session today, I was so impressed and inspired by his confidence with life’s direction, conviction, art, and earnest mind to constantly explore/learn. It was refreshing to find someone in the industry like him. He refers to himself as “I’m not LA.” haha! And don’t get me started with the people he’s working with right now or has worked with… (estelle, ryan tedder, matt kearney, neyo, the civil wars…etc.) - pretty crazy.
He told me this… “Your music is soul. Not the genre. It’s you…You just have to be confident that “this” is you.”
My self-doubt fuels my insecurities. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’ve told myself constantly that if it gets too overwhelming to the point that I can’t recover, I will leave. I’ve told myself if that fire is gone, I’d be open to explore another way of life. The point of life is to live. The point of life as defined in my mind, is to thrive. It may be that all those things are true…but things always happen (whether small or big deal according to different standards) when I’m almost ready to give up…
some people might call it little coincidences…
but I personally believe its providence…
So its also probably true that there’s technically no “need” for another female singer and songwriter in the music industry right now. But the point is… I keep going anyways.
May God help me…and I’m just going to have trust in that.
Just had to repost/blog this from an older post. I talked to Josiah on the phone today. We’re going to meet up on Monday and planning on making some music together…pretty excited! :) We didn’t really know each other before today but we’ve had mutual friends since he’s from Nashville and I used to work/live there. So we’ve known of each other for a while…then he later explained who reintroduced him to my stuff that led to today…
Have you ever studied music technically (i.e., theory, ear training, history etc...) or is everything you do natural?
I guess it’s somewhat of a “half and half” type of situation.
I’ve had formal/classical training with the violin and I then played in an orchestra for quite some time. And I think because of that, I picked up guitar pretty easily. I also had some piano lessons (though very little) when I was a kid. Vocally, I’ve sang in choirs and ensembles from grade school to college but that was as “formal/technical” as I got when it came to vocals. I just sang a lot when I was growing up.
…but I think most of what you hear from me now is because I just sat down in my room and tried to figure stuff out - even if it took many hours. YouTube didn’t do it, shows didn’t do it (maybe somewhat), my family/friends didn’t try to motivate me… Just pure “nerd-ness” engulfed in music.
And about songwriting… I don’t know. Nobody really “taught” me per se but through the years, I’ve collaborated along the way and learned the ropes with that method.
There’s no formula on how to be “skilled” or “prolific” but there are guidelines. And even with those, it’s still somewhat blurry. ‘Cause nobody can gauge every person’s “natural” abilities and “environmental/growth” capacity. Some say what makes music, “music” is gut, heart, passion, love, persistence, patience…etc. And you definitely cannot measure those.
It’s all very confusing…
…but then I guess that’s what’s awesome about music - sky is the limit but then you realize you just might be able to travel to outer space after you’d reached it.
“Anybody who tells you to have a fall back plan are people who had a fallback plan, didn’t follow their dreams, and don’t want you to either.”—John Mayer (via jessebarrera) » It’s from this BLOG POST. READ IT if you haven’t already. -mp
…there’s always this battle whether I should disclose these types of feelings online or not. People only want winners, happy, “cool,” and inspired people. They don’t want discouraged and sad ones - and I’m one of them right now.
It’s not fun. I don’t enjoy it.
But then I wake up tomorrow, I may meet some of you out there and I’d pretend nothing’s wrong. And for those who have no clue - I’ve become sort of an expert suppressing sad emotions when I’m doing work (onstage, meetings, etc…).
I don’t want pity. I especially don’t want y’all to ask why I’m this way.
Just pray for me. And I guess that’s the main purpose of this post.
Thank you in advance.
Each one has their battles and wars, I’m no exception…
This was recorded years ago. I co-wrote this with Jamie Moore and Sam Mizell. Guitar/Vocal version available on iTunes. This version isn’t available on iTunes due to master rights and what not.
This song ever so often resurfaces and keeps coming back to me. It almost “haunts” me on some level. I keep coming back to listen if it has been a while.
Jamie Moore and I had a conversation a while back. We asked ourselves “what were we thinking when we wrote that song?” We didn’t mean it in a negative way. It’s just this song is different… unique in approach. I think coming from the both of us - musically and lyrically we stumbled onto something new at that point of time.
Anyways, I’ll leave with this…
P.S. I apologize for the hyper-tumblring tonight. I can’t sleep.
you were so amazing at the Kababayan Fest on the 9th! It was the first time i have heard of you. I really like the song you played, i think it was called, 'sounds like hope'? i tried finding it, but couldnt. ;c
It’s called “Feels Like Home” - co-wrote it with DRH (David Ryan Harris)
Glad you liked/loved the song but yes…one problem… haven’t recorded it yet. :( But hopefully soon. :)