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Sunday 20 November 2016

Personal Note

Hey everyone,
I would like to say thank you to everyone who has messaged me about my recent interview with Anna. I am humbled by everyone who has sent me messages, you are all amazing, I wish I wasn’t so closed off from publicity because there is a great deal of incredible people out there supporting me. Honestly, thank you so much.

I read through my interview and wanted to talk more about the last question I was asked, advice to anyone who wants to pursue a career in music. Like I said, I am really not the greatest person at giving advice, but I want to say a few things that I hope you will all take note of, and possibly carry with you throughout your time in the industry, whatever area you may find yourself in.

Each of us has grown up with music in our lives, no matter where you are in the world, there is music in everything, and there is no boundary.

I wanted to be an astronaut when I was growing up, never once did it cross my mind that there could be a career in music for me. I never knew of music producers, engineers, managers, acousticians etc. I just thought being a pop star was the limit. When I got older I began to understand, like all children do, the different parts of the world how huge it really was and what was really out there to experience and learn. I loved science, studying it taught me so much, it captivated me. When I learned about Pythagoras and the inner workings of sound I found out that science and music have always been intertwined, my mind went into overdrive. Science and music, mixed together? So much yes! Pursuing music was no longer a pipe dream for me. It was actually something that could be real. I just needed to learn everything I could to make it happen.

However, when I got into the industry, my love for music died, pretty rapidly when I realized that the industry is so corrupted and the people I idolised or wanted to be like were the ones destroying what I love most.

Let me explain that further…

I was born in the 90’s; I saw things in music happen, not significant enough to cause a shit storm, but enough to make me think about the music industry and how those moments have changed things today. Remember the battle of Blur and Oasis? I was around for that; I saw how much music influenced people, how musicians influenced people. I remember when Notorious B.I.G was killed. I saw the impact he had on people and how Hip-Hop artists and Rap artists acknowledged him and shaped their music around him. Throughout the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s there have been life-changing moments in music, I have read about them through history and heard about them through the lives of others, even though I was not there for those moments, I feel like I have because I am living with those effects like so many others in the industry. I know how powerful music can be but I know how powerful the artist can be.

This generation scares the fuck out of me. I can’t express that enough. With political crisis’s, greed and power it has made so much of the younger generation think that it is okay to view what other people say is okay when it is damaging. We live in a corrupt world and that is without businesses involved. We see the state of the economy, the divide in humanity and the anger of humans when it comes to the lives of animals, yet we neglect to see the damage we are causing.

When the world is how it is, we turn to the things that keep us safe, that could be the arms of a loved one, the haven of a island, the strength of a faith, the power of wisdom, or kindness within the limited amount of humanity we see. For me, I choose music as my sanctuary, despite how the industry has fallen.

I see people idolise recording artists like Kanye West and Justin Bieber who really have no care in the world for their fans. They only care about the money they make and what they can buy with it. I have seen Justin throw a tantrum on stage and walk off over fans shouting his name. I have seen Kanye stop performing to talk about utter trash for half a hour to his fans in the crowd who have paid up to $400 a ticket. Last night at Sacramento he was an hour and a half late for a show, performed two songs, ranted for fifteen minutes then said the show was over. Kanye maybe incredible musically with production and his understanding of sound, but he is not someone that deserves the things in life he has got because of his music.

Yeah, okay we have artists like Liam Gallagher, Bono and Morrissey who are arrogant in their own way, but we can all agree they are dedicated to the music they make and still recognize where they came from and understand who got them there, their fans.

For musicians who preach about giving money to charity, poverty, investing in women’s rights, LGBTQ communities, and spreading awareness of cultural divides, many of them are hypocrites. When an artist sells footwear priced over $800 a pair then uses the excuse “I have a family to feed”, that does not sit well with me, or my views on proving for a family. It does not sit well with me when people buy artists music to see that musician treat the core source of their income inappropriately.

Many artists forget their sole provider, we as individuals that support their music. Without that, they are nothing. No matter how talented they are.

I have so many aspiring musicians approach me asking me how much money they could make, how long it will take them to make it, and if there is a limit to what they can buy or do with the fame they could possibly inherit. When I get questions like this, it makes me sad because this is the generation now. This is a new era of music creation where we show everyone the flaws of the industry that so many of us were fortunately not exposed to once upon a time.

I grew up loving music innocently without hearing about a corrupt industry. I am grateful for that, because if I knew what I would have to face, I would not have chosen the career I did. What I see now is the music industry seeping into the mainstream and being so obvious to the new generation that it is enticing individuals to become what they see and think is acceptable.

Music has never been crystal; it has always been a dirty money game full of snakes throwing the same dice. I am proud I knew the person I wanted to be, honest, respectable, grounded and grateful.

I never thought about earning money from something I loved so dearly. I never thought about treating others poorly to get something I wanted. The thought never crossed my mind. All I wanted to do was dabble with science and create something magical with sound. If I could create something that helped someone experience the feeling I felt when I listened to a song I loved, then I would have achieved what I wanted.

I want to copy a segment from an interview I had when I was eighteen. This was one of my first interviews about why I wanted to be a music producer/recording engineer...

"I want people to go 'FUCK, who recorded that?' and someone respond with my name. I want to see an artist carry tears in their eyes when they listen to how powerful their own words are, how it screams at them when there are no words at all. I don't understand many things in this life, in this world, but I do understand music. Nothing feels better than listening to a song or an album that is relatable to your life. If a song for four minutes can prevent the loss of a life, the mistake of a man, a woman feeling numb, a birth, a death, a first love, a last love; then let me be behind that, get me making the soundtrack to someone's life, let me manipulate them to the point where they can feel alright in that moment of time. Let me show people what music made me feel when I was inches away from never waking up again. Music, it saves people, it completes them. I lost my mind for a long time, music makes people come home; whatever home means to them." - Karis Page

I don’t contemplate much, but when I do I think back to the little girl who I always promised to keep safe. I look back to my days of dirty elbows and scraped knees and try to remember what it was like to be so innocent, to be so playful and see magic through my child eyes. I still maintain that in a small way because I remember the promise I made to myself, to always be who I am and never change if I was faced with fame, wealth or power. I like to think I am still the same kid I once was.
I write this because I see so many people change when they are beginning in the industry. I see their passion die, the light in their eyes fade. They look how I felt when I was told that magic was only make-believe.  I see their creativity stolen and changed into a percentage, their name spelt different because it would look better on album artwork than what's on their birth certificate. I see fame ruin their own credibility; I see them treat people with disrespect to earn a living. Family’s break and homes become broken, their faith in God, Allah or Buddha tarnishes. They forget that while the city is still awake, they do not have to be. They do not need to use substance to find creativity again; they just need the smell of the country or the salt from the ocean. 
My advice to you all as individuals, not just as aspiring musicians, engineers, producers etc., is to never forget who you are and respect your own judgement, that gut feeling. If you are forced to change for someone else or forced to change in order to live comfortably, remember to ask if your five-year-old self would feel safe with your decision or if they would be proud. When you know the answer to the question you ask, you'll find your way wherever the wind takes you.
This post is about having an ambition, an ambition that you would set your soul on fire for. If you want to be an astronaut and vacate to the moon, do that. If you want to be a musician, do it. If you want to create a revolution, go ahead and do it, because we need it.

This is for every late night spent feeling numb, exiled, heartbroken, vulnerable, loved, helpless, nervous, and everything in between.

The nights I spent listening to music and dreaming of coming home.

My love as always,  

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