It's been a while since I last wrote a blog. It's been an even longer while since I released new music. In 2021, I'm turning things around. In fact, I'm totally turning things up a notch.
A new single, every month
I'm calling this personal project #BryanUnleashed. It's not about doing anything wild or crazy. The idea is to release as many songs as possible this year. So from January until December, I'm going to be releasing a new single every month. And If I make it to December, perhaps I'll just keep on going into 2022 and beyond.
For the love of music
If you've followed me for a while, you know that I love all types of music. This is something that's also going to be apparent in the songs I'm releasing from now on. Though musically, I could never fit in a box, it wasn't exactly for a lack of trying. I'm just the type of person who can listen to classical music in the morning, metal by noon, hip hop while travelling, salsa in the afternoon and reggae in the evening. I couldn't care less about genres. Good music is just good music.
My love for music has a lot to do with how and where I grew up. On a Caribbean island, you're exposed to rhythms from all over the world. Whether you belonged to a certain musical subculture or not, you still had appreciation for everything else.
From limited to limitless
However, I did spend quite a few years trying to write music to fit a certain setting. I wanted to write songs that I could pull off live, with the musicians I was performing with. If I wanted a violin, I used an organ instead. If I felt I needed a saxophone, I'd arrange the part for electric guitar instead. But, what happens, is that you end up limiting the musical potential of the songs you write.
In 2021, given the state of the world and the lack of live performances, I feel it's the right time to seize the moment and just do whatever the hell I want to do. If I need a violin, I'm getting that violin. If I need a xylophone, I'm getting that damn xylophone.
Perfectly imperfect (and that's fine)
Another problem I had to deal with was that of perfectionism. This is actually the big one. I used to be relatively carefree, writing music feverishly, releasing new music whenever I felt like it. But somehow, there came a time when I started believing that every step I took needed to be better than the previous. The next music release needed to be better than the previous music release. The new music video needed to be better than the other music video. Eventually releasing music became somewhat of a suffocating experience. I simply couldn't write anything that was good enough. As a result, I started releasing fewer and fewer songs.
I remember one day, someone I ran into said "hey, do you still make music?" A simple, innocent question, but it kinda sucked to be confronted with the fact that I obviously wasn't doing the one thing I was born to do.
In 2021, I'm going back to my old, uninhibited ways. If as a listener, you're only into one style of music, then I'm not the musician for you and that's fine. If you're a lover of all things music, then I hope you join me on this journey as I pull out all the stops :-)
Hey! Don't get me wrong, I'm still a perfectionist... But I think creatives need to create. We need to create as much as possible until there is nothing left. We need to literally die empty, as described by author Todd Henry in his book titled, you guessed it, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day. (I never read the book, but I've been a fan of his podcast for many years). Another author with similar thoughts, who wrote an absolutely brilliant book I actually did read is Elizabeth Gilbert. She's the author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. If you're a creator, and identify with the issues I mentioned, then I do highly recommend the book by Elizabeth Gilbert.
That's it for this update. Keep in mind, this new year is still young and just as in 2020, in 2021 we will be challenged over and over again. So be strong, stay safe and wear a mask to protect those around you.