I performed the other day, for the first time. You know, I am still caught by the glee of having pushed myself into a different realm – FINALLY. For months on end I have been immersed in writing music, and with a background of no official training, this exercise has shown me to myself. I have told the darkest of secrets by creating stories accompanied by melodies and feelings.
I invited the audience into my world of contemplation and contradictions – what a challenge.
I cannot begin to explain the many thoughts that gushed into my head minutes before finding myself on stage. The ‘WTF am I really doing this?’ thoughts, which mind you, almost had me at hello. I channelled Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Miriam Makeba, and all the other past and present musical greats – and then, Ndu Tshabareng from the Clan came through with a plan. The performance went far better than what I had imagined. I carried myself through.
This had me thinking though, that when I wrote an article on the artist allowing the audience in, I was less experienced than I am now. Then, I was speaking as a writer, but now I speak as a performer.
Nothing is as incomprehensible as being a sound that tells people the stories they can resonate with. Not a voice, a sound. People have great voices, but not everyone becomes a singer – because why: they must be a sound that the audience wants to hear. And then tell all the stories.
What we did the past Thursday was to experiment on a different sound: Chillhop. It is a blend of old school Jazz, R’nB, NeoSoul, adding a live touch as well incorporating studio elements. This as a sound, is magic on earth. The Candle Lit Session had a surrounding system of a variety of music – all falling under chillhop. So by virtue of playing that, was entry level to what the performances comprised. To add to the sound we were going for, we invited artists (though some bailed) that fit the idea that was being embraced: CalmTurnUp
So there we had it. A great venue in Richmond Hill, a great vibe, people brought their wines and were happy. They walked into a feeling so close, because the music allowed exactly that. Everyone felt at home, and mingled to capacity.
As a sound, Thursday was trying to create close relationships between the artists and the audience – to say that the writing process comes from a combination of ideas, internal and external. And so as a musician, I have a clearer idea of how to connect to the sound I want representing me, and finding an audience (however small) to appreciate it. As oppose to trusting my voice in a sound that doesn’t complement my existence.
Creating intimate events where new artists get to explore themselves in relation to the music that suits their thought process, their basic comprehension of life, the personalities they become on stage – is exactly for them to establish a sound that fits their being – so as to fully immerse the audience in the story they are telling. Even I became a bit more engaging as oppose to my natural shy self – because the sound allowed me to open up. To connect with it and then the audience.
Alas, this was a first of many, also highlighting the importance of an audience in events. The fact of having hosted an event and being on the other side of the fence, made me all the more appreciative of the fact of being a musician who is trying to make a career in music. Support is profusely appreciated and I write this today, in a glee that is not only of my doing but of the people that took the time and came out.
Support local artists.