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Breakout or Breakthrough?

January 3, 2016

Okay .. lets try this blogging thing again and see if I can actually post it BEFORE I accidently delete it!

 

Tonight at midnight the new CD drops for radio programmers and reviewers. Then in two weeks it drops to the public and goes on sale.  That calls for a giant GULP!!

 

It’s an interesting thing .. you pour your heart, your time, your money into a project and you want whatever it is to be seen, heard AND accepted but it’s really scary. Yep, I know a lot of the people who have “made it” wave off the idea of fear or the worry about their work being accepted so long as it puts money into their pockets. I have some friends who find my concern about appreciation and acceptance amusing but I do so .. there!!!

 

It’s hard enough being an independent musical artist (unsigned and unsupported by a label although that’s not all it’s cracked up to be) but one that doesn’t gig much can be a challenge and I’m one of those. A number of reasons and .. yes, some of them are also excuses .. but I don’t.

Fear is a big one! Oh sure, some of it is that same old crap .. all too strongly reinforced of late by publicists I had reached out to: you’re too old, you don’t have the right look, you’re obsolete, if you were famous it might be different, no one wants to hear your type of music anymore so with all these things going against you .. I sure couldn’t do anything with you. Good grief .. small wonder the young musicians who are up and comers get overwhelmed and in trouble!!! It’s a hard knock life!!

 

I know most musicians have the capacity to forget “stuff” .. even those of superhero status because they are, after all, humans at the core. For me, I have my all-too-obvious humanness to contend with but I also have a brain that has “issues” thanks to a traumatic brain injury.

 

When I was much more frequently gigging with a regular group of musicians, it was less frightening because they were my safety net. I could depend on them to recognized “the look” I’d give them when my mind suddenly went blank and they’d pick up the slack until the reboot was complete and the words returned. I no longer have that luxury these days. As I said earlier, there are other things, of course, but I’ll save those for another day .. if at all.

 

So again I have returned to the studio .. I JUST LOVE BEING IN THE STUDIO!! Not just because the level of control .. don’t get me wrong .. I record in a studio that will NOT auto-tune anything.  The sound engineer has no problem letting me know if I or anyone else gets pitchy and “suggesting” that I try it again or that an instrument needs to be retuned.  The control I’m talking about is being able to shut out all other influences including the lights in the space where I am and I can simply become the song. I can turn myself over to the music and lay it out for anyone who will be listening. They will meet my heart, my life, my pain, my joy. They will have the opportunity to travel back with me to an era where lyrics were precise and sophisticated, romantic and seductive.

 

Yep .. I JUST LOVE BEING IN THE STUDIO!! But you can’t live in there and neither can the music so, at some point, you must kick it out the door and let the universe take it where it will or should go. Do you hope for a breakout? Uh .. sure!! I want it to be heard and appreciated and shared and played. I want it danced to and romanced to and to have wine glasses smashed into a fireplace to. (Is that a little too Barbara Stanwyck? Some of you will get that!!) All it takes is one person, one word, one interview, one review .. one something to take it high or bring it down low .. you pays your money and you takes your chances.

But, just maybe, what I need most is to have a breakthrough .. that moment when I send it out and realize that success or failure, I have done it!

 

I have given 100% and I have believed in the vision I had when I worried and fretted and second-quessed the songs I selected, my approach, the arrangements I heard in my head and then stepped into a dimly lit sound booth and had my vision take life! Tomorrow is that moment!!!

 

Of course .. having both wouldn’t be a bad thing, right?!!!!

 

 

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Dena Taylor

IMC's 2014 Best Female Jazz Artist

"It's not enough for music to BE good, it also has to DO good!"