My Art Not Yours

 

Everyone who deals with creatives should read this.

Let me just put this out there:  Like many creatives in this world, I have a problem with authority.  I simply don’t like being told what to do, it makes me feel oppressed.  But evermore annoying are people who try to fuck with my art.  I’m a performer, singer, songwriter and artist and have been for the most part of my life and I still have people who have no idea about being a muso/creative trying to tell me how I should live my life, that I should get a real job or that I should change my art.

ITS MINE NOT YOURS. Its Art.  I couldn’t give a fuck about whether you like it or not.  I LIKE IT. That’s why I do it.  The more I evolve as an artist, the more I realise that it cannot be about making money or trying to please everybody.  It doesn’t matter how good you are, there is always going to be somebody that wont like you or understand your vibe.  And the more defined you are, the less people you will appeal to.  And that’s totally OK.

Don’t get me wrong.  I like feedback on projects that I’m working on, and I regularly ask this from my peers, mentors and trusted peeps and sometimes fans, but that is when it is in its building, and creating process.  If I’ve already released my single and done the photos and printed out 100 000 copies and sold a bunch – you’ve kinda missed the boat on helping me arrange the vocals etc… at this point you either like it or you don’t.  I’m fine with that.  And if you start a sentence with “You know you would make more money if you….”  I might punch you in the face (or at least tune you out for the next few phrases).

Of course I would like to make more money from my art.  But not if it means selling out and compromising the very thing that makes me feel good about it.  It is already difficult to have a good balance between business & creative passion, So if you like my stuff and want to help by sharing it with others than awesome. And if it’s not for you, I understand.

This also goes with my live band/s.  If you saw me somewhere with my band and you like what we do.  Don’t book us then ask us to do something completely different.  If you saw my Rnb band and you loved it, don’t book us for your wedding and ask if we can play rock and roll and love shack and heavy metal all night.  The answer is no.  Even if we could, its not what we have chosen to do as an outfit.  A few requests will always be fine but when you are micro-managing our set list, we probably won’t enjoy our night.

Real art and music is personal and takes a lot of courage to share with others.  And we creatives are sensitive as fuck.  So when you give feed back, be gentle and detailed and helpful, not dismissive, authoritative and vague.  And choose your timing wisely.

And yes, I know I should “Get a website, get social media and get more followers’.  Don’t just tell me about it…help me.

To the creatives out there, I’m sure I’ve hit home with this for some of you, I’d love to know what are your other pet peeves when it comes to this stuff?  Feel free to comment below 🙂

 

Thanks for reading 🙂 If you like what my stuff and want to support me, you can do so by clicking here:

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Honesty is such a lonely word

When I was younger, straight out of high school, I had many friends.  I had just moved to Sydney and lived in the mid-city madness of a highly social and fast paced world.  The city oozed with life and excitement and I loved every minute of it.  Naturally, as a singer, I found place in amongst the music scene, the live and touring musicians, the creatives and the night clubs, the high fashion and pop culture.

It is easy making friends as a performer.  It’s part of your job.  You learn very quickly how to socialise in every situation and setting, how to dress appropriately, how to behave, and how to ‘schmooze’.  When you’ve had a great gig and your band is killing it, sometimes you step off stage to find that everybody wants to be your friend.  Now I’m using the ‘friend’ word very loosely because I think that being ‘friends’ with someone runs much deeper than a few ‘hi’s’ and ‘how are yous’.

Most of the people in today’s world thrive on popularity.  They feel validated by the amount of likes and follows on their social media pages and need to feel likeable and have a lot of friends to be happy and successful.  And I was this.  The social butterfly, super friendly, always rolling with the in-crowd.  There was years and years of somewhat shallow social interactions and I was satisfied, if not, comfortable with it.

Today I’m a very different person.  Don’t get me wrong, I still know how to hold myself in the social game and I play a good hand, but I also see it for what it is.  One day I stopped pretending to like everybody and everything and I put away my ever-so scripted conversational habits and started to practise Honesty.

Slowly and surely my life began to change and I became a surer and more defined version of myself.  And a whole lot lonelier.  You see I believe that the more friends you have, the less quality they are, generally speaking. It’s that quality over quantity game that I’m playing now and when I’m winning, I have meaningful and honest friendships and relationships with the people around me.

When you have honest relationships you don’t need to keep up an image or idea of yourself.  There is less ego and more vulnerability.  You also don’t need to censor words and actions.  And the best thing is that you allow people the opportunity to get to know the real you and decided whether they accept or not.  You leave the door open for those who aren’t compatible to leave, and those who are to stay and understand.

Nothing worth doing is easy, so I’m not going to tell you that practising honesty is.  It starts with being honest to yourself.  Which can be extremely challenging.  To separate our feelings and set aside pride and ego and let the facade fall away.  Sometimes we don’t like what we find under there; insecurity, contradiction, imperfection and fear.  Some people have lived behind an idea of themselves for so long that they don’t even know who they really are, what they actually like, where they want to be.  It’s a scary stage of self discovery but it is necessary regardless.  And sometimes on this journey, we discover we have made bad choices, and wasted a lot of time.  Imagine working your ass of to climb the ladder of a certain career path, getting to the top and realising ‘oh shit! I actually don’t like this job at all’.  It happens.  More than you think.

These days society almost encourages us to turn off our inner voices and blindly follow the crowd, and be part of whats trending.  It’s great for marketing and business, but not so great for humanity.  Honesty doesn’t necessarily keep you ahead in the game, in fact it is often met with distaste.  Most people don’t want to want to hear the truth.  They may think they do, but when it comes down to it, they only want truth that benefits them.

So when I say what I mean and I mean what I say, it can be confronting, well for those who do not practise honesty that is.  I found that once I committed to always speaking the truth and sharing my real feelings, I lost a lot of so called friends.  Most people don’t want to hear about your horrible day when they ask ‘how are you’ nor do they want to know about your life problems or hear you whine or help you work through issues. Most.  Real friends do. And this is what I mean when I say quality over quantity, having honest relationships requires time.  And not all of us have ample amounts of time left after family and work chews in.  So we must choose our friendships wisely.  And accept the fact that some people aren’t ready to have honest relationships and may want to run in the opposite direction.  What you do gain, after the filtering is a close group of friends who have care, consideration and are actually interested in being apart of your life.

It’s very sad to see the lack of truth represented in today’s world.  With fake news at it’s peak and the distance that social media and technology ironically widens between people, its no wonder some of us feel lonely in the most crowded places.  But we must rise above and stop to listen to our own truths and seek out truth in others and try our best to practise honesty.  Go with that gut feeling, go against the crowd if that is how you feel and be honest about your opinions.  There are people out there that will share similar opinions and that will understand you.  But first you need to give them a chance to get to know who you really are.

Everyday I wake up and choose to live my truth and it has been a difficult and continues to be a challenging task.  Being a parent and setting a good example for my children has being one major reason to keep me on this path.  I have reached the point where I’m mostly content with myself and the people around me.  But I do need to constantly stop and have a good think about how I really feel about certain things that come up each day so as to stop reverting back to a scripted life of blindly following the crowd and people pleasing.  I’m sure a lot of people are on the same journey of self discover.  If you are constantly trying to separate the real from the fake in your head space and life please comment with any tips, because anything that might make the process easier is worth a try.

The end goal is to be truly happy, whilst being happily true.

 

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What’s The Alternative?

 

 

 

I was born in one of the most musical families I’ve ever known.  My father is a singer, my mother a dancer, my grandfather a pioneer of Mauritian folk music, my cousins having great success as artists and songwriters, my partner, my uncles, my sisters and brothers, all talented singers, dancers, musicians and engineers.  My family is living proof that you carve out a successful career for yourself using art and yet I still was brought up with the idea that music and art is a hobby, a part time and not a real job, and that I should always have a backup plan.

Inconsistent with the reality of the successful and happy people I saw around me, I was told this at school, I was told this at work, I was told by the media, I was told even by some of the people that I was working with and considered as mentors. I’ve heard ‘It’s so hard to make riches from the arts, choose something else’ so many times growing up…But what if I was chasing happiness? What if the money just came as a bonus to being happy..  It’s taken great effort to accept myself as the creative being that I am, and to silence the little voice inside of me, that little, unnerving and confusing voice that says I “can’t be this way forever, you need a backup plan!” and as for a backup plan… Well I have none, (no 9-5, no part time, no working for anyone else… Scary? Sometimes, Worth it? ALWAYS!, and it means that I have no choice but to work harder… That I must succeed!!!

This year I am expanding into a project that will help people find balance in their lives and makeover their ideas about being happy, being creative, and being successful.  Whether you are a creative professional, dealing with the anxiety of living with constant change and the instability that these industries can bring, or a creative soul trapped in the office world, the dreaded four walls, because it’s the “only way you can pay your bills”… I want to help. I want to share my experience, and hopefully it will shed some light on a better way, a way that defies their rules, a way to take back control and better your situation.

(For me) Life is about the journey, and evolving as human beings, not being enslaved by our possessions, limited by our status and resigned to our lifestyle habits… It’s about keeping a level head, about the world around you and choosing how to interact with it.  Who said you can’t be creative, expressive AND make enough money to have a comfortable life?  We idolize people, the rich and famous that do this everyday and say that they are “living the dream”.  Well It’s only ever going to be a ‘dream’ if you don’t do something about it…

If this rings any bells, sounds familiar and you want to find out more of how I created this amazing world for myself, Let’s have a chat… It may just be what you’re missing, and may help you find that happiness you are working towards.

Remember that being creative doesn’t have to mean writing a great song or painting a beautiful picture, architects create buildings, comedians create laughs, housewives can take a house create a home…Creativity is everywhere if you know how to look for it and almost always undervalued.

 

RoxySIGNoff