Kiss & Tell
Someone once told me if you want to be a great writer, write what you know. I wrote my first song at the age of fifteen after 9/11, called Hero. I wasn't quite brave enough to write about my own life experiences nor do I think I had enough life experience to actually write about. I guess at fifteen I could have written about the cute boys I crushed on or the drama at school. I didn't have much depth at that time and I was quite innocent.
I always loved to write and I always loved music. Writing music was something I so badly wanted to learn and be good at doing. This all started when I turned twelve. There was a woman in church who wrote lyrics and music. She and her five sisters recorded albums and sang all over the country. I wanted to be just like her. I thought it was so cool to be able to write your own stuff. I first started trying to write Christian songs. I can honestly say that I don't think I was ever very good at writing that genre.
I had written quite a few songs by the time I turned eighteen. I kept writing but it wasn't until I turned twenty-two that I think something actually clicked. I think some of it had to do with growing up a bit. Maybe it's easier to believe a twenty-two year old singing about love than a fifteen year old. I started to show friends what I had written. People would tell me the music was relatable. At that time, I was still taking from other people's situations and writing about it instead of doing more soul searching and writing about my own life. There was this sort of fear that if I wrote about certain things in my life, people would know what was going on. No one writes in their journal and then publishes it, right? I know that's not true as plenty of people write their stories, but that's how it felt. I wasn't brave.
I really connect with music. I think a lot of people connect with music. I always loved the songs that I would play on repeat because the artist was singing exactly how I felt and my feelings could relate to the words, in that moment. It felt like they had lived my life and I wasn't alone. It wasn't until four years ago that I decided to start sharing my own life stories. I was inspired by Amy Winehouse who was this walking disaster but was so brilliant. How could someone write something so honest and not be afraid of what people were going to think? I mean that's the definition of brave right there. I had to ask myself what I was so afraid of in the first place. The answer that came to mind was simply: judgment. I've made too many life decisions at times based on what people might say or may think. Once I realized that yes, people will see more of me and not everyone is going to like it but I'm okay, I put aside that fear and started actually writing.
I will never forget the day I received a message from a girl I had met only once. She had downloaded my first EP. She told me she had one of my songs on repeat that morning and had broken down crying as it related to something she was going through and the song spoke to her. I was very touched that I had been able to connect with someone I didn't even know. I thought of all the times I had listened to certain songs the exact same way. That moment was a turning point for me and inspired the honesty that came through the writing on my debut album.
Today, everything I write is about me and my personal life. To be honest, there are still some things that can be difficult to open up about and share. People tend to ask what and who certain songs are about. Some people already know who and what the song is about. Some people interpret their own meanings to a song. I have used music to express myself. I have used it as a healing tool to some of the more difficult life situations. Not everything I write is a sad story. Not everything I write has to do with love. Not everything I write is even serious. My music is my life's 'memory album'. It's filled with happiness, sadness, love, loss, hope, and dreams.