Turns out that depression is hella difficult and I’ve struggled muchly with it. I recently had a release come out on beatport of a remix I did for Snareophobe and i noticed something on the date. It was a year to the day since I had released a chune on the platform. It had been almost as long since I had uploaded anything to Soundcloud. This was a bit of an eye opener for me for a few reasons. Firstly, it made me realise that I’d all but stopped putting out music and cut myself off from a lot of what and who I loved, and secondly; I am my own worst enemy sometimes and depression feeds that enemy then blames other people for it.
To elaborate on the first point;
As any artist will tell you, its really easy to be hard on yourself and tie your self worth and self esteem to something that you pour your soul into. To feel the need of some kind of validation for that vulnerability that comes with truly putting yourself out there in true self expression is an all too familiar crux for people like myself. I’ve literally sat there refreshing a new track on soundcloud hoping the plays have gone up, or that someone has given it a heart or a repost or taken the time to post the increasingly-less-frequent comment. It can be more of an addiction then any drug (I know from experience). At some point, the drug ceases to be as effective and instead of seeing the positives in someone, anyone, taking the time to listen to a track at all (let alone as soon as its posted) it began to be taken over with ever increasing expectations “only 50 plays in the first 24hours? Must not be a good song”. And while those sort of unrealistic expectations would, for the longest time, only fuel me to try and write ‘better’ songs; it eventually started fueling a depression that I had battled before. It blinded me to the beautiful facts that have been staring at me the whole time. ‘Someone’ listened. Not just a single ‘someone’, a lot of people listened. It didn’t occur to me that the idea of putting expectations on self expression is like deciding to go for a run then tying your shoelaces together. Music, especially the kind that I tend to make, lends itself far too easily to be influenced by the allure of needing to make ‘bangers’ or music specifically meant to appeal to those whose primary focus is a ‘drop’, to be able to share it with a wider audience. Every artist, myself included, wants to share their expression, their music, with as many people as they can in the hopes of making those connections. In the hope that they take what you’ve made and make it a part of their own experience, part of the soundtrack to their life (or at least a moment of it).
I remember the first time I started to feel like maybe the music I made wasn’t worth putting out to the world. I put such a huge emphasis on my own story and the part I played in it that instead of letting it be what it was and let others find their own stories and experiences to associate with it, I forced it to be about my own. The solo-show rather then an ensemble that included everyone. Its a hard thing to realise because I wanted so badly to make a difference in the world that I thought if people knew my own struggles, my story, that it would connect and not only reach more people but also point out all these (obvious to me) things that were just blatantly WRONG in the world. What I didn’t realise at the time was that it wasnt about me (yes, victim to my own ego, no matter how much I tried to justify it). I said once that I wanted to put how I felt in a song so that hopefully someone else recognised the feeling and didn’t feel alone. THAT was my ultimate truth, my reason for making music and sharing it, and I had lost that. I stopped sending music to labels, stopped putting anything that wasn’t a release out on my soundcloud and generally just stopped actually trying to connect because I felt like it was pointless. I put so much expectation on the indiegogo campaign that I had convinced myself that if it failed, my story was meaningless and that there was no point continuing on with it. The problem was, I set myself to fail before it started and it fed into the depression that then consumed me for the better part of the last 2 years. Looking back now, I realise that not only was it not what I really wanted at the time (I believe that I was looking for validation) but that I overlooked the fact that it gave me more then I asked. I had asked for one thing and was given another. Its only now, more then 2 years later, that I’m starting to realise this. I used the ‘failed’ campaign as a reinforcement of the self-doubt that had always been present and let the floodgates open as far as depression was concerned. Honestly, its been hell and I can’t be more thankful for the people who still keep believing in me and have kept in touch, kept listening and kept offering me kind words even in my most dark days. Depression turned the one thing that was helping me keep it in check into something that became another cause for it.
So once depression had blinded me to the reasons I was looking at the thing I love so much in this world as the core thing that seemed to be causing me so much hurt, it set about retrospectively deconstructing and rewriting the truth of my experiences through a twisted perspective. It turned what were, and still are, amazing experiences, connections and events into reinforcing negatives against what I loved. Its a slow process to turn it around again and to see the damage its done is largely to myself but its also had an effect on those I love, not only those closest to me who have watched helplessly as I seemingly destroyed myself about something that I loved, but also those who had found something in my music to connect with. A kindred spirit. I spent a large majority of the last few years feeling more and more disconnected and, subsequently, less valued as an artist or even just a person. The truth is I withdrew and disconnected from you. The truth of it has left me somewhat gutted and apologetic. So let this be my apology. I am sorry. I need you (I think I will always have that need to connect and that sense of needing validation, its part of what drives the artist in me) and I am so thankful that you still listen. It’s a new page and I honestly have no idea what will come next but I want to reconnect, to share those small pieces of my heart and soul again in the hope that you will share a small part of yours with me and that I can be part of the ensemble again.
Lets reconnect, listen to some chunes and share a moment <3 love Lily xX