Hello, internet! In case you missed it, I released a project last week on Unspeakable Records that holds a very special place in my heart, and it’s my great pleasure to finally share it with you all. ‘SQ-1′ is a 3-song EP with 11 bonus tracks (hehehe), so in case you’re interested, here’s a brief explanation of the method to my madness:
For the past year or so, I’ve been working on an LP that wasn’t coming together in the way that I had stubbornly envisioned. I have fairly high standards for what an “album” should be, so instead of continuing to torture myself over the same old ideas, I decided it was time for me to put my insecurities aside and let these beats go as they are. It’s still rough around the edges and riddled with mixing/mastering flaws and imperfections, but I love it just the same.
I was initially going to line up some sort of fancy-shmancy premiere for ‘SQ-1,’ but I figured it would make more sense for me to tell you about it directly. While I really appreciate the work of blogs and journalists helping us lowly artists reach a wider audience, I figured I would just go ahead and release these songs without any flashy marketing schemes or interviews that center around the uber-hip lifestyle of the creator rather than the creation. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good photoshoot for new press shots as much as the next basic — but had to let my ego take the backseat on this one. Creating these 14 tracks has been an intense healing process for me, so the goal wasn’t to reach the masses or be the next big producer of the moment. I’m happy if this EP finds its way to the ears of a handful of people out there riding similar emotional roller-coasters who can relate in some form or another. Let’s be real — my music probably sounds bizarre as fuck to the majority of listeners in the world, so I don’t expect everyone to get something out of it.
‘SQ-1′ is my abbreviation for “square one” — I think of it as returning to the drawing board to dream up a new future for myself after the one I had been working towards suddenly crumbled apart one summer. I ended up retreating to my hometown of Olympia, WA after going through an extremely painful breakup, thinking it would help me determine what I should do with my life post-graduation. Most of the vocals and keys on the EP were recorded by myself at a remote location on the rain-soaked Washington coast last winter. I was feeling lost and borderline nihilistic at the time, so I kept trying to run and hide in order to avoid choosing a direction in my life and to cope with my insecurities. I had physically escaped from Los Angeles, mentally escaped through substance abuse, and emotionally escaped to relationships with the wrong people while pushing my closest friends and family away.
Creating this music helped me find a path though a foggy period in my life, but it was an arduous process for many reasons. After so much isolation, I spiraled into a pattern of over-thinking and re-hashing the same old ideas into an unrecognizable pulp. In the meantime, I was pretending everything was peachy-keen on the outside, telling folks how excited I was to share this new album, when in reality I was extremely unhappy with draft after draft. This cycle continued up until a few weeks ago, when I had an eye-opening discussion with a dear friend and mentor. He simply asked me how my music was going, and before my emotional shield had a chance to kick in, I nearly started crying as I tried to answer. I didn’t realize how heavy this work was weighing on me, or just how much I was giving into the pressure to follow certain music trends and sound like the artists I associate myself with. It was time to stop struggling to fit a square peg into a round hole, let this music go, and move on to fresh ideas instead of continuing this bizarre torture I was inflicting upon myself.
So now that this work is out, I’m taking a break from beat-making and moving on to creating music that uses more of the talents I’ve been ignoring. I won’t say exactly what this new direction is yet, but the goal is to get back to my roots and perform without hiding behind a computer onstage.
I guess all I’m trying to say is THANK YOU for all of the support, and it’s my hope that this strange little EP might provide some sort of emotional healing for you as it has for me.
Now for something completely different…