I released a single today called "The Greatest Escape" that I had the pleasure of writing with Jordan "DJ Swivel" Young. Jordan is most known for his work with The Chainsmokers, and just recently Chris Martin and Coldplay, but his many other collaborators have me feeling intimidated to say the least. Anyway, I remember walking into Westlake Studios in Santa Monica and it felt like, well, like when a ripple on a lake stills to a perfect glassy calm.... like inside me waves had been crashing, for months and months and then all of a sudden the squall passed into motionless peace. I know it's a romantic way of describing it, but really that's what it was for me. I felt like I had both been there before yet was seeing something new for the first time, deja vu or something, there was a familiarity but so much unknown as well.... it was the most excited I've been in years. I was lead into Studio D, which is the famous studio in which Michael Jackson's Thriller was recorded with Quincy Jones, among several other of his albums and a many great number of artists. Inside, memorabilia hugged the walls like friends not wanting to part, frame after frame of astonishing rare artwork, some by Michael's own hand, plaques, double-platinum cased records, and pictures of Bubbles the monkey and Q. Now, for any person this would be a cool experience, but for me..... Michael Jackson obsessed mega fan, didn't get outta bed for two weeks or could turn on the TV when he passed, cry every time I watch his live concert from Budapest DVD and try but fail miserably at learning his choreography combinations....for me this was like the ultimate Christmas morning.
There is a wooden platform looking out from the control room and at the very back a grand piano sits under a single spotlight. Magical. Michael's piano. I sat down. I touched my fingertips to it's ivory keys. I played a B minor seven chord and I smiled so big I think my cheeks could've popped. I began to play freely, the piano had been kept up so well, still perfectly in tune, though you could tell it had had it's wears and tears. I can't even really describe what this experience was like for me and I don't think I'll ever be able to, it's just going to be a special moment just for me that I keep tucked inside a pocket of my heart forever.
There's a part of me that gets sad sometimes because I feel like I haven't done enough, or am not doing enough. Taking Michael for instance, look at all he had accomplished by the time he reached 18, and then 20, and then 25. I mean I know those are big shoes to aspire to for anyone, but still... I get caught up with my age sometimes. Though I'm only 26, I feel like a grandma in pop culture standards... and I have this sickening idea that once I hit 30 that's it, I should just pack it all up and crawl into a hole for the rest of my life. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why is it that we can't just embrace our lives as we live them without putting so much pressure on ourselves to amount to someone else's view of success? If I was really honest I should think myself very successful, I've had wonderful opportunities in my life and career up till now and I have yet to squander any of it. The one thing I will say for myself is that I haven't played live as much as my heart desires to... perhaps out of fear, or not knowing exactly how to get started, how to put a live show together with just me. There are several excuses I suppose but the truth is I just don't think I've tried hard enough to put something together because I've been too focused on other things or other people (Yoko broke my heart and all I wanted to do was sleep and cry for months...so that's what I did....and I don't at all judge myself for it, that was my process and I am stronger now for having gone though that mess). When I lost my voice for a year I think the fear of performing and damaging my vocal chords became a real reason why I've maybe neglected this side of my craft. Don't worry though, it's something I plan on rectifying this year. I've already begun playing small open mic nights here and there to get myself back into the swing of things.
I'm excited, more so than I've been in a looooooooong time and I can't wait to see what these next few months are going to bring. Soon I'll be back in Vancouver working on my third album with my awesome producer Ovi Bistriceanu, and writing new music with my dear friend and long time collaborator Ian Prince and for the first time in over a year I feel like I have something to look forward to. I feel a sense of creative freedom, uncertainty and autonomy. It's brilliant...it opens a whole new world of playful chance.
"The Greatest Escape"