Life changes all the time. Like - ALL the time, whether you want it to or not. Some change just happens, out of the blue, while others can be more foreseen, maybe even planned. Like most of you out there, I have been subjected to such change many times in my life.
I've gone through positive changes that have helped me on in life to mature and gain a clearer perspective, and I have also been through crappy changes, things that have, at least at the time, seemed heartbreaking or way too sudden. I believe change is just one of those things that will continue on and on, and there's only so much one can do to prevent or see it before it happens. For this reason, I think it's not necessarily the change itself that can define a person, but what they do with it after the fact.
Just recently I've stumbled upon many changes in my life. A simple one being a creative change.
Over the past few years, I've released a bit of music. I have my debut album "Miscellaneous", my single "Give me a Break," my recent EP "Make A Change," and most recently my single, "Blink of an Eye." Throughout this music and my writing it I've experienced small changes in my style and overall feel. It's a natural thing, but just lately after my newest release, I've found myself leaning towards more of the style it encompasses. (Here to listen)
For one, it's shorter and more simplistic in nature, it's more beat-driven and incorporates electronic qualities, and mainly - it's creative process was a different experience.
Everyone who creates something has their own method, their own way of doing things, and for me, it's always been this: write the song, produce it, bring in musicians and let them have some freedom to interpret the music in their own way, lay down main vocals, and call it a day.
That's not necessarily a wrong way, and I'm making it sound a little simple-minded, but I will admit it felt a bit creativity stifling. I love working with musicians and seeing what they feel for the song, after all, if anyone knows their instrument it's them, but there's something about being able to explore a song with electronics that felt right to me. I'm capable of placing what I hear in my head into the music almost immediately without having to master 30+ instruments. Which, hey, that'd be pretty sweet, but realistically it's not going to happen. At least not anytime soon, so as a songwriter, having all these tones, sounds, and options I can add to my song is incredible.
The only thing about this creative change that is slightly irritating is how it makes me feel about my older songs. It's not that I suddenly dislike them, but there is a different sense of enjoyment now that they don't fit stylistically. I believe this is just one of those things that come with being a recording artist. You release things that suit you at the time and not too long later something ends up changing, but hey, nature of the field I guess.
Keeping with the music theme, another recent update in my life has been my band status. Thankfully enough it hasn't been a falling out, more of just one of those – everyone has their own path, and sometimes it just doesn't intertwine with others – kind of thing. It hasn't been a negative experience, but I would be lying if I said it's been an easy process. Anything that kind of disrupts your regular system is a bit hard to remedy, but not impossible.
I stepped up and decided that I'm going to venture out and try accompanying myself for a while, which I'll admit I was a bit skeptical about doing at first, mainly out of fear. It's not super easy to get up and sing for people, nor is it easy to get up and play an instrument for people either, so naturally, it's especially not easy to do both. It can be bloody terrifying, honestly.
Now, I have performed by myself a few times, but only just for a song or two, never an entire set. So, that became my first order of business: Create a setlist.
This is where my first fun development popped up; I loved making my setlist. I was able to pick whatever songs I wanted, which I could do when I had a band, but this way it was more freeing. I didn't have to think about, "Will this song work with our set up?", or "What is each part going to do?", or "How long will this take to learn?", and so on and so forth. Now it's just up to me, which has been one of the best things. I can pick songs based on just one point, "Can I play this?". It's simplified matters a lot. Granted, all this means I have to learn a bunch of songs, but that's an enjoyable task to do, especially when it's a bunch of my favorites.
Next order of business (after I have mastered my setlist): Book shows. Now, this has its ups and downs. When you are just you and your guitar, it's a bit hard to find music venues. Lots of places want that full band sound, albeit there are some smaller music venues and such that love that smaller sound. So, its a bit even.
One of the upsides to it though is that I only need to worry about myself on dates and times. If I'm free, it works, instead of having to manage an entire band, and let's be honest, I have a hard enough time managing myself.
I think that's what it comes down to really: it's less I have to maintain. It can become a bit stressful when you run everything, so taking some off that list can be really helpful. One of the most significant changes I've been stumbling through lately though has been a mental one. The thought of turning 18 next year is exciting and terrifying. A lot of those adult-related responsibilities are popping up.
I'll have to think about taxes, about money. If I get a house or an apartment, I'll have that to think about. All of this and then some has been stressing me out a bit, and it's been showing in my career. I want it to go somewhere and reach that point of sustainability, but the honest to god truth is that is hasn't, and it hasn't started to head that way.
Now, this isn't some start to a changing-of-career decision, it's more of just the forefront of my thoughts. There's a weight that comes with what you do for money in life and in this industry especially, it's somewhat sporadic. It's not an even income you receive when you go to work from 9-5. It's a work hard on something, release it, pray it goes somewhere and do whatever you can to help it...., and then see what happens. It's all kind of up in the air, and that can be extremely stressful.
But you know, life is all about the unknown. If you always know what's going to happen life would be no fun at all. So my advice, for you and for myself, is just to continue on.
Go through all the ups and downs of change and push towards those dreams and goals, even when it seems like nothing is doing what you want it to because someday, that shit is going to pay off and you'll look back and thank everything you kept trying. What matters with change is what you do with it.
Well, its no secret it's been a hot minute since I've blogged (just check the dates), but I'm back, and I have a new setup I'm trying out. Every Thursday there will (hopefully - fingers crossed - ) be a new blog up on my website tuning you all into my latest feelings, thoughts, and life adventures. Weekly blogs, baby, let's see how this goes.