Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"I'm Just Not Into Your Voice That Much. I Don't Like It."

The title of this article is a glowing review I just received from the music blog A Little Bit Louder!

When I read it, my first instinct was to chuckle.

Then to cry.

Then to chuckle again.

It's funny. Since the beginning of my sophomore year, I have doubted my ability as a singer and performer. I have felt increasing confidence in my strengths as a writer across all media--songwriting, screenwriting, fiction, poetry, blogging--and dwindling belief in myself as The Artist. I thought it was natural, that very few people make it as artists and that 19 might be the age where I gracefully bow out of the race. I still had big dreams, you know, still wanted to write for big artists, have my music placed in film and television, still wanted to sell a movie (and actually get it made), still wanted to have a book published, etc. These are not the dreams of a small heart or mind. But my biggest dream, the dream that used to keep me up nights, the one that still makes my heart pound when I think about it coming true--that was relegated to the ranks of "astronaut," "brain surgeon," and "President" (although now that I think about it, that last one might make a comeback...)

But reading blogger ChrisDylan's review of my song "Super Moon," a song I'm incredibly passionate about, a song I've believed in since I wrote it when I was 17, a song that is one of my most vulnerable musical expressions I've ever made public, a song that a Grammy-award winning producer thought was good enough to put his name on...well, it changes my tune. (Sorry.)

A lot of my friends have been releasing music to great success. They've got thousands of plays on SoundCloud, performance opportunities I envy, and yes, lovely reviews on music blogs. By those metrics, I'm falling way behind.

But this comment, above all the other negative ones I've gotten since I started using the godforsaken devil's chamber pots known as submission engines, has made me want to bring my old dream out of retirement.

I know I'm going to keep losing faith in myself, because for the foreseeable future, rejection is all I'm going to get. But the next time a guest in pop forum asks who in the room is an artist, I won't sit on my hands. I'll promote the heck out of my new EP (#TheLighterEP, coming to you April 28) and I'll play gigs without worrying about crowd size or applause.

Because nothing is more satisfying than accomplishing your biggest goals, then telling the stories of all the people who said you weren't good enough.

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