Life during the lockdown and one finds oneself turning to the online world for community, support, and solace. The pandemic is a global phenomenon after all, and it would seem by the swell of blogs and posts on social media that millions of people the world over are doing the same. Social media explodes with information, disinformation, misinformation, distraction, and instruction.
One of the most shared posts by the online artistic community tells me ‘use the pandemic and the new reality to write that song, that novel, that screenplay you’ve always wanted to’ but this merely serves to impose a feeling of guilt -after all learning to adapt to the restrictions is difficult enough without the added pressure of trying to summon the muse and create new music.
What if I have no new ideas at my immediate disposal to inspire new tunes or fresh ideas to share with other musicians, let alone an audience?
I know I’m supposed to promote myself, but before I do that, let me break down why my latest project is bigger than me.
So. I am born, raised, and artistically based in Queens, New York City, USA. The borough of Queens as a standalone city would be the single most diverse place in the world; something like 200 languages are spoken here. In high school, I knew this girl who spoke English, Spanish, and a specific dialect of her family’s motherland (I forget which specific country it was – sorry mija). And it gets way more diverse than that around here.
I live in a small house. High on a forested mountain. It rarely snows during the winter. I drive long distances to see the entire country sometimes. I eat alone in vast naturistic scenarios. However, I have a deeply loving companion.
To begin, the album took about a year to finish, from writing to final production. Ultimately, I think it describes a period of thawing out from a pretty deep depression. The loss of several family members, a big move from Illinois to Oregon to live closer to my sisters after graduating from college to begin processing a lot of dark stuff that was hanging over me. So this album was a product of that time, of coping, thawing and trying to navigate my way back to somewhere that would hopefully be a lot healthier.
Kind of like how meditating gives us a focused space for our peaceful energy to flourish, having a vlog has helped me to take my connection with my listeners to essentially a sacred space.
I often think deeply about the whole picture and how can I as an artist create safe spaces during quality entertainment experiences. I want to give people a window into my songwriting process and other aspects of me being because we are all creating this world together. I get inspired often by intense things clouded by introverted struggles with no release but music. And I didn’t want just those intense songs to be all I gave the world. Perhaps a good analogy is that not cleaning for weeks results in a big beautiful cleaning. And weekly songwriting is like weekly maintenance cleaning.
You may know one of those songs, that no matter how many times you hear it, it’ll just send emotions running though your entire body. Whether that’s sadness, happiness, guilt, joy, or even songs that surprise you with a twist, are always the best kinds of songs. In this blog, I will be talking about a song that gives off happy and sad vibes, and what it’s about – directly from the composer of said song. Keep reading to find out!
I have read and been introduced to so much great articles and content on this blog I feel honored to add my own. I’m Hillary Keni-Witsani, a musician and writer from the southern tip of the African continent.
Our newest Artist of the Week is a special one with a special story. In the mid-70s, musician and songwriter Phil Arosa fled Southern Rhodesia’s apartheid (now Zimbabwe) to settle in the Netherlands and pursue his musical career under more mundane skies. Alongside his partner Marga, he started the band Zimba, which played for ten years in clubs around the country.