I’ve spent the majority of my time making music for a desired/specific audience. I wanted so badly to be accepted into a music “scene” that I was willing to compromise my art to better fit into the idea of what was alternatively-popular. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I was cheating myself; I was always conscious of the dangers of giving into what others deemed acceptable, and my musical heroes before me never compromised their art for popularity (or if they did there was a notable decline in the quality of their work).
I’ve realized that I can’t make music that a lot of people will like, because I’ll never share that love. I’ve realized that I can’t make music for other people, I’ll just continue to be dissatisfied until eventually I give up. Music has always been many things for me, both escapism and confrontation. A haven to retreat into, or find strength and truth in. The second I stop making music for me, and start making it for the benefit of others, I trade a little too much of my true self in that transaction and that isn’t something I’m even remotely interested in.
I know that I can only make music for myself with the hope that other people will dig on it. Genres, scenes, these are all trivial things created by music journalists to both marginalize and simplify your art. This is unavoidable, but if you yourself avoid it in an effort to reach some kind of artistic truth, you’ll never be disappointed in yourself. You shouldn’t ever have to apologize for your art, for that is an apology for yourself, which is certain death.
My musical heroes, David Bowie, John Lennon, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Dave Longstreth, Mos Def, Andre 3000 these are all great artists that are unapologetic about serving their own art before the listeners. They endlessly inspire me to be a better artist and the best thing I can do to continue their legacy is to be unapologetic in my art, and therefor unapologetic for myself. I’m not sorry if you don’t like my music, I really don’t care. I will love you if you love my music, not because I’m desperate for acceptance, but because we were both able to connect on something bigger than the individual, even if it was for the span of a 3-minute song.
Art is all about expression, I have no interest in letting that expression be compromised by writers at Pitchfork(or the like) who will choose to fit me into an arbitrary scene or choose to ignore me. I don’t make music for Pitchfork. Not anymore at least.
The only people I truly make music for is the people that I love, the endless providers of inspiration and light. GLDFNG, TOOTHLESS, FamilyFriends, Neck Feathers, and Afro Darlings. I wouldn’t say we make music FOR each other exactly, but I like to think we make music with each other in mind. These are the people I want to be associated with because we are truly alike in a way beyond the style of music we make (which in actuality is quite different). I asked them to create half of the songs on this album with me, in order to represent them, and capture something that the internet never can. A real sense of community.
Hope you enjoy, I love you.
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