An update on creativity is much overdue! Although I still haven’t uploaded a new song in a few months, I have been writing them. And something I’ve noticed lately is that my songwriting is becoming increasingly reflective of my spiritual practice. I’ve always strived for honesty and vulnerability in my songwriting but I thought that songs about spirituality would just sound twee. I feel like I’ve managed to write about it in a way that retains the raw emotion and honesty I try to incorporate into my songs but with an added hyper-awareness of the ego which helps it sound more three-dimensional.
One song came about after a phone call with my mother. I was talking to her about how I was starting to let myself feel my emotions in a more direct way but that I was worried people would think I was sombre. I came to my own defence, saying that I had reasons to be sad and that I’d been through a lot, when my Mam interjected. She said: “You don’t need a reason to be sad!” This is something I understand now but at the time, it planted an important seed in my head about the reality of the emotional spectrum. So the first line of the song goes: “Reasons to be sad, I don’t need them no more…”. Starting to view human emotion as a pendulum always swinging from sad to happy – and everything in between – has been a major revelation for me. Every time I feel a bit low now, I try to think: “Well I was really happy earlier on, so it makes sense. I can relax now. Life is about balance.” It still hurts but the aspiration to be happy all the time is something I am slowly letting go of. It makes so much more sense than tirelessly chasing after an oasis in the distance that, of course, never gets any closer. The song I wrote is in an R’n’B style which I’m so excited about because it’s the type of music that I listen to. For some reason, I feel like the more earnest a song is that I write, the further away it has to be from the musical styles I actually like. I think it’s more of an insecurity I have about my production abilities but I know that when I have more time to practice production, I’ll get to a place where I’m more confident. I took inspiration from G-Eazy when I started the production and I took inspiration from R’n’B singer SZA with the vocals. She’s someone I’ve been listening to a lot lately and I’m in love with her music and her style.
Another song I wrote called Conversations In My Head is about internal dialogue as a manifestation of the ego and a desire to dissociate from the reactionary side of myself. I said to my boyfriend when he came down to visit me that sometimes I feel like my ego makes me say things that I don’t want to say. It’s not as if I hear a voice telling me to say something, it’s more of a compulsion to say things to people that I know will hurt them; like badly masked jokes. I don’t feel this all the time and, in fact, the more I persevere with spiritual practice, the less I feel compelled to say these things; but it still worries me. It’s an aspect of my personality that I don’t quite understand but I know that I get it from my Dad. I explore this in the song, too, and I explain this aspect of myself as “a germ I douse with alcohol”. There is a soundbite from the film “Girl, Interrupted” that I plan to use at the end of the song when I produce it. The film is about a young woman who is admitted to a mental hospital and is subsequently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. The dialogue I want to use is when Susanna is talking with her therapist about coming up against big questions and decisions in her life and her therapist proposes that, for some, sanity can be a choice. I think this is quite a revolutionary idea. And I think that for myself this is true. If I gave in to depression a bit more and had duvet days on a weekly basis and didn’t think before I spoke, yes, I would succumb to madness. It’s a vulnerable thing to admit but I think if most people were honest with themselves, they’d say the same. However, having the awareness to know that is something to be celebrated because self-awareness, in my opinion, is the most important mark of sanity.
Aside from the songwriting, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for music videos and, of course, writing this blog which brings me so much joy. On Wednesday, I’m going to see Wiley – one of my favourite grime artists of all time. I initially decided that I couldn’t afford it then changed my mind. It will be good for my soul and who knows, it might get even more creative juices flowing. I’m going alone which I’m strangely excited about. Going to gigs on my own is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always thought it would be empowering and that it would allow me to really be able to drink in the experience without worrying about anything else. I can’t wait!
Thanks for reading! My next post will be a return to my regular format of following steps for self-esteem growth and it’ll be about self forgiveness. I hope whoever is reading this is having a great day. 🙂
– SMUT. ❤ xxxx
Art by Carla Franscesca Castagno