Lately I have been enjoying making food more than making music. I had to think about that and I realized a few things. Will you indulge me in my heart spilling in a stream of consciousness to whoever might take the time to read it?
Once upon a time, back when I first started to make music, it wasn’t the ‘norm’… there weren’t all the tools available to do it like there are now and basically only actual musicians could make records. Making those records was a really special thing to do and when you put a record out people enjoyed it. They didn’t (always) rip them apart like you were someone on American Idol to be ‘judged’. They just bought the record, enjoyed it and sometimes let you know if they liked a song and told you what it meant to them. That felt so good. Me giving a piece of my soul to strangers and them loving it, feeding from it to sustain thier souls. This is why I make music. To feed a soul. Today, when I bake something or make a meal and I share that food with someone I feel like they enjoy it. I feel like that food made a difference to them in their day and it gives me such immense pleasure to feed someone and know they have enjoyed it.
Music doesn’t give me that feeling anymore. People more often than not in this post Idol heavy YouTube time rip you and your music apart, you always feel you fall short, you didn’t become ‘famous’, you didn’t get a hit record, your ‘look’ is wrong, your producer is wrong, you should have done this or that, your song could have been better (says the armchair critic who knows EVERYTHING about music because he/she watched Idol or one of those TV critique shows or they have a copy of Garageband and consider themselves a ‘musician’ or an artist even).
The joy for making music has diminished for me greatly over the past 5-10 years. I no longer get as excited about working on a song and releasing it. It feels really sad when I think about that. Music has been my life for most of my life. To feel like I pour my heart and soul into a song that seems to just fall flat or that I get criticized for all the ‘shortcomings’ of my career. It just doesn’t feel good to me. Why bother putting my heart and soul into a song and have soulmate produce it and write with me and we spend hours and so much money to basically have so little impact. It hurts. Maybe it’s egotistical of me to think this way. It totally could be. But it’s how I feel and I am being honest with you. The feeling is just not the same for me anymore.
Yet… I can get all my ingredients out, my mixing bowls, my colored spoons and sing away by myself in my kitchen and make something tasty. I can give that food to someone to eat and they feel loved and nurtured and I feel like I gave someone a gift… cooking does this for me now… not songs. There’s so many things I didn’t pursue because I was so busy trying to work on my music career. Now I write songs to pitch to film and tv and even though it pays bills, it’s not the same feeling as when I used to just make songs from scratch for the pure love of it.
This last year and a half I have evaluated everything in my life. I’ve realized there’s things I just haven’t done because I was too busy ‘making music, working on my music career’. And this year I realized that it’s time to make some other passions a priority and to explore other paths that I didn’t before. It’s time to take those vacations and see those people I never did before because I was ‘busy making music, working on my career’. So much living of my life got put on hold. My feelings started to change after my Mum died. Her life was gone in a second, 10 years robbed from her because of Cancer. She never took that trip to India or to Nepal… because she was busy working, busy tending to her kids, busy tending to her husband. It was a slap in the face for me. Don’t wait. Do the things you love. I have ALWAYS loved music and I have fought hard to keep doing it despite the entire business changing and music becoming so devalued. I get it, industries change. Totally OK with that. But I guess I never thought the audience would change so much, become so callous and so judgemental and heartless. We singers, we writers of songs, we makers of music used to be the ones to give you the soundtrack to your life, the song to express your pain, your anger, your hurt, your love, your amazement, your wonder… we used to say all the things you couldn’t say. Maybe you don’t need us anymore? So this year I’m going to do all the things I love. I’m going to new things that I might love. I might suck at some of them, but I don’t care. I want to live life to the fullest. This life is the only one I have in this particular incarnation here on this earth. I need to be better at living it and having fun. I’ve already started… and I’ve enjoyed myself immensely so far!
I adore music. Don’t get me wrong. I won’t stop making it because it’s a part of who I am and part of the molecules that make me Natalie. But I made it because it was a gift from my soul to the souls of others… and if that medium is not effective anymore, why am I continuing to do it and struggle with the act of doing it when ears are not hearing me? Maybe there is another way, a better way for me to be heard and make a difference? I am trying to figure that all out. I want to love, to make a difference, to give a soul some sustenance. But I’m realizing that perhaps my music isn’t the only way I can facilitate this desire of my soul. I hope that in time I will love music again for the pure sake of loving it and needing to create it. When I create new music, you, my awesome NatFriends will be the first to hear it, as always.
This is a new chapter.
Thanks for letting me vent… haha. I love you!