Finding My Voice
2/28/2017 12:13:46 PM - I know, you're probably thinking, "She's a singer and writing a blog about finding her voice?....um....okay..." But this is more about finding your style, your true "voice" to express what and who you are, to find the natural animal in you rather than what you want to be.

Okay, the last part sounds strange coming from me, because God knows I've written enough songs about how you can dream and envision what you want to be, and with work and belief it'll manifest itself. And I do strongly believe that. But I am also an avid believer in expressing the natural you, rather than getting tainted by outside influences. There's always going to be someone or something that seems to have it going on that you admire and wish you could be like, maybe even emulate, and you might be successful in becoming the chameleon and taking those colors for yourself. But is it the real you?

My mother is 75 years old, almost 60 years in the biz, and she says that in the beginning she strived to emulate her heroes, namely the legendary jazz pianist Bud Powell, but only found her true "voice" and style later on, I think she said in her 40s. I'm just now hitting 42 this year and I must admit, I've just begun to hit my stride in the last few years in terms of discovering my style, but it seems to keep changing and at times I'm a little disconnected to what I'm about, which is where I'm at now.

I had the opportunity to sit down with legendary jazz bassist, Dave Holland, back in 1997 when he was in Japan performing at a festival, and he said such a great thing to me, perhaps as advice to a young musician such as myself, or maybe to explain the various musical directions he's explored. It was something to the nature of finding the thing that you're good at and are recognized for, and sticking to it. I questioned it at the time, thinking that it goes against the principle of trying new things and discovering new roads and possibilities for yourself, that you would be in danger of becoming stale and in a certain rut without the adventure of new directions. But I see now that he really meant that you should find your "voice," and that you focus in that direction, which will allow you to go farther along your path towards higher levels, rather than to spend your time trying different things that isn't necessarily what you're really about.

I had a string of songs in the past that caused a buzz in the underground club world, mostly in the house circle, that a lot of people associate me with. It's funny, but I don't really consider myself a house artist. For me, the style of house, or any other style of music for that matter, is like the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself, if that makes any sense. It's like the make-up on the woman, or the clothes that she might be wearing, but it's not what she really looks like once you take all that off. Well, my music and my voice is the naked me, my real voice. What I'm trying to say is that I don't want to be defined by a genre or style or any of those labels, which is so limiting. I'd rather define myself by what my spirit is saying, my thoughts and passions, the truth, or the search of, that I ultimately strive for.

And maybe that's what it's about. Maybe in this world where everyone feels compelled to label, and be labeled, to better define and understand something, including themselves, that it's limiting us from being who we really are.

I'm trying to find my voice. I haven't lost it, it's there, but I seem to have lost sight of it a bit. Or maybe it will always be elusive to me, defying description, always changing as time and life changes all of us ever so subtly.
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