I havent been very musically active as of late. For many reasons, really. I don’t feel overly compelled to explain myself to anyone either but I did feel like writing some of the following down.
My poor little debut album which is still actually rather big and bold, it just hasn’t seen the light of day yet. I moved to the other side of the world becuase I wanted to and it was the right time in my life for it. I had great, great intentions of coming here and releasing it and doing my thing but it didn’t work out that way. I was too busy doing other things and trying ridiculously hard not to feel massive guilt and creative doom that invetiably came my way.
I’m a big lover of an old ‘to-do’ list and it usually keeps me motivated and I get what I want done but the lists became never ending and I suddenly found myself in a bit of a pit. Working a full time job and trying to sustain some sort of musical motivation in unfamiliar territory was more than I had bargained for. Something had to give and with the way rent is going these days, it wasn’t going to be the job this time.
The worst part of it all is I then began to resent music. I didn’t want to play, I certainly didn’t feel like writing a song and the last place I wanted to be was on a stage infront of anyone. It even got to a point on a visit home when I questioned and considered whether I wanted to do this at all anymore. Considering being a musician and songwriting, although not yet my fulltime profession, is something that has been part of my identity since being a young teenager, I was seriously bummed out.
The other part of this whole scenario that really started to bother me, was social media. I was and still am an avid user of it, presenting myself as a musician on most outlets. But something started to become really depressing about it for me and I started to question my use of it. I have always felt compelled to use it to maintain some kind of ‘presence’ on the scene and attempt to create a following. There are certainly big positives to it that cannot be denied but lately its become apparent to me that an alaraming percentage of my generation have turned into narcissistic, self-loving fools. And they didn’t even mean to, they’re just keeping up with the jones’. They are addicted to and craving people’s attention. The constant highly ‘edited’ and posed selfies tagged at the prestigious event or destination, curating one’s life to look and feel a certain way. It’s most definitely unhealthy behaviour but everyone seems to understand this as being typical social media use and brushes it under the carpet. I believe it is having a bigger and very real psychological effect on people than they realise. Constantly looking at the best parts of other people’s lives day after day can really wear someone down. It wore me down and it was most definitely adding to the shitness I was already feeling about myself.
I got really confused for a while. I definitely dabbled thinking this is what I have to do if I want to try and be successful. I have always loved the art of taking a good photograph and then wanting to share it but one needs to ask oneself when does it become ‘oversharing’. There is a line, a line many people have crossed and that, for me, is where all the bullshit of social media lies.
I don’t want to have to share hundreds of photographs of my face or body to motivate people to listen to my music or to create a following. Call me old fashioned, but I won’t be indulging in that kind of madness anymore.
Cutting right back on my use of it all has seriously helped my mental health as of late and I’m encouraging myself to pick up a book instead of the phone first thing in the morning! There’s no getting fully away from it and I wouldn’t want that either but I do feel more people need to talk about the very real mental health effects using it can have on everyone. I have been keeping up to date with Marina Diamandis’ new venture ‘Marina Book’ where she has talked about the above topics. Super interesting.
But anyway, I have a lot to be thankful for right now, living in one of the coolest cities in the world, taking time away from my normal life to go travelling and being with someone who makes me incredibly happy. I’m getting back into the swing of creativity and music making slowly but surely. I will release the album in 2018 because its bloody awesome and I love the people I made it with. I have learned and know that making music will always be in my blood and I could never not have a need to create, if only for myself.
I will leave you with some Josh Ritter lyrics that I have always loved …..
“I’m singing for the love it, have mercy on the man who sings to be adored”
Quite fitting with my current thoughts!
Wishing a very Merry Christmas to everyone and anyone who finds themselves reading this and you’ll be hearing from me soon!
(The picture is one I took of the gorgeous sunset view on a recent road trip along the southern coast for my birthday!)