Rolling in the deep: How to piss people off with your music
I'm in Santa Fe again. There is something about the big open sky that seems to open my heart and mind, and strip me down to my most vulnerable, my most open. Sometimes it feels great. Sometimes, not so much. But I think in general it's important to find a place like this on earth for yourself. A place where you can't hide. A place that makes you come clean and connect with the truth - where distractions fall away, and what you're left with is just pure, hardcore life on life's terms. I have never left Santa Fe without a spiritual or personal insight or gift. There is something to be said about a place like that! I don't want to come back this time, and I know I won't be able to stay away.
As an artist, I know it's my life's work to process things and create. In most cases, it saves my life and gives me joy. Sometimes, it's a little painful though. And I wish I could just let it be and move on. As if I know there is a song brewing and I want to leave it there, in my body, and let it rot until it haunts me and eats me from the inside out and eventually dies - and I'll never know what sort of healing I could have created. I'll just start storing a song graveyard in my tummy...Ouch.
When in doubt, ALWAYS, write. Always create. Never stop. That is what I have to tell myself. There is nothing too painful to explore with your art. Nothing. And you know what, no one is safe either...from my wrath.
I've had a lot of misgivings about publishing material that could hurt people's feelings - mostly ex's . I feel as if the work might be too personal or biting, too specific or bitter. Do I really need to lash out in a song? But the answer is YES. Fuck yes, I do! For once in my life, I am embracing what I am. I write songs. I have to write songs. And you know what, you fuckers are going to be in them sometimes, so DEAL WITH IT! Adele wrote 2 platinum, award-winning albums about two different ex's. Do you think she left some shit on the table to spare their feelings? Hell no!
We must be merciless and courageous and let it all out on the table. Because we have to. Because it's our duty to the human race. If i write a song about a liar who dicked me over and broke my heart, and how I survived - I heal a little from that heartbreak. And by doing that - I might help someone else to heal too. And in the end, it's art. It's not revenge. It's about transforming the experience into something new and beautiful and expressive and spiritual.
Since I put the demo out, I've had some amazing experiences hearing about how people 1) interpret the songs and 2) are emotionally/spiritually effected by them. When I put a song out there - it develops a life of it's own in the ears and hearts of the listener. It is no longer mine. It is no longer MY story and MY trauma - it belongs to the collective - and it begins to live and heal in them. Everyone has a different reaction to Kill my Soulmate, for instance. It confuses some people, makes others laugh, makes some cry, and others think. Some people think it's about lashing out at an ex. Some think it's about giving up on love. But no one but me knows where it was born. And I'm glad, because they are giving it new life. The song is transforming. And that is hopeful to me.
The same with Last Moment on Earth. Each person knows in their heart who comes to mind when they hear it - another story starts brewing and living and healing. And it has nothing to do with me.
This is the power of art. This is why I MUST create. Because it's larger than myself. And all I want to do is get out of this limited, selfish, ego-centric experience anyway. I want to be free. And art is freedom!
So, long story short. Ex's beware. I'm unleashing whatever is brewing. As one of my favorite, forgotten British rappers, Lady Sovereign said, "Love me or hate me it's still an obsession. Love me or hate me that is the question. If you love me, then THANK YOU. If you hate me, then, FUCK YOU. "
Ok, so maybe I'm not that hardcore. But I get it. We must be fearless. No matter what the world might think or feel. I'm laying it out there.
Because I have to.
Adele did it, and so can I.