To change the lens through which I interpret my role as an artist and reimagine the way I look at my creative process and products.
To create music for the enjoyment of others, near & far, and to provide employment & opportunity wherever and however I can.
Reexamining unreleased music, assessing works in progress, and planning a course of action to complete & release new music.
The last 8 months have given us all a great deal to think about. The upheaval of everything to which we had become accustomed was incredibly abrupt and entirely unexpected. This lead many people, myself included, to a feverish period of change and existential introspection. My own personal reflections began with identifying what it was in my "previous" life that this new "normal" had me missing most:
The Collaborative Creative Process
Impacting People's Lives
(Hopefully for the Better)
I suppose I shouldn't have been so shocked about this "discovery." These are, after all, the reasons I ultimately committed to my artistic pursuits in the first place. But there was a deeper layer that only now am I fully understanding. Through my reflection, I came to realize that all of these things for which I was tragically longing shared a common attribute: they were all catalysts for creating and maintaining community.
Before I was able to apply this new understanding to my outlook moving forward, I wanted first to use it to evaluate my efforts leading up to now. It was immediately obvious in doing so that my life before this shut down was not being guided by the pursuit of these endeavors or the underlying principle they represented. Instead, I had been focusing on branding, social media, satisfying my publicist, "leveling up," etc. These were things at which I was neither gifted nor did I enjoy. It was painfully clear that I had lost sight of the forrest for the trees; I had become too wrapped up in the "packaging" of myself and my art...
I had inadvertently become misguided and selfish.
The last part of my inspirational epiphany happened almost completely by accident. I was making dinner and watching David Letterman's "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction;" the bonus episode from season 1 featuring Jerry Seinfeld. The majority of the episode was mindless; two comedic masters alternating between compliments and jabs of one another, when all of a sudden there was an exchange that stopped me dead in my tracks. It went as follows after Jerry asked David about his departure from "The Tonight Show:"
Were you really ready at that time to go?
I'll tell you something. I wish now, looking back at my life, I should have left 10 years ago, because then I could have taken some of that energy and focus and applied it to actually doing something good for humans. Do you know what I mean?
No I don't. Because, I think, you could not have done more for humans than what you did...
You think of your career as a self-aggrandizing, self-satisfying, self-enriching pursuit...and if you're any good at it, Mr. Letterman, you're not that kind of person.
If you're really thinking like that, you're gonna suck and you know that that's true.
The people that are good at it, do it because they know it's making people happy and that's what's driving them.
And that's why you were so great.
I realized through that exchange that I shared some of the same misconceptions as Mr. Letterman. That while I had begun my career with selfless intentions, I had always carried this notion that what I was doing was still somehow just a "self-aggrandizing, self-satisfying, self-enriching" affair. But in looking at it through Jerry's eyes, it became something so much more. Not only were they making the people who enjoyed the end product (The Tonight Show, Seinfeld, etc.) happy, they were also bringing joyful opportunity to the countless people who helped create these shows in the first place.
The positive effect wasn't just an end product. It was inherent at every level.
To put it all together, my new understanding of my role as an artist comes down to three basic principles:
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
DO WHAT YOU DO BEST
DO IT FOR OTHERS
With what I know now, it becomes possible to set a course of action, or at least a course of intention, for the future. It is my sincerest hope that by remaining true to these core principles there will be an added layer of honesty, accessibility, and community to my art and music moving forward. All to say, that I hope that they will help maximize the positive impact that I can have as an artist.