I am being forced to confront lifelong insecurities a lot these days. Over time I have been reaching out to blogs for features to help promote my EP Departure 1989. Either I never heard back or I'm getting bad feedback. The most recent few came after I submitted my song Fitamold and they remarked about my vocal and couldn't quite grab the emotion. This really disheartened me especially when I know how much hard work I spent into crafting my vocals. You never know how something so small that you say can crush someone's spirit. But this isn't the first time I've had bad feedback on my voice.
Over my life I've always been a bold singer. I started singing at 3. It took me time to grow and I was willing to try new techniques and all. Some people would harp on my mistakes and what they perceived as flaws. It made me insecure about my vocals from a very young age. I was bold but I became more cautious over time. Singing is something so cathartic for me but it was something personal for me as well. I had a traumatic vocal performance when I was 13 at church that really tore my spirit down. My voice cracked and I panicked. It turned into a trainwreck. My friends made jokes about it, it was "funny" but it broke me. I didn't take many chances after that and considered quitting singing. I even had a friend tell me "Maybe singing isn't your thing." It hurt.
When you put your all into something and you give one hundred percent only to come up empty, it can truly hurt. I didn't give up though. I couldn't. This is what I love. This is what I feel my purpose is. I continued to sing and started lessons in college. Yet I always felt second best. Like I could sing at the top of my lungs, sing every note on the piano, and still not be good enough. I didn't book many of the auditions I went for. I didn't sound like everybody else and I couldn't. It took me forever to put out music because I was scared I wouldn't be accepted. And that blog feedback sent my spirit back to square one.
However I refuse to let this get the best of me. I could spend time and dissect everything about my music that doesn't connect with people. I could dissect everything that's "wrong" with me. But I will not. I will continue to push and continue to try. Everybody will not get me and that's okay. The ones who do will support and care. And I am working on becoming unmovable by public opinion. I will continue to persevere and try new doors until one opens for me.
On Sunday I performed Chamele-On Me for the first time. This was the first time I've performed my own original material in public and it was such a nerve-wrecking, amazing feel. I can't describe how I felt but I knew I felt more self-aware. I was in the moment and I had to get through this.
There was a mess up in the music that kind of threw me off but for the most part I felt I accomplished what I needed to. I pretty much sang the song up to the studio version standards. I even wrote a new sung rap for the track and it worked! I realized how much of a beast that song is to sing. The vocal runs are technical and almost robotic and maintaining the tone is a challenge. Yet I feel I did well and I learned from the performance. I couldn't pull off the whistle notes tonight at the end but I know to prepare for next time. I'm a perfectionist and I will continue to develop and be more comfortable as I go.
I achieved a milestone for myself that night and I am so happy I was brave enough to do it. I can't wait to sing these songs from Departure 1989 more and experiment vocally.
Check out the lyric video Who? Nobody! No. from my first release from my project Departure 1989. This was the last song I wrote for the project. I wanted something strong, confident, fun...a song people could relate to and vibe to. The song is about reminding someone that they will be hard pressed to find someone who will put up with all of their issues, all of their mood swings, all of their pain. You did and that matters. People do have short memories when it comes to what others do for them and sometimes they need a big reminder before they lose something golden.
With WNN I recorded this in June and July of this year with C ma"J"or at Unapologetic in Memphis, TN. I was a bit hesitant to record it because I knew that I would rap on the song. I took a cypher seminar in 2017 but I never rapped seriously. I was afraid, but that meant that I had to do it. I had to try. Fear is a prison and I am not interested in being a prisoner. So I did it and I'm proud that I committed to it. The chorus and hook are insanely catchy and the verses were so much fun to sing and stylize. I really enjoy the 2nd verse the most.
It's a pretty cool song and I hope to develop my rap skills further in the future. I hope you enjoy and catch the wave. Take a listen below and find me on Youtube!