It’s been a while since I’ve written. You’ve heard this before, right? From other artists whose mailing lists you are on. Maybe you’ve heard it from a friend over email. Or perhaps you’ve written it yourself. The cause of such a hiatus, I have observed, is usually due to the creation of something that takes all of one’s energy and attention. I’ve heard it from my friends who just had a baby. And I’ve heard it from friends who were looking, and then finally bought a house. And I’m writing it now, to you, because I released a record.
For the past year and a half I felt like I was at war. Or at least in a very intense wrestling match… With myself, with my bank account, with my loved ones, with my music, my lyrics, with everything. It felt dramatic, pressurized, urgent, as if this was IT, the last chance, the final statement. Very theatrical, I know. Really, what was happening, is that I was making an album. That’s all.
I’ll have another post soon about my exact process of raising $25,000 from fans and sponsors to fund the record, and the process of selling the demo versions on my site via a pay-what-you-want model prior to the record being released. For now, I’m writing to you to transition back into the world of touring, record-promotion, music supervisor-pitching, fan-gathering, and whatever it is this blog does for you.
I’m in San Francisco, staying with a friend and her baby. It’s funny. I’m not a big fan of babies, in general. (This one is particularly cute and chill, and doesn’t scream and cry, so I approve.) I’m not a fan, yet I’m constantly comparing my new records, songs and creative process to them. The analogy is sort of obvious, with all the preparation and care and love and nausea, then the post-birth nursing and tending and trying to get into the best nursery school / licensing library so it can flourish and be successful. But the sentiment is there for both: undying love and passion for the thing you created, tied up with attachment.
This is where the baby analogy and I part ways. I’ve learned that the word attachment is something to be wary of. Being attached to my record, and how “successful” it needs to be has, in the past, put blinders on me. I came up with what it’s supposed to look like, what I should be doing by now, who I should be touring with, how much money I should have made off of it by now, which cuts off any possibility that something else can come in and work. (By the way, should is the cousin of attachment. Caution: use with care, or not at all.) Just being committed to my record’s success keeps me moving forward and taking the appropriate actions, yet without the desperation, urgency, feeling of constant need, and pressure that being attached was producing.
To put this in reality: I am open to have my record’s success come from anywhere. I take on all opportunities, from providing a song to a blog’s video project and helping edit the video, to calling up my favorite clothing store and asking them if i can get my music in their store’s library. I visit friends in far away cities, and look up every licensing company and music-related company in the area. Today I have a meeting with 2 music supervision companies. Tomorrow I’m getting a private tour of Pandora Radio. I have no idea what will come out of any of it, but taking action, being open-minded, and just immersing myself in the industry, the companies that are making things happen, and in relationships that are positive, progressive and supportive will yield some sort of fruit, I’m sure. Whether it’s apples or oranges doesn’t matter. Like most parents-to-be say when asked “do you want a boy or a girl?” I just want it to be healthy.