I was so spoiled. I had been living as an “honored guest” in Macy Gray’s incredible home while I recorded what was supposed to be my first album. Macy believed in me. She had signed me to her independent record label and was fully supporting me. She pushed me hard and put me in studios with incredible writers, producers and musicians all the time. I would come home from the studio with a new song to play for her.
“Whattya think?” I would ask.
“It’s cool. You did great. But keep writing.” She would always say.
Sigh. I would always leave that conversation feeling deflated. I knew she wanted the best for me and I was thankful for her honesty. At least I knew she would tell me the truth. But the truth hurt, and my little ego was so fragile that I allowed her encouragement to discourage me instead. If I’da known then what I know now I coulda made that situation really work for me.
But I had no idea who I was, or who I wanted to be. I kept thinking that one day in the studio something magic would come pouring out of me and my direction would become clear. But alas, I kept writing as instructed, never really trying to get to know myself. In fact, I was subconsciously numbing and hiding from myself, unwilling to look, wishing someone other than me would appear from thin air, define me, and show me who I was.
Today, I credit self-sabotage, insecurity, and personal disconnect with that failed attempt at a first release. I turned in over 80 songs but only this one ever got released. There I was living with and being mentored and groomed by a celebrity, who truly loved me. I had access to the industry’s very best studios, and musicians, but I was so uncertain of myself or my direction that I was willing to try just about anything. I had no boundaries so there were no walls within which to create from. It was like having more than 31 flavors and tasting each one and still not being able to order. No one could magically read my mind or create me for me. I wanted to be pop and electro, but I also resonated with R&B and Hip Hop, and 90’s indie rock would often show up in my writing too.
Since then, I have grown tremendously and I know myself well. I work hard to stay in constant connection to my gut and my inner guide, so it’s a lot harder to bring me down, especially unintentionally. Back then, my image was “all over the place.” Today I’m a proud chameleon.
Perspective and confidence is everything. (tweet it!)
Anyway, today’s featured video is a snap shot of a chapter in my life when I was simply creating and searching. This is a version of me that I don’t actually recognize today. But when I separate myself from it, I can truly see the fire. It’s actually really dope. This isn’t my vision, ’cause I was unable to see one for myself. This is the result of stylists, a glam squad, a director, editors, and assistants all contributing to create art. We set out to create something good and that is exactly what we did. These days, I would never set out to make something good. Some time ago I committed to only ever aiming for greatness, excellence even. One of my favourite quotes is:
“Reach for the stars, and land on the moon.”
Don’t get me wrong…
After watching this you will very likely download it and immediately put it in your workout playlists, cause the song is FIRE🔥. I’m just giving you a behind the scenes view into my experience as a young undeveloped and still growing artist. I’m being HELLA honest here. A lot of us go through identity crises at one point or another. A time when we don’t know who or what we are, or what we stand for. And that experience manifests in crazy different ways for everyone. For me, I went through a bunch of stage names, hair experiments, and weight fluctuations.
Along the way, “Work It Out” was one thing I got from the whole experience that I love. I love it because when I watch it now, I can see how far I’ve come. I love it because it shows that even when I was searching, I was undeniably talented, even if I was uncertain of it at times and afraid to say so out loud the rest of the time.
Anyway, here you go, friends. Step into my memory. I present to you:
Work It Out
Written by me, Honey Larochelle, Macy Gray, Daniel Fridell, Jenn Decilveo, Josh Lopez
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