As an artist, I learn over time, to lean towards the ebb and flow and take on obstacles as they come, and not to rush things.
I have been playing live shows since I was 16 – 10 WHOLE years. That’s almost two-thirds of my life that I’ve been at this music thing. I’ve written hundreds of songs, recorded almost that many, recorded with a lot of producers, musicians, seen a lot of live shows, had a lot of meetings in tall buildings, but there are a one thing that remains constant.
One of these things is change. The music industry changes all the fucking time. The people at the top control the trends and then the consumers go with the trends and all the big guys are happy. And then there’s the rest of us.
Corporate consumerism is a beautiful thing. We see videos in cabs, on our phones, in the subway – buy this, listen to this, feel this way – THIS is what is wrong with you. This is what you need to fix it. This is what you should eat. This is how you should act. This is how you should approach your love life.
But with music, all of those things play into account. What is the artist singing about? What kind of attitude do they have towards the world? Though it may be more of a subliminal message to a six-year-old than a 26-year-old, the message is still there.
And so we come back to the whole solo artist thing. Where do I play into all of this? As a creator, I chose to make things that I think the world – and myself – would like. That’s hard. I like making songs. It’s a chance to connect with people in an emotive, quick way that can bring people together and evoke an emotion in an individual. That’s a pretty cool/great thing.
And then there’s everything surrounding the song. There’s the photo shoots, the networking events, the emails, the fake smiles, the contracts, the social media stuff – all that stuff surrounding the song that seems frivolous and also – as an artist – uncomfortable.
I’m so happy to see female artists like Demi Lovato doing a nude, makeup-free shoot and Rachel Platten expressing her will to fight – there’s an amazing flow of positive self-image flowing through pop culture right now and it’s unbelievable.
All I ask of the world is for the artist and the consumer to come to an agreement. Meet in the middle and find a realistic expectation of a world in which it’s okay to be not okay.
Because we’re all fighting. But we can all rise above anything – just the same.