Not sure how to begin this blog post but I now go under the handle of ph!lomenah! This blog used to be called SMUT. and Self Esteem and it’s now ph!lomenah’s safe space. My stage name as a musician used to be SMUT. and now it’s…you get the gist.
I decided it fairly spontaneously this morning. I’ve been going by “SMUT.” for around 8 years, so it’s quite a big decision really. I wanted to open a new chapter in my life and close an old one. I have also recently been involved in a very toxic situation involving a lot of harassment, cyber-stalking and vilification. I don’t want to give this situation any more energy than I already have but what I will say is that there has been a lot of miscommunication, misunderstanding, confusion and volatility at play (from all sides of the situation including mine) and I just want to put it to rest.
So, moving on, this name change is bringing me quite a lot of joy. Philomena has been one of my baby names for a long time. I read a book when I was a teen called Swimming by Nicola Keegan, the protagonist of which is called Philomena. Her spirit, depth of character and relatable struggles with grief and mental illness made me fall in love with her and her name.
I felt this morning that using this as my stage name was perhaps a bit premature, considering I might want to give it to my child in the future – but then I realised haphazardly that a kind of birth is taking place right now anyway. A birth of self, of new beginnings, of heightened intuition and trust in my instincts. That might sound a bit meta, but I felt like it wasn’t actually so unusual to give the name to myself.
Kinda like how I feel when I get a tattoo – this feeling of “oh shit, what am I doing?!” – but then, as I trust in my desire to get it, it becomes a new and welcome part of me anyway.
I think I’ve always known I’d outgrow SMUT. at some point. I’ve been musing today over the two names and what they represent to me, respectively. SMUT. has a lot of masculine, dark, defiant and angsty energy for me. I chose that name when I was knee-deep in Soundcloud and underground hip hop which, as we all know, is “edgy names” galore. This will always be my grounding of where I started with both consuming and creating music online. I’ll always keep that influence and energy with me. I remember I was so averse to the idea of having a pretty, girly name. I didn’t want to be another “female singer-songwriter” with a guitar and a cutesy name. SMUT. always threw people off and I liked that.
ph!lomenah to me represents a much more feminine energy – it’s gentler, softer, more peaceful. I think that being ph!lomenah through my music will help me to embody and channel the divine feminine with confidence. Over the past year, I’ve become more in touch with my sexuality and my femininity than I was before and I want my branding to reflect that. When I think of the EP I’m planning to put out this year, releasing it as ph!lomenah makes me feel excited! It feels right.
I’ve updated the theme and layout of my blog a bit and I hope you like it! I plan to put chilled out music at the top of every post so you can listen while you read if you want. 🙂 The colours are really calming to me too and I want this blog to feel like a calm, safe space. Everything has felt so heavy lately, this is my way of giving myself and the world a bit of peace. I’ll still be covering heavy subject matter as and when it comes up in my life, though(I’m dealing with a lot right now but don’t really want to get into it).
I found this poem today while searching for one to put in the “Smile” tab linked at the top of the home page but felt it would be better suited to a blog post. It’s really helped me today in light of recent events. You cannot control the perception others have of you. You can only account for yourself.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,Rudyard Kipling
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
Thanks for reading. 🙂