When I stepped out of LAX and into the warm evening air I suppose I fell in love.
Kansas City, as much as I adore it and feel proud to represent, will never be as warm as Los Angeles was that night in mid-December, nor will it evoke the feelings of excitement and hope that still exist within. So when you grow up in a rural place it’s not uncommon to dream of bigger things – in the back of my mind LA was always the destination.
When I called it a day about seven years ago, I was exhausted. Somehow I was emptied. I felt like I had already said and experienced everything. Since day one, music had always nourished me. How foolish was I to believe for a single moment that I could go on without it?
My second album is somewhat of a time capsule. These are the songs I wrote between realizing I needed to get better and doing something about it.
My alcoholism and dependence on other addictive behaviors (weed, sex, etc.) had progressed to a point where they had begun destroying every semblance of a good life I’d managed to build despite them. To preserve any chance I had at living well, I needed to change the way I spent each and every moment of my time. In order to honestly document these in musical form, I stripped away every instrument other than my voice, guitar, laptop, and tape recorder.
If there is anything for you in these songs, you will most likely find it outside of what I have to say about them. All I really have to say is thank you so, so much for listening. So much.
That said, in case it might inform your listening, here’s what I have to say:
“I took them to grandma’s; you’ve been playing way too much.”
This is how I woke up one day in grade 11 because I wasn’t doing much of anything other than making up random melodies and recording them on a tape player. I loved the fact that I was in control of making these things up and that they were not being graded or picked apart by a teacher or whatever…
My name is Ava and Ben, I use they/them pronouns, and I make music as Hegemonix. I’ve recently been exploring online queer aesthetics via electronic music and music videos. I’ve been using digital instruments and my physical body to communicate my exploration of having a non-binary gender identity. I’m interested in using the “precise” robotic language of electronic music combined with the uncertainty of the voice and body to explore what it means to be human in today’s digital world.
For me making music has always been about finding hidden lumps of pain, lighting fire to them and watching them disperse into the ether…
WEIGHTLESS/SINKING is the sonic representation of one of the most confusing periods of my life: I was simultaneously getting to grips with how much I had suffered from / attempted to forget the fact that one of my parents is a double cancer survivor, helping my family move out of my childhood home and trying to find my place in the mind-boggling metropolis that is London. I thought that the paradox of feeling like I was weightless yet at the same time sinking perfectly described the emotional soup I was in.
(I’m) a sparrow’s feather
on a lake: weightless/sinking
Weston Smith, which is my actual name, is a Solo Synth Pop project I started in early 2016 as a way for me to cope through my mental illnesses. For years I had been battling with enormous waves of anxiety and depression, I had gone through multiple treatments to balance my life with various medications, but there wasn’t really any success with said attempts.