Don’t Wait Till You Feel Like It!

Today I’m jamming away in my brand new home studio (read: IKEA table with laptop and controller) in the Netherlands!

This week I got back into my 90-minutes a day songwriting habit and it feels so goooooood. I fell off the bandwagon for a split second because of a new work project, but this week I kicked my ass back in gear and worked on my new song every. single. day.

BOOM.

What has been huge for me is realizing that I very often DON’T FEEL LIKE actually getting started on my music. Not because I don’t love doing it (it’s like my favorite thing since like forevah) BUT… because at some level there’s always that feeling of…

“Will this be any good? What if I get stuck? What if I can’t bring to life what I hear in my head? What if this-that-the-other-you-name-it-I-should-just-be-something-else-when-I-grow up-BS”

You know the drill right?

R.E.S.I.S.T.A.N.C.E.

I have noticed that to combat these fears, the power of habit is just EVERYTHING.

I can’t even count the amount of times that I’ve felt so fulfilled and elated after a session that I wouldn’t even have started if I had waited until I “felt like it”.

For the things that are so dear to our hearts…
The things that we feel so vulnerable about…
The things that we SO love to create in this world but are equally so scared of…

For those things we can’t just rely on “feeling like it”.

‘Cause if we do, we’re gonna let fear win way too many times.

There’s so much more power in just DECIDING to show up for something.

Every day.
Decide.
No matter if you feel like it.

Show up.
And keep the muse closely by your side 🙂

Can you relate?

(Psssst: check the video to hear a quick preview of what I’ve been working on!)

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Confession Time.

CONFESSION TIME. I have been procrastinating on making my music and doing my vlog the whole day.

Instead, I have been spending my time on the following useless activities:

  • Aimlessly tweaking my website for absolutely NO good reason.
  • Reading up on news (oh don’t ever read up on the news…5 hours of Reddit later I’m obviously no less depressed about the state of the world and I also didn’t come up with the solution on how to FIX the world, so sigh!)
  • Googling a guy I saw in a FB group who I thought was hot.
  • OCD’ing about the colors of my new instrument groups in the Ableton Template I’m building.

Um, what else.

I did do one actual grown-up thing (buying groceries) but the rest was pretty much 5 hours of nothingness that I will never get back.

Best selling author Paulo Coelho said on The Tim Ferris Show:

“A successful writing day is the day that I suffer in the morning, and I have fun in the evening.”

Well thanks, you legend! Maybe there is still hope for me too 😉

At 3 PM I finally got my ass in gear and MADE something.

I do feel camera shy today so I’m just gonna post a little snippet of this new tune I’m working on, without me in it (camera shy meaning I can’t be F-ed to get out of my PJ’s – kinda thing)

I used only Korg Gadget plugins today and took the Tropical House drum kit for a ride. What do you think? Shall I keep working on this one?

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Whip Your Hair, Like You Just Don’t Care

As I just finished my demo for the month I thought to myself:

“My mix sounds like horseshit.”

You must have seen that meme about the creative process?

The “this is awesome – this is tricky – this is shit – I am shit – this might be OK – this is awesome” cycle?

Whereas last week I thought my song was the bomb diggity, right now I think it’s pretty F-ing SHIT.

I’ve vlogged about the terror of song-finishing-week before.

BUT… I’m not posting this to get hugs or feedback from you that “it’s not shit” or anything of that nature.

(Although hugs? Tempting…)

No, I’m posting this because I’m OK with thinking that it’s shit 🙂

I wasn’t able to spend as much time on my music as I normally do, because…oh well, I moved from Singapore to the Netherlands this month. Nothing big 😉

But my main point is that, aside from all the shittiness I currently perceive in this version of this track (note the nuance), I don’t go to that “I AM shit” place anymore.

And oh ma gawd…that’s SO freeing.

I’m no longer running with the “I’ll never get this” or “let’s forget about this music thing” – thoughts or God -knows – whatever – self – defeating – stories I would have told myself a few years ago.

I may currently think the song is shit, but not that my creative potential is shit.

Because I am not the song.
And I am not my art.

So, I’m just gonna not care, whip my hair and put it on my Soundcloud anyway!

The demo in question is right below!

Though I may not have motivated you just now to take listen, have I? Lol.

Maybe I should write a guide called “How NOT to pitch a song – 101” (it probably includes calling it “horseshit”, oh well)

You ARE in fact welcome to have a listen my friend. It’s poppy and energetic.

In any case…

LET’S NOT WAIT WITH SHARING OUR CREATIVITY UNTIL IT’S FLAWLESS HMKAY?

Only Queen B wakes up like that, as we all know.

PS: I’m now officially looking for someone to help me mix/master my demos so that I can focus on what I do best, which is everything that comes BEFORE the mixdown. So, do let me know if you know someone that knows someone.

Happy remaining Sunday and don’t forget to whip your hair this week!

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Letting It Be Easy, Fun and Flow Based

How can you let creation be easy, fun and flow based?

For me, this week, the answer was to leave all the tech stuff behind and focus purely on my vocals, the lyrics and the vibe of the song.

I downloaded a few loops from Splice (drums / bass / pads) and created a song in one night. Easy: check. Fun: check. Flow: check!

Check the video to hear the sounds I chose! Always funny to notice how poppy my songs become when I just let out what WANTS to come out.

Now I’m back to my song cave to practice and record 3291 vocals and tighten up some timing stuff! I’ll post the finished tune here next week 🙂

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The OK-ness of Groundlessness.

I started reading a book on the plane from Singapore to Amsterdam:

‘When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times’ by Pema Chödrön.

The title spoke to me as I’m experiencing a sense of groundlessness about having left my old life, yet not quite yet having a new one.

It’s been helping me a ton in the past week to not get caught up in the games my mind wants to play.

Let’s call it the comparison-game, why don’t we.

“Oh, how nice is this fresh air compared to the sweaty humid mess in Singapore! MAN, I’LL BE SO MUCH HAPPIER IN THE NETHERLANDS.”

“Oh, how meh is this view compared to the ocean view I had back there! SIGH, ALL OF LIFE WAS SO MUCH BETTER IN SINGAPORE.”

“Oh, how open and chatty are Dutch people compared to Singaporeans! DAMN, IT’S SO GOOD TO BE BACK HOME.”

“Oh, how much more polite are people in Asia though! FML, I WANNA GO BACK ASAP.”

Yep, my mind is serving me a ton of opinions all day every day.

But in fact, these opinions aren’t serving me much at all.
They’re rather exhausting.

Well, not the opinions themselves. ‘Cause they’re just thoughts aren’t they? Hanging out in our brains, casually doing their thing.

The problem is when you start clinging to the thoughts.

Arguing with the thoughts. Trying to validate the thoughts.
Taking the thoughts a little too damn seriously!

Pema Chödrön says:

“When we make things wrong, we do it out of a desire to obtain some kind of ground or security. Equally, when we make things right, we are still trying to obtain some kind of ground or security. Could our minds and our hearts be big enough just to hang out in that space where we’re not entirely certain about who’s right and who’s wrong?”

So good.

Now, when my mind wants to get into comparison-land I try to remind myself that this is, in her words, “unnecessary activity” and I can choose not to engage with it.

Instead, I can just try to be with my pure experience of the moment, whether it’s painful or joyful.

If there is pain about what I’ve lost, I will let it wash over me.
Without pushing it away.

If there is gratitude about what I’ve gained, I will let it wash over me.
Without clinging on to it.

And, if there’s fear of what’s to come, I will let it wash over me.
Without avoiding it like the plague.

In other words, I’m just gonna sit here with my groundless ass and be OK with it.

Don’t be surprised if my next tune will be an ambient one 

What’s your experience with feeling groundless? Let me know here on my FB page!

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